Valley Bushveld Safari Hunting Outfitters
Bushveld hunting safaris bookings South Africa
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Full Members of PHASA
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East Cape Game Management Association of South Africa
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Tel: (041) 922 7618
Fax: (041) 922 7618
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Day Trips and Excursions

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Things to do:

All the pictures on this web site were taken by clients visiting the game parks while staying with us. This gives you an idea what you can experience on the tours that we can plan for you. We do all the planning and supply full details & maps. All you need to do is to arrive at Valley Bushveld Country Lodge.

Please select from the Game Parks & Activities listed below:

Addo Elephant National Park

HISTORY OF THE PARK

The Addo Elephant National Park was proclaimed in 1931 to protect the remaining 11 Addo elephants. The great herds of elephants and other animal species had been all but decimated over the 1700s and 1800s by hunters. In the late 1800s, farmers began to colonise the area around the park, also taking their toll on the elephant population due to competition for water and crops.

This conflict reached a head in 1919 when farmers called on the government to exterminate the elephants. The government even appointed a Major Pretorius to shoot the remaining elephants. He shot 114 elephants between 1919 and 1920.

Public opinion then changed, leading to the proclamation of the park in 1931. The original size of the park was just over 2 000 hectares. Conflicts between elephants and farmers continued after proclamation as no adequate fence enclosed the park. Finally in 1954, Graham Armstrong (the park manager at the time) developed an elephant-proof fence constructed using tram rails and lift cables and an area of 2270 hectares was fenced in. There were 22 elephants at the time. This Armstrong fence, named after its developer, is still used around the park today. Although the park was originally proclaimed to protect a single species, priorities have now changed to conserve the rich biological diversity found in the area.

Addo Elephants
Addo Zebra
Addo Elephants at water hole

Domkrag
The Domkrag Dam in the game viewing section of the park is named after a giant mountain tortoise that once roamed the park. Domkrag is the Afrikaans word for jack, and this tortoise had a peculiar habit of walking in behind cars and lifting them up with enormous strength. Domkrag came to a sad end when he fell into an aardvark hole and couldn't get himself out. His shell is still on display in the reception foyer.

Hapoor
The magnificent Elephant head which is mounted in the restaurant is that of Hapoor, the legendary dominant bull in the park for 24 years. The waterhole in the southwestern section of the game area is named after him. Hap means 'nick' in Afrikaans, while 'oor' means ear and it is believed the distinctive nick in his ear was caused by a hunter's bullet. Hapoor retained a deep hatred of humans throughout his life. On more than one occasion park-staff were forced to flee to safety when Hapoor made his appearance. His dominance stretched from 1944 to 1968. During the second part of the 1960's a few younger bulls reached maturity and challenged Hapoor. These upstarts were unsuccessful until one bull name Lanky finally deposed Hapoor in 1968. Hapoor was driven from the heard and became a loner. Later that year he succeeded in climbing the park's 'Armstrong Fence', which for nearly 20 years had been elephant proof. His freedom was to be short lived as because of his aggressive nature, it was determined he would have to be shot.

Addo Antelope
Elephants at water hole
Addo Monkey

ANIMALS

This park offers some of the most spectacular elephant viewing in the world. Addo’s over 450 elephants, over 400 Cape buffalo, 48 black rhino, a variety of antelope species, as well as the unique flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo. The buffalo is one of the largest disease-free herds in South Africa.

Expansion at Addo has only just begun. with plans to expand the 164 000 ha Addo National Elephant Park into a 360 000 ha mega-park. In addition, plans include the proposed proclamation of a 120 000 ha (296 500 acre) marine reserve that includes islands that are home to the world's largest breeding populations of Cape gannets and second largest breeding population of African penguins.

Cape buffalo
Young Addo Elephants
Black Rhinos

Six lions were introduced into the park in late 2003 and have adapted well to their new environment. Lions are most often seen in the early morning or on sunset and night drives.

Spotted hyenas were also reintroduced in 2003, fulfilling the same role as lions in restoring the natural balance to the ecosystems in the park by controlling the numbers of herbivores. Leopard are very seldom seen, being shy and secretive animals, but do occur in most areas of the expanded park.

Antelope species abundant in the main game area of the park include red hartebeest, eland, kudu, Warthog and bushbuck. The Burchell’s zebra, many with the pale rumps reminiscent of the extinct qwagga, occur in the park.

The rare flightless dung beetle is king of the road in Addo, with signs warning visitor that this recycling machine has right of way. The beetles are only seen when conditions are not too hot and not too cold and play an important role in recycling nutrients and helping the growth of thicket vegetation.

Did you know that...

  • The park conserves no less than five of South Africa's seven biomes?
  • Is also home to one of the densest African elephant populations on earth?
  • It is home to the unique flightless dung beetle?
  • Addo incorporates the largest coastal dune field in the southern hemisphere?
  • The park boasts the Big Seven: (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, southern right whale and great white shark)?
  • It also protects the world's largest Cape gannet breeding population on Bird Island?
Addo National Park Elephants
Warthog
Antelopes

FACILITIES IN THE PARK

  • A fuel station which provides petrol and diesel between the hours of 7 AM and 5 PM.
  • A curio shop, also sells snacks and basic supplies open: 8 AM to 6 PM (times are subject to seasonal change).
  • An a la carte restaurant in the main camp, serving meals throughout the day (7 AM to 10 PM ). Bookings are advised.
Elephants
Rhino
Elephant

GAME VIEWING IN THE PARK

You can view all the animals in Addo from the comfort of your own vehicle and explore the more than 75 kilometres of road looking for animals. Making use of a guide can just make it easier as we know all the favourite spots they hang out. After visting the park for more than 30 years it is now 2nd nature to us.

OTHER OPTIONS below are also available which can be booked in the park if you wish not to use your own vehicle but a open top Safari vehicle.

Day drives
Departing 09:00, 12:00 and 15:00 – viewing may include herds of elephant, antelope, zebra , warthog and ostrich.

Sunset drive
Departing 16:00 (winter) or 18:00 (summer) – enjoy late afternoon viewing, snacks & drinks as the sun goes down and then some night time viewing – black rhino, buffalo, lions and antelope may be seen.

Night drive
Departing 18:00 (winter) or 20:00 (summer) – dress warmly and discover the secrets of night time in the bush: springhares, porcupines, genets.

Addo Antelope
Addo Elephants
Addo Buffalo
Private Lion & Game Reserve

This is the ultimate for a first time visitor to South Africa with limited time to see as much wildlife in the shortest time possible on their South African holidays. Here you will have the best photo opportunities that you will not find in any other reserve. The reserve is the oldest private game viewing reserve in the Eastern Cape, bordering the eastern side of Addo Elephant National Park.

Private Lion and Game Reserve
Addo 
                                                        Elephant National Park Giraffe
Addo 
                                                        Elephant National Park Lion

This malaria free reserve is probably the most densely stocked reserve in Africa, and with over 40 mammal species and approximately 2000 animals, can offer consistently good game viewing throughout the year. It was the first reserve in the Cape Province to have free roaming lions and we can almost guarantee sightings of these magnificent animals on every game drive. This is a four hour guided game drive in an open Land Rover with a short refreshments and toilet break at the halfway point. It is a private game reserve and the guide can take the guests as close as possible to get the best viewing of rhino, hippo, giraffe and the king of the beasts, lion! The guide try to show the guests as much as possible on a drive and concentrate on the popular sightings rather than 'the birds and the bees'.

Addo 
                                                        Elephant National Park Hippo
Addo Lion
Day trips and excursions

The reserve has a huge open air lapa, reputedly among the largest in South Africa. Inside the lapa there are several large trees and a roaring log fire. Dinner is usually a mix of safari cuisine and traditional South African cooking; the exact menu depends on what is available on the day.

Lion viewing day trips
Giraffe day excursions
Lion excursions

After dinner a short, spotlit nightdrive providing the possibility of more nocturnal animals completes your experience as we return to our reception area.

Guided Lion Viewing
Guided Lion Trips at Addo
Antelope day trips
Cheetah Breeding Farm

The Cheetah Breeding project was established in May 2001 and started with just three cats. It has since grown with breeding, purchase and swapping of animals.

Cheetah Breeding Farm
Cheetah Breeding project
Cheetah Breeding Sanctuary

The aim of this project is to play a part in the conservation of Cheetah's (Acinonyx jabatus), the re-establishment of pure gene lines, as well as educating people to the importance of conserving these amazing species.

Young Cheetah Cub
Cheetah Interaction
Adult Cheetah

The cheetah project offers a 'once-in-a-lifetime' experience where visitors do not only get an interesting, personalized tour, but actually get to interact with the animals. Visitors are encouraged to touch the cheetahs and have photographs with some of them. We believe this opens people's eyes to the importance of the Cheetah's conservation.

Personalized Cheetah Tours
Interact 
                                                        with Adult and Cub Cheetahs
Cheetah conservation
Addo Elephant Back Safari

Addo Elephant Back Safaris is situated in the pristine valleys of the Zuurberg Mountains within the recently proclaimed Greater Addo Elephant Park.

Addo Elephant Back Safaris
Touring Zuurberg 
                                                        Mountains on Elephant Back
Greater Addo 
                                                        Elephant Park Elephant Rides

Walk with the Elephants through the diverse valley bushveld, ravine and forest habitat unique to this part of the Eastern Cape. The informative walk-and-talk takes a very leisurely pace set by the elephants themselves and is in no way strenuous. The walk allows you to interact with, feed and observe the elephants in their natural habitat while our trained and qualified handlers share their specialized knowledge and insight into both the elephants and this unique eco-system.

Valley Bushveld Elephant Rides
Interacting With Elephants
Guided Elephant Tours at Greater Addo Elephant Park

After your safari, we offer you the exhilarating experience of riding these magnificent animals - revel in the natural beauty of the environs and its wildlife from your lofty seat as these gentle giants amble through the African bush. At the conclusion of the ride enjoy a close-up view of the elephants swimming and frolicking in their favored waterhole from the viewing deck at the boma - no guarantee that you won’t get sprayed with a trunkful of water!

Close-Up 
                                                        Encounters With Elephants
Elephant Day Excursions
Elephant Day Trips

We offer three encounters daily, starting at 08h00, 11h00 and 15h30. The encounter lasts for approximately 2 1/2 hours.
A once in a lifetime safari adventure - at one with nature, following in the footsteps of the ancients...

Tree Top Canopy Tours

The Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour© is a unique eco-wilderness adventure that takes place in the magnificent Tsitsikamma indigenous rainforest.

The first of its kind in Africa, the canopy tour involves traversing from one platform to another along a steel cable suspended up to 30 meters above the forest floor...

Tree Top Canopy Tours

Most platforms are located in giant Outeniqua Yellowwood trees. The scenery and bird life is spectacular and professional guides provide interesting facts about the forest ecology during the 2½ to 3 hours.

The concept of guiding people through the upper canopy of a rainforest originated in Costa Rica, where adventurous biologists devised new methods for accessing the forest canopy in order to conduct research on the undiscovered canopy ecosystem. The idea soon developed into a breathtaking form of eco-tourism which allowed people to enter and experience a previously inaccessible natural environment.

Construction of the Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour© has been done in accordance with strict civil engineering standards. The system was designed and created by an adventurous civil engineer who constructed a similar canopy tour in Costa Rica. The safety standards have been significantly enhanced and the Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour© uses state of the art equipment and has been rated as the most sophisticated of it's kind in the world. Concept to completion took fourteen and a half months.

Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours

The tour begins with a detailed safety briefing followed by a 'kitting up' session where full body harness, pulleys and climbing equipment is issued and checked. A short drive into the Tsitsikamma forest and it is time to monkey around!

From the start on the launch platform a new world unfolds as one gently glides on a steel cable to the first tree platform. All groups are escorted through the forest canopy by a lead guide and a follow guide to ensure your safety as you slide from tree to tree. The platforms, built high up in the giant Outeniqua Yellowwoods, provide an unbelievable view of this enchanting new world - any fear of heights is soon lost as you gather in your new surroundings...

Spend a couple of minutes relaxing while your guides enthusiastically explain the ecology of the forest - pointing out different trees and the magnificent giant ferns way below. The bird life is incredible. Knysna Loeries, sightings of the elusive Narina Trogon and the Vervet monkey are not uncommon.

The Tsistikamma Canopy Tour© consists of 10 platforms and 10 'fufi' slides, the longest of which is 100m! About three hours later you exit the forest, having undertaken the journey of a lifetime. You have contributed to the creation of new jobs and are helping the forest regeneration project.

Bloukrans Bungee Jumping

The concrete and steel bridge spans the gorge 216 exhilarating metres above the Bloukrans River. It is the longest singlespan bridge in Africa, but that’s not its main attraction. What people gather to see is not the view or the bridge, impressive though each may be. They come to share in the breathtaking experience of falling off!

Bloukrans Bungee Jumping

Technically, it’s a 216 m jump, but in reality the jumpers simply lean forward out over that enormous emptiness and drop away, head first. The carefully calculated length of cord is attached to the ankles, and, of course, to the bridge. The gentle yo-yo effect is part of the experience in which the adrenaline-pumping free fall lasts no more than a few of the most memorable seconds of anyone’s life!

Once the motion has been reduced to a gentle arc, an operator is lowered to help the jumper get the right way up again, ready to be hauled back up to the roadside. For those who simply want to watch, there is a viewing platform with a spectacular view at the side of the Bloukrans Bridge.

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