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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
09:00 - 16:00
Closed now
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Sun - Sat 09:00 - 16:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

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.


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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1 925 reviews
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  • 10
Jumbo Experience - Fun

Really a Must Do Activity in Knysna. Simply brilliant way to know more about Elephants, and in a way really the Best way to be close and personal to the GENTLE GIANTS. Simply... read more

Reviewed 19 December 2011

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1 925 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,562: English reviews
Level Contributor
10 reviews
Reviewed 19 December 2011

Really a Must Do Activity in Knysna. Simply brilliant way to know more about Elephants, and in a way really the Best way to be close and personal to the GENTLE GIANTS. Simply amazing spending time with the Elephants.

Thank Sid30Sha
Kilkenny, Ireland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2011

great fun-amazing to be so close to all the elephants. Well worth the visit!

1 Thank Bubbles2012
Verwood, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
79 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2011

Spent 2 hours feeding and getting to know the elephants. Walking after them and seeing them eating and playing was amazing. If you love animals it's a must.

Thank ChezUK25
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2011

This experience was phenomenal. To touch an elephant & be so close was awesome.

Thank Nadream
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2011

On arrival we sat and watched a short video on the elephants in the Park. Then a short drive in a trailer vehicle to meet the elephants - and then the close interaction is amazing.

1 Thank KnysnaHideaway
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 December 2011

Guides are fantastic. Riding the elephants was definitely the highlight of our trip-

1 Thank Sheryl P
Malmo, Sweden
Level Contributor
46 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2011

This is a close you will ever get to an elephant. The guides are very good and I know a lot more about elephants after this visit.

Thank C_C21755
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 November 2011

Excellent concept, you enjoy elephant company and serving a good cause at the same time

1 Thank Michael K
Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
300 reviews
146 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2011

This is a must if you are in and around Kyysna. I would advise buying a tub of food for the elephants as it is great feeding them. After feeding them the fruit and veg you then can walk with them. It is unbelieveable and an excellent experience. Our guide was fantasic (sadly can't remember his name) but walking with... More 

1 Thank Carol G
Seal Beach, California
Level Contributor
176 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2011

A small, private game reserve where you can walk with tame elephants. The herd is small, but with old and young elephants. The guide gives an excellent talk on their habits. An hour or two is sufficient to enjoy these big animals "up close."

1 Thank aretiredtraveler

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