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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
Open 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 1 905 reviews
Visitor rating
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  • 314
    Very good
  • 88
  • 22
  • 9
Fantastic and Amazing!

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... read more

Reviewed 29 June 2009
Gansbaai, South Africa

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1 905 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,545: English reviews
Gansbaai, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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 

1 Thank sunbeater
West London
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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 

1 Thank JonandEm
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
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 

1 Thank rsm24
Schaafheim Mosbach
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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 

2 Thank Inkamana
Somerset, England
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
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 

7 Thank Tjane

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