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Knysna Elephant Park

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
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Address: 1km off the N2 Highway | Between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna, Knysna 6570, South Africa
Phone Number:
+27 44 532 7732
Website
Today
09:00 - 16:00
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 16:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Description:

Founded in 1994, The Knysna Elephant Park was the first facility in South...

Founded in 1994, The Knysna Elephant Park was the first facility in South Africa to house and care for orphaned African elephants. The first orphaned calves (from a culling operation in the Kruger National Park) named Harry and Sally, after the famous movie of the time, remain part of the KEP family today: Harry as the dominant bull and Sally as the matriarch of the herd.

Since 1994, we have cared for and raised more than thirty elephants. These animals include relocated animals, orphaned calves, elephants rescued from culls and ex-circus animals. Some have become part of the KEP herd, others have moved onto other reserves and facilities in the Western and Eastern Cape, taking in to cognizance their personalities, bonds with other animals and welfare needs. The present KEP herd numbers nine - the largest domesticated matriarchal herd in the country.

Your elephant encounter begins starts in our Interpretation Centre where you are introduced to our elephants, through beautiful photographic and informative displays. Here you can also book an elephant-back ride, a sunrise walk with the elephants or special exclusive sundowner tour. A short video presentation gives you further insight into the Park and its elephant-orientated missions and goals, before you enter the Park to meet the elephants.

Our facilities are world class and our style of management ensures that our elephants interact with guests on their own terms. Within this habitat, we call a "controlled, free-range" environment, our daily tours offer guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with our elephants; but still gives the elephants to some freedom and choice.

Guests may remain with the elephants as long as they wish, before being transported back to the Restaurant and Curio Shop. A Photography Department is also available for guests to purchase personalized photos and DVD's of their Extraordinary Elephant Encounter - making your memories last a lifetime!

Our newly refurbished night quarters consist of a large covered elephant boma, which leads into an outdoor fenced camp. For an animal that can eat for up to 18 hours a day, this arrangement allows our elephants to exhibit a large variety of behaviours during the night. They are able to choose where they want to sleep - indoors or outdoors; who they want to interact with, as well as where and what they want to eat. This again contributes to one of the highest quality captive elephant management styles in South Africa. Our elephant boma and night camp are viewed from above by our Elephant Lodge guests, another first for South Africa...nowhere else in the country can you 'sleep' with elephants

The need for research was recognized by The Knysna Elephant Park who then created the African Elephant Research Unit (AERU, est. 2009), aimed at improving the management and welfare of captive elephants throughout South Africa.

Visitors to the park are privileged to have a close-up and personal encounter with these gentle giants, and leave having gained a healthy respect for these wonderful animals, as well as a better understanding of the African elephant and their plight across the continent.

EXTRAORDINARY ENCOUNTERS - BE TOUCHED BY AN ELEPHANT

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1 903 reviews
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  • 1110
    Excellent
  • 314
    Very good
  • 88
    Average
  • 22
    Poor
  • 9
    Terrible
Elephants seemed happy and healthy

I had misgivings about visiting KEP given the previous accusations against them for animal cruelty and the fact that the owner is now being prosecuted (to my knowledge) but I... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Plum378
,
London, United Kingdom

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1 903 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,543: English reviews
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday NEW

I had misgivings about visiting KEP given the previous accusations against them for animal cruelty and the fact that the owner is now being prosecuted (to my knowledge) but I decided to find out for myself what it was like. We booked to go on the 7am elephant walk. For the money, this was not really worth it, as I... More 

Helpful?
Thank Plum378
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviewed yesterday NEW

What an overwhelming experience!!! The elephants are magnificent, we loved getting to feed them, definitely the highlight of our week-end up the garden route!

Helpful?
Thank Tammy O
HCMC
Level Contributor
131 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

Good for all the family . Feed and pat the elephant in the open . Very informative tour . Good for lunch .

Helpful?
Thank bmw740il2015
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

Super visit, the guides are experienced and knowledgeable. The elephants seem to be well looked after, thoroughly enjoyed feeding and interacting with these beautiful animals!

Helpful?
Thank 42ellies
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
39 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

This Park does a nice job at connecting visitors with these magnificent animals. You are transported down to a feeding area where, if you purchased a bucket of food, you are paired up with an elephant to feed. Then, you get some close-up and photo time as you gather in small groups around an elephant, each group guided by a... More 

Helpful?
Thank AlbertaRider
Yeovil, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We visited 3 years ago and you interacted far more with the elephants. Once they were fed this time, we were given a short time to take pictures with the elephants, after which we were taken away to see the zebras (they were disinterested and kept moving away). We had not gone to Knysna Elephant Park to see Zebras. By... More 

Helpful?
Thank Buncha13
KnysnaElephant, Manager at Knysna Elephant Park, responded to this review

Dear Valued Guest We are saddened to hear that you did not have the experience of a lifetime that we strive to achieve. Our experiences are usually a minimum of an hour in duration with both our front office ladies and the guides telling guests that if they are enjoying themselves in the field they are welcome to stay with... More 

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
62 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We booked a 2 hour tour at first to get our bearings. Saw a lot of animals. Decided to go on our own the next day which was stunning! Saw elefants, lots of Zebras, the whole works! Great place! 😎

Helpful?
Thank Dagmar2011
Hull
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

The staff and park were incredible , the rangers knowledge was second to none. All the work for the safety and return of elephants to natural habit . What a great way to spend an afternoon. Thanks

Helpful?
Thank altasscrew
Manchester
Level Contributor
57 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Tour lasts an hour. Went for breakfast first which was good. You can touch and feed the elephants and have photo taken and buy them at the end. It was 275 rand. Worth doing once

Helpful?
Thank woodyManchester
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This was one of the highlights of our holiday. Wilfred our guide walked us up to several elephants where our entire family touched and stricken different parts of the amazing animals. We had many photo opportunities as well as feeding the elephants by hand.

Helpful?
Thank NicolasBlank

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