The views of visitors to national parks provide an important source of information to guide park planners and managers. A visitor questionnaire study was conducted in 2004 and 2005 in the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. A profile of the respondents, as well as records of their views on a number of park-related conservation and management issues, and of their observations of large and charismatic species (the ‘Big Five’) was compiled. The study clearly showed that national parks are important destinations for an African wildlife experience, along with other natural attractions that they have to offer. It also highlighted the scope for further visitor education, specifically aimed at improving the quality of their visits to the park. The relationship between elephant (Loxodonta africana) density and level of viewing success by visitors requires further investigation. Since the reintroduction of large predators, especially lion (Panthera leo), in the early 2000s, the daytime sighting rate of buffalo (Syncerus caffer) by visitors has increased markedly. Ongoing surveys, to monitor and expand on some of the aspects addressed in this study, are considered necessary in order to assist park staff to achieve conservation and management goals.
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Vol. 37 • No. 2