Addo Elephant National Park is now the third largest national park in South Africa and has expanded to conserve a wide diversity of biomes, landscapes, fauna and flora.
Stretching from the semi-arid Karoo area in the north, over the Zuurberg Mountains, through the Sundays River valley and south to the coast between Sundays River mouth and Bushman’s river mouth, Addo covers roughly 180,000 hectares (444,700 acres) and includes the Bird and St Croix Island groups.
The original elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only sixteen elephants remained in the area. Today this ecosystem is sanctuary to over 550 elephants, lions, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra species, as well as the unique Addo flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo.
There are plans to expand the Park into a 264,000 hectare (652,300 acre) mega-park. In addition, plans include the proposed proclamation of a 120,000 hectare (296,500 acre) marine protected area that includes islands that are home to the world's largest breeding populations of Cape gannets and the largest breeding population of endangered African penguins.