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Knysna Elephant Park

#1 of 48 Tours in Knysna
Certificate of Excellence
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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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Certain to be 'touched' by an elephant

Following the N2 road between Knysna and Plettenburg Bay, Knysna Elephant Park is a signposted turning on the left. At the Reception desk, there are several options for entry... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 23 February 2010
tourmanagerSussex_UK
,
Horsham, United Kingdom

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1 861 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,510: English reviews
Horsham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
103 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2010

Following the N2 road between Knysna and Plettenburg Bay, Knysna Elephant Park is a signposted turning on the left. At the Reception desk, there are several options for entry. We chose the basic tour. There is also the opportunity to ride on the elephants, at additional cost. The experience begins with a brief video and then after a look at... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank tourmanagerSussex_UK
Wales
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 February 2010

I made the mistake of visiting this park in february this year and I was very upset to see that the keepers wielded cruel elephant hooks, the type used to train elephants in circuses.The elephants were clearly nervous of the keepers and although some were hand reared they shied away whenever the keepers approached. This appeared to be a commercial... More 

Helpful?
25 Thank Welshscouse
cyclotis, owner at Knysna Elephant Park, responded to this review

Knysna Elephant Park takes offense to this review. We have not committed any cruelty, have no convictions of cruelty and this is the first time we have evern had to undergo comments of such a nature, in all the 17 years we have been operating. We share this facility with many experts from all over the world who hold our... More 

Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2010

We found Knysna Elephant Park by chance. We had booked to go out on a water safari but the weather was bad so we asked around for things to do just in case the trip was cancelled & were handed a leaflet for Knysna Elephant Park. When we arrived at our hotel, (Hunters), we discovered it was less than 5... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank JD2010
South Africa
Level Contributor
34 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 December 2009

When my 3 year old saw a picture of people on elephants, he was desperate to go! So we got there 1st thing in the morning (8.30am) and were the only two on the first trip. This was therefore an even more amazing experience- being the only ones feeding and being among the ellies. My son actually got quite a... More 

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2 Thank Smileypawpaw
London
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2009

This was honestly the highlight of our trip. This elephant park allows you to interact directly with the elephants whithout being circus or zoo-like. The animals are in as natural environment as it is possible to keep them and it is clear that their wellbeing is the ultimate priority of the park. We were able to feed the animals and... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank RozandJim
Gansbaai, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2009

Spent more than 24 hours at the Park. It was the most incredible experience ever. We arrived mid afternoon and were invited to go out with the elephants and get to know them. We weren't expecting this but were told our room wasn't ready yet so enjoy the time with the elephants - which we did! It was fantastic! We... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank sunbeater
West London
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2009

On a recent trip to South Africa, we visited the Knysna Elephant Park and had a great time. The elephants roam freely in the park and you can get up close and personal with the elephants feeding them fruit, touching them and if you are lucky bottle feed one of the calves. You need to allow at least an hour... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank JonandEm
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2009

We loved the whole elephant park experience. The staff was great and incredibly accomodating and knowledgeable. They took us out to see the elephants as soon as we got there (late after a really long drive from Cape Town) and let my young daughters (5 and 7) feed the baby elephants. We stayed in the elephant lodge, which I would... More 

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1 Thank rsm24
Schaafheim Mosbach
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2008

In November, when we have been in Joburg, we found by chance a flyer of the Knysna elephant park, and we thought, it would be something new for us to see. And, after we were there, we are very thankfull for this chance, but, step by step. We planed to stay two nights and started with an inquiry by eMail... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Inkamana
Somerset, England
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 November 2007

What an amazing place and amazingly dedicated people. We visited Knysna elephant park during our holiday to Cape Town and the Western Cape in October 2007. The park is dedicated to the protection of this wonderful creature Having had an already fantastic time we found the Elephant park to be the highlight of our holiday. We had booked to spend... More 

Helpful?
7 Thank Tjane

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