TRAVEL / South Africa – Addo Elephant Park


Addo Elephant Park is located in the Eastern Cape Bush region the southeast of South Africa, near the city of Port Elizabeth. There are living more than 550 elephants in this park. Hence the name. In addition, there are plenty of other animals including lions, antelopes, rhinos and the pride of the Addo area: the Dung Beetle. Believe me: they are hilarious, maneuvering with their large bulbs of dung. When I arrive, I pray to see an elephant. It turned out: I see dozens. It is a beautiful park in a frenzied environment where the chance of seeing elephants is very large. I have a weakness for elephants. They are sensitive, heartbreak, mourning, learn quickly, they are faithful and caring and they have humor.

Addo Elephant park. My first real contact with pure wildlife. There where my South African adventure begins. Five years ago, January 2009. The first wildlife park that I visit in the first free weekend since I set foot on this beautiful continent. The first part of 2009 I live in Port Alfred, near Port Elizabeth and therefore near the Addo Elephant Park. The second part of 2009 I live within this fantastic place, where I am trained to become a junior ranger. My wildlife adventure starts here, but in the months before that I want to see, of course, as much as possible of the country and the amazing animals. The first weekend off I find myself driving directly in a rented ramshackle little car. I leave for the Addo Elephant Park.

There where you can drive around in your own car. There where I instantly jump out of the car when I see my ‘first animal’…a land turtle. Not a coincidence when your name is Laura. Hoping for a baby elephant and almost crash with a land turtle. At that moment I don’t realize that in this park there are not just turtles but lions and other voracious animals as well. So there I find myself sitting next to my turtle. Deliriously happy. Addo. There where I suddenly come face to face with an elephant family. With baby, yes. I still own good karma somewhere. There where I spot more animals during the day. Where I almost drive into a lake. Where elephants are washing themselves. With more babies. Splashing and playing. I don’t have the words to describe how amazing this day is for me, barely a week living in this county. There where I have to drive back like a maniac in a sandy maze because I have five minutes left before the park closes. There where I see the sun drop while a few elephants are walking on a hill like shadows.

In the free months between and after my studies in South Africa I float around the country and I still have enough stories to tell you about this contradictory but beautiful country. Here, in Addo Elephant Park,  my love for the Earth and all that it has to offer grows. Here I find myself in search of adventure. At the beginning of my everlasting journey.


Addo Elephant Park

Addo Elephant Park

Addo Elephant Park

Addo Elephant Park

Addo Elephant Park

Addo Elephant Park

Addo Elephant Park

Addo Elephant Park

Addo Elephant Park

Addo Elephant Park

Addo Elephant Park



Addo Elephant Park

Afrika, DESTINATIONS, Nature, TRAVEL, Travel Category, Travel Stories, Wildlife, Zuid-Afrika

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  1. KArlijn 26 February, 2014 at 07:43 Reply

    Wat zijn je foto’s toch mooi. Al die dierenfoto’s zijn zo tof, volgens mij zou je zo een boek kunnen vullen met alle dieren die in Zuid Afrika leven en dan met hun naam etc erbij. Ik zou het kopen :)

    • Laura 26 February, 2014 at 09:00 Reply

      Dan zit je net verkeerd denk ik, je kunt gewoon op Nederlands klikken links aan de zijkant! Al mijn artikelen zijn Nederlands en Engels :)


  2. Dina 27 February, 2014 at 10:55 Reply

    Oh wauw, wat een prachtige foto’s ook van al die mooie dieren! Ik zou zo graag eens ergens een olifant tegen komen. Dat lijkt me echt ontzettend indrukwekkend!

  3. Neil Playdon 27 February, 2014 at 11:12 Reply

    Hi Laura, awesome photos – loved the one of the dung beetle! I live in Port Alfred so hoped you enjoyed your time here. Our beaches are lovely. If you fancy writing a blog on one of your SA trips for our website please contact us and we can promote your blog too!. Glad you enjoyed Addo it is one of our favourite places. We haven’t seen lions there yet but we know they are there because friends of ours saw them just before Christmas. Enjoy your trip.

    • Laura 27 February, 2014 at 13:20 Reply

      Hi Neil, thanks for your comment! How amazing you live in Port Alfred. For me, it has been 5 years ago. I have lived there in 2009. So no trip at the moment, haha. Well, I will travel to the Philippines in two weeks.

      I have had an amazing time in South Africa and I miss it so much. I lived in Port Alfred for a few months, and a few months in the Shamwari Park. And traveled the whole country. I have written more about my time there, but still have lots and lots to tell. You can check it out here:

      I would love to do a guest post in the future, i will contact you after my next trip! :) Thanks a lot, enjoy your beautiful country!

  4. Danique 27 February, 2014 at 17:31 Reply

    Wat een geweldige foto’s en wat een geweldige plek lijkt mij dat. Dat olifantje dat water aan het spuiten is, geweldig! Weer een plek voor mijn to go-list ;).

    • Laura 12 March, 2014 at 08:53 Reply

      Dankjewel! Toentertijd had ik nog een simpelere camera zelfs, dus leuk om te horen! Als je er graag heen wilt, ga je dat doen. Geniet!

  5. eVELIEN BAKKER 27 March, 2014 at 18:44 Reply

    Hoi Laura, Wat leuk om dit te lezen! Ik ga samen met een klasgenootje in juli voor 10 weken naar Zuid-Afrika! Wij gaan ook naar Port Alfred. Door dit begint het alleen nog maar meer te kriebelen bij mij! Super!

    • Laura 28 March, 2014 at 16:00 Reply

      Hi Evelien, wat leuk om te horen. Ik ben jaloers! :-) Dan kom je vast op mijn school daar. Studeer je toevallig aan Stenden University? Ga je je minors doen daar? Welke? Alvast heel veel plezier!

  6. Johnc462 24 June, 2014 at 00:53 Reply

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  7. Patricia 9 July, 2014 at 09:49 Reply

    Ik heb vandaag je blog ontdekt via de tag op, en ik kan maar niet stoppen met lezen (terwijl ik gewoon aan het werk ben, foeiiii).

    Wat heb jij al veel van de wereld mogen zien zeg, wow. Prachtig!
    Over precies 100 dagen begin ik aan mijn Zuid-Afrika avontuur: 23 dagen (georganiseerd) rondreizen en daarna 14 dagen vrijwilligerswerk.

    Ik. Kan. Niet. Wachten.

    (tot het zover is ga ik door met het bewonderen van jouw avonturen)

    • Laura 9 July, 2014 at 09:55 Reply

      Wat leuk dat je me zo hebt ontdekt, en wat heerlijk om te horen dat je niet kunt stoppen met lezen, haha!
      En geweldig dat je naar Zuid-Afrika gaat, dat was echt een droomtijd daar <3. Wat voor vrijwilligerswerk ga je doen?

  8. 3 October, 2014 at 12:29 Reply

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    I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
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