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About Gorah

A unique safari experience, reminiscent of a bygone era

Experience the adventure and romantic mystique of the authentic African safari of centuries past. Gorah Elephant Camp is a luxurious tented camp, with a gracious manor house overlooking a waterhole teaming with game in the heart of the Addo National Park.

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Unique Gorah

A spectacular wilderness that emulates the spirit of Africa

My discovery of this incredible place began in July 2002. Through my journey with her, I discovered that Gorah is the link between the enigmatic spiritual world that abounds in the wild; and the ancient song in our hearts that we silently ache for every day we are away from it.

It is for me the place on our earth where the spiritual meets the humanity of our kind, and links the two. In short it’s where the meaning of life finally begins to make sense. Through the song of the wild and the ways of old, this place called Gorah – since my first meeting with her – has set my life on an irrevocable course. All these years later she continues to touch my life…and for me, no matter where I am, will continue to do so, for as long as I am alive… Such is the power of the memory of this amazing and life-changing place.

Nicola Schwim

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Location

In the middle of the Addo National Park

The 5 000 hectare private concession is located deep in the heart of the Addo Elephant National Park, 70km north-east of the Eastern Cape coastal city of Port Elizabeth, the nearest centre with a major airport.

With sweeping views, indigenous fauna and the densest population of elephants in the world, Gorah epitomises the safari experience, steeped in history, tradition and opulence.

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The Park

Discover…Experience…Explore a world of diversity in one Park

Deep within the shadows of the dense valley bushveld of the Eastern Cape’s Sundays River region lays the Addo Elephant National Park.

Here, the evenings are punctuated by the strident howl of the black-backed jackal and the francolins’ call heralds each new dawn. Safe from relentless persecution in the past, the grey giants of the bush now roam in peace. The original elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931, when only eleven elephants remained in the area. Today this finely tuned ecosystem is a sanctuary to over 450 elephants, Cape buffalo, lion, black rhino, a variety of antelope species, as well as the unique flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo.

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History

A place of intimate secrets and mystery

For over 250 000 years ago, people had been visiting this place for different reasons. All have been enchanted, enthralled and captivated by the beauty and energy that permeates from the land that is Gorah.

For over 250 000 years ago, people had been visiting this place for different reasons. All have been enchanted, enthralled and captivated by the beauty and energy that permeates from the land that is Gorah. Early Stone Age transcended into Middle and then to Later Stone Age. The indigenous tribes relied on the water which became known as ‘de Goras’ or the natural spring, and created a sense of place, mystery and spiritual presence to the area. Colonial settlers moved in, changing the landscape, and the history, while the characters played out the drama of the typical Eastern Cape bushveld or “fynbos veld”. There was love, sorrow, and tragedy here, but above all, the peace and guardianship lived on, and never changed.

The Anglo-Boer war brought change. After that war, the farm was handed down, and Gorah was left to ruin to great sadness. A few people got together to rise above the rubble and have the old farm incorporated into the expanding Addo Elephant National Park. Gorah was saved again by those men who saw its true potential – and from the ruins rose one of the most beautiful camps ever created in South Africa.

The gracious Gorah Manor House, a National Monument built in 1856, immaculately restored and period furnished, recalls the opulence and romance of the noble safari. Lazy colonial verandas spill out onto the African plains overlooking the waterhole, and eleven luxury-tented suites with thatched canopies, comfortable king size beds and private terraces, all en-suite, perch over the panoramic landscape. Personalised, warm and unobtrusive service with meticulous attention to detail – hallmarks of Hunter’s properties – is of the highest standard.

Click here to discover Nicola Schwim’s book on Gorah

Click here for more information on the history of Gorah

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Useful Information

What to bring for your stay

Whatever time of year you visit Gorah, it is convenient to know what to bring to ensure you take full advantage of your stay at the camp.

What to Bring

Remember to bring a camera, binoculars, bird and wildlife reference books, a hat and sunscreen lotion.
AAlso remember to bring along medicines such as anti-histamine and lotion for insect stings and bites./p>

What to Wear

Cool clothing for summer, as well as your bathing suit and comfortable walking shoes. Warm clothing for winter as the temperature can drop considerably, with the wind chill factor especially prevalent on game drives. We recommend you also bring a warm jacket, gloves, beanie and scarf to ensure you keep warm.

What will the Weather Be

During the summer months from September to April the weather is warm to hot with wonderful balmy evenings. Temperatures can fluctuate from 25ºC – 35ºC in the daytime and there is a chance of rain. The winter is chilly at night and early in the mornings but the daytime temperatures can be pleasantly warm. Every now and then a cold front does pass over the lodge at which time daytime temperatures can be slightly cooler.

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Conservation

Our contribution to the preservation of our natural environment

Gorah Elephant Camp has actively dedicated itself to the conservation of the Addo National Park through strategic business partnerships and initiatives that aim to formally protect the area from the Garden Route to the National Park.

The conservation corridor initiative aims to link with formal protected areas between the Garden Route, Baviaanskloof and Addo Elephant National Park through a collaboration of conservation-minded landowners. The Garden Route is one of the premier tourism destinations in Southern Africa with more than 25% of all foreign visitors to South Africa visiting the area as part of their tour of  the country. The area has been subject to unprecedented growth of the housing and resort sectors. Recent efforts, supported by GEF, Conservation International and the South African government has seen localised protected area expansion programmes in the Garden Route, Baviaanskloof and Addo National Park. This initiative will seek to establish the link between these localised initiatives.

Through a conservancy mechanism (20 000 hectares) the Landmark Foundation has effected a corridor connection between the Garden Route conservation areas in the Tsitsikamma Mountains and the Baviaanskloof. This is a first major step in effecting the long held dream (often described as an impossible ambition) of connecting the protected areas of the Garden Route and Addo. This major initiative is ambitiously hoping to create, through public-private partnerships, an ecological corridor of (perhaps) 2 million hectares to enable and restore historical, ecological and evolutionary migration of genetic material and species along this corridor. Other conservancies are presently in various stages of development.

Gorah was recently awarded the SANParks Kudu Award for their contribution to conservation and as business partner of the year, which is testament to the commitment to the partnership with SANParks and to conservation as a whole.

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Community

The support of the people in our community

Hunter Hotels’ four properties – Hunters Country House, Tsala Treetop Lodge and Gorah – have each chosen to support a crèche or educare centre in the local community.

Gorah supports the The Langbos Squatter Community Crèche in Addo opened in January 2006. Over the past few years a vegetable garden has been established and recently it started a soup kitchen for the entire community. At present there are four staff members, three working full-time. The little children in the community have come to regard the crèche as a safe haven. Through Gorah’s continuous involvement with the crèche and thanks to donations by guests, the children are able to be kept safe and have a place to develop, grow and play.

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Partners

Our key relationships that form part of our business

Hunter Hotels and Gorah Elephant Camp prides their success on the strategic partnerships that have developed over the years, within the 5000 hectares concession as well as the entire Addo National Park.

SANParks is one of our pivotal partners. We share the vision of developing the Addo National Park with 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 ha (296 500 acre) marine reserve that included islands home to the world’s largest breeding populations of Cape gannets and second largest breeding population of African penguins.

Gorah was recently awarded the SANParks Kudu Award for their contribution to conservation and as business partner of the year, testament to the commitment to the partnership with SANParks and to conservation as a whole.