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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
See all hours
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 1 858 reviews
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  • 87
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  • 9
Inspirational that elephant orphans are being rescued and loved...

great to see kindness and care extended to these fabuluos animals... Real characters - we enjoyed our visit immensely. You can even sleep with them.....

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 16 February 2017
Caroline O
Bath, United Kingdom

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1 858 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,507: English reviews
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2017

great to see kindness and care extended to these fabuluos animals... Real characters - we enjoyed our visit immensely. You can even sleep with them.....

Thank Caroline O
Luton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2017 via mobile

Visited with family (4 adults) and we all agreed this was the experience of a lifetime. The elephants are clearly well-looked after and their welfare comes first before catering for visitors. The guides are entertaining and knowledgeable (Edison was great) and you really do get close to the elephants. A fantastic visit all round.

Thank Lorraine T
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 February 2017 via mobile

We were a little unsure what to expect. It when you do visit expect the best. Being up close and touching the elephants is a must. You can feed them have your photos taken touching them and even herd them back in. Thanks to our guide Davidson who wanted us to stay on the extra time until the next trip... More 

Thank valhux
Essex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2017

A great place to get close to & learn a little about these fantastic animals. Plenty of photo opportunities also. A great day out.

Thank IN530
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2017 via mobile

Excellent couple of hours spent at the Knynsa Elephant Park. Fantastic experience, would definitely recommend, even on on wet days!

Thank Jenefer D
Level Contributor
87 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2017

A most wonderful experience of a lifetime. Rode an elephant and walked with them too. Such huge gentle giants it was amazing. Got to feed them a number of times and were lucky enough to stay for 2 nights at the lodge. Words cannot describe how magical it was to be able to be so close to them at night... More 

Thank janet270
Walsall, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2017

It was a really good, informative and 'up close' experience. You are briefed with a short video, then taken by trailer out to the Elephants. You can buy a bucket of fruit and veg to feed the Elephants. The animals stand behind a metal bar and reach out with their trunks for the food. A fantastic experience. You can stroke... More 

Thank Stephen L
Great Missenden, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
369 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2017

Did the 'Walking with Elephants' experience and then ended up feeding them.Good fun and would do it again. Be warned shop with loads of elle goodies!

Thank Brewersfriend
Level Contributor
97 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2017

7am Walk with the Elephants... Our visit lasted over 4 hrs... Elephant Walk Followed by a delicious Cooked Breakfast.. Then Elephant Feeding.. Lots of time to enjoy the experience...

Thank AndyM35
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2017

This is an experience which doesn't com round vey often. Feed the elephants, feel thoir skin have your photo taken with them. It is a great experience.

Thank 46Stephen

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