More than a century ago elephants in the eastern Cape were systematically hunted – until only 16 were left . Today there are 650 elephants in the Addo Elephant National Park, the densest concentration of wild elephants anywhere on the planet. While elephants are undoubtedly still the park’s top drawcard, the past four decades have seen the emphasis shift from protecting a single species to conserving five biomes and the wild animals that occupy them. Today, Addo can boast the Big Seven: elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, as well as great white shark and southern right whale.
Like Shaping Kruger, its successful predecessor, Shaping Addo expertly delves into the history of the park, detailing the positive impact that changing conservation practices have had on its development. Drawing on decades of groundbreaking research, the author provides fascinating insight into the lives and habits of the animals (both terrestrial and marine), examining individual species, the relationship between them, and the carefully crafted management strategies required to ensure the survival of all species.
Shaping Addo is an engrossing account of how a seemingly insignificant sanctuary was transformed into an astonishingly successful mega-park, and the most ecologically diverse protected space in South Africa.