Gorah Elephant Camp
Eastern Cape Game Reserves, Eastern Cape, South Africa
At a Glance
An authentic safari experience in the non-malarial Eastern Cape
Great food and excellent service
Nice big pool in the boma area to relax during the heat of the day
Enjoy the privacy offered by the only private concession within Addo Elephant Park
Game comes to the waterhole throughout the day, incredible elephant sightings close to the camp
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Game viewing is excellent all year round. Summers (October to March) are hot and wet, were as winters (May to August) are cool and dry. Daytime temperatures in summer are high and may soar above 36°C/97°F. Winter is known to produce beautiful warm days, though the evenings and early mornings can be quite chilly.
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Gorah is an authentic tented camp set in a 5,000 hectare private concession within Addo Elephant Park in South Africa’s non-malarial Eastern Cape. Only 70km from Port Elizabeth, it is a convenient option to combine with a visit to the Garden Route.
Gorah Elephant Camp is the only private concession within Addo Elephant National Park, home to the highest density of elephant in South Africa. The reserve is non-malarial and is home to the Big 5, as well as good herds of plains game. Addo Elephant Park is expanding rapidly and will soon stretch right down to the Indian Ocean, becoming the third largest conservation area and one of the most bio-diverse parks in Southern Africa.
The main lodge at Gorah is a converted Cape Dutch farmhouse, a National Monument built in 1856, close to a busy waterhole with great views stretching out over an unspoiled landscape. The Camp was closed for a month in early 2013 while both the house and guest tents were fully renovated, bringing a new freshness to the interiors.
The interior of the house is very much in keeping with its history. The walls are hung with photographs, which tell a story of the history of the house and the wider reserve. Each room is tastefully furnished in a period style and the sitting room has a lovely log fire, perfect for chilly winter nights. There are two spacious verandas to sit out on after a morning game drive, or with a sun-downer in the evening. The views from the decks, down to the waterhole and the rolling Eastern Cape landscape are beautiful. Guests are often fortunate enough to see breeding herds of elephant, large herds of buffalo and other plains game walking past. There have been memorable recent sightings of the resident territorial pride of lion coming to the waterhole to drink in the early evening.
There are 11 guest tents which stretch either side of the central lodge. Each tent is sheltered by a thatched canopy which helps to provide warmth in winter and keep the tents cool in the heat of summer. All have their own private deck, offering views of either the waterhole or the surrounding savannah. The interiors of the tents are simple and authentic, in traditional safari style. All have spacious en-suite bathrooms, ceiling fans, king size beds and solar powered lighting.
Gorah is a member of Relais & Chateaux and has the high levels of service and quality cuisine expected of a member of this organization. Depending on the season, meals can be taken by the fire in the main lodge, out on the terrace with views over the waterhole and landscape, or in the open air boma in a more relaxed atmosphere.
There is a large swimming pool within the boma area, this is fenced to prevent the large breeding herds of elephant from being tempted by the water of the pool. Gorah offers wifi in the main reception but not in the lodge or the guest tents so as not to remove from the experience of being away from it all in the bush.
At Gorah guests can enjoy morning and evening game drives as well as game walks with experienced guides. Families are welcome at Gorah and children of 8 years and above can join their parents on game drives.
Mrs Hazel Sambles (Guest)
Gorah stood out as being the perfect first safari experience for us all. The accommodation and farmhouse, with the superbly situated water hole 'right there', couldn't be faulted. In our total of eight game drives, each provided us with at least one 'special' sighting, be it lions with cubs, elephants within touching distance, hyena and cub, buffalo blocking our way, dung beatle etc etc.
We all had a brilliant time and will definitely not forget it, for all the right reasons!
Anna Hearn (Staff)
Our arrival at Gorah was unfortunately not the most auspicious a twenty minute transfer in an open vehicle with the rain pouring down and the wind blowing a gale! We were very thankful for the ponchos on the vehicle and even more thankful for the open log fires when we arrived, it was definitely a case of jostling for position to dry off damp behinds! The camp has a lovely position overlooking a man made waterhole, and in fact as we enjoyed the sumptuous afternoon tea (complete with the most luscious passion fruit cheesecake we had ever had!) a rather handsome elephant bull, clad in the Addo orange mud, came down to drink and stayed around until we had finished our tea. The feel of Gorah is of a Scottish hunting lodge, lots of leather sofas and large fireplaces and a fantastic long verandah for relaxing (obviously when the weather is good!) The guides are young and enthusiastic, and very knowledgeable; our guide Greg had spent six years in Botswana as a guide and it really showed in his interpretation and description of what we were seeing no mean feat to keep a captive audience as the rain was torrenting down!
Sarah Clegg (Staff)
There is a great atmosphere at Gorah. It is unlike any of the other safari properties I have visited in the Eastern Cape. There is a very authentic feel to this small tented camp. Set on the side of a hill with great views and a constant flow of game coming past the front of the lodge, I was reminded of some of the vast wilderness areas of East Africa. The guest tents are huge, cream colored inside and with large comfortable beds facing straight out over the savannah, taking in the dramatic views.
The service and food was great, as you would expect from a Relais & Chateaux property, fresh ingredients not overly messed with. The setting, on the veranda of the main house, or in the atmospheric boma in the evening was great.
I would recommend Gorah particularly to couples looking to get away from it all and enjoy an authentic safari experience in a convenient location only 1 hour drive from Port Elizabeth. This would be a great safari option to combine with a visit to South Africa's Garden Route.
Location & directions
Eastern Cape Game Reserves, Eastern Cape, South Africa
In the heart of Addo Elephant Park in South Africa's non-malarial Eastern Cape. Only 70km from Port Elizabeth, a drive of about 90 minutes. About 4 hours drive from Plettenberg Bay.
How to get there
Fly from Johannesburg or Cape Town to Port Elizabeth where you will be collected by a representative of Gorah who will transfer you to the camp. Alternatively it is a simple drive from Port Elizabeth or from further down the Garden Route.