The Addo Elephant National Park prides itself on its philosophy of responsible tourism and its proud history of nature conservation. What makes this so successful is that they demand the same ethics and practices from all of their¬†Addo Elephant Park accommodation¬†affiliates. The Addo Elephant Park was started originally for the sole purpose of conserving the elephants of the¬†Addo¬†region. In fact the¬†Addo Elephant Park¬†started out with only 16 elephants, the last remaining elephants in the region after a culling operation commissioned by the government due to the pleas of the local farmers. The elephants were destroying citrus plantations. Back then local government didn‚Äôt know any better and decided that culling would be the best option. It took the actions of a lone crusader to save the remaining sixteen and start what is today one of the largest and most diverse eco habitats in the world, incorporating what is widely marketed as the Big Seven now that they have extended into a marine reserve. The ‚ÄúBig Seven‚ÄĚ is the original Big Five and incorporates the Great White Shark and the Southern Right Whale. The plan is to develop off shore viewing islands where these creatures can be enjoyed in their natural habitat.
This dedication to conservation that stretches back to the Park‚Äôs birth can be seen in the¬†Addo Elephant Park accommodation¬†services wherever you choose to stay. Through a system of concessions, parts of the park have incorporated private land and allowed the private sector to set up Addo Elephant accommodation facilities. This has benefits for the park and local entrepreneurs. Supporting local communities is an important part of responsible tourism and sustainable development. The Addo Elephant Park has a philosophy that seems to have worked. They believe that the local community and its economic security as important as any conservation project. This may sound short sighted, but they reason, quite rightly, that the local community will not get behind any conservation project if they feel that their own needs are not being looked after or are being placed second to those of the Addo Elephant National Park.
Addo Elephant Park accommodation¬†and lodges have a responsibility to not only develop sustainably in terms of the environment but also in a way that benefits the local community. Making sure they hire local people and implement training programs so that unskilled employees have the opportunity to grow and increase their earning potential. Skills development can then be passed on to others within the community. It is this type of development that sets the Addo Elephant National Park and the accommodation within the¬†Addo Elephant Park¬†apart. Addo game drives are also available.