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Knysna Elephant Park

Features Animals
1km Off the N2 Highway | Between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna, Knysna 6571, South Africa
+27 44 532 7732
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US$639,05*
and up
4-Day Garden Route Experience with Ostrich Farm from Cape Town
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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
  • Excellent71%
  • Very good21%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
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Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 09:00 - 15:00
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
LOCATION
1km Off the N2 Highway | Between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna, Knysna 6571, South Africa
CONTACT
Website
+27 44 532 7732

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"these gentle giants"
in 69 reviews
"fruit"
in 123 reviews
"these magnificent animals"
in 38 reviews
"love elephants"
in 35 reviews
"elephant experience"
in 45 reviews
"orphaned elephants"
in 24 reviews
"short video"
in 25 reviews
"close encounter"
in 23 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 81 reviews
"take pictures"
in 39 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 24 reviews
"garden route"
in 57 reviews
"bucket"
in 201 reviews
"feed"
in 621 reviews
"ellies"
in 94 reviews
"ride"
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"herd"
in 47 reviews
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51 - 60 of 1 809 reviews

Reviewed 27 February 2018

This is not a safari; the elephants have been rescued and are cared for and fed by humans but it is a lovely day out, particularly if you have not been close to these large and gentle beasts before - but mind they don’t step...More

Thank mhallcool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2018

My wife and I visited Knysna Elephant Park on a Tuesday just after 11.30am, based on recommendations from other travellers we had met. The car park was very busy on arrival. We paid ZAR290 per person entry and ZAR45 for a bucket of vegetables to...More

Thank DMSCAD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2018

It was a privilege to visit this park and learn about the tremendous work that they do to help elephants traumatised in captivity or orphaned by poachers, and are now able to roam freely within this sanctuary. We were able to have the closest of...More

Thank Marilyn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 February 2018

This has been a highlight of my holiday, we stayed for 1 night at Knysna and had a few interactions withe elephants. Especially loved the 8am experience as the elephants were doing what they do best- eating! They comp,ethyl ignored us and continued on with...More

Thank Chelseabluegirl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2018

OK its a park not a sanctuary or a reserve. The elephants are not truly wild but we saw no mistreatment and the animals look like they are enjoying themselves. Its a great way to get close. We fed and walked with the elephants, I...More

Thank GandS84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2018 via mobile

We have been to other elephant 'sanctuaries '. This is a proper one. The staff care for the elephants and the elephants sorry of dictate what they do. You don't see elephants chained up swaying. These are free. That is the big difference, these elephants...More

1  Thank HalDavies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2018

we stopped on our travels from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay, only 2 hours needed but great way to get up close to these amazing creatures! Guided tour telling you all about what work they do, get to feed elephants, walk with them and plenty of...More

Thank PeteandAly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2018

If you have a couple of hours to spare during your Garden Route trip, you must visit this Elephant Sanctuary. Buy a bucket of fruit & veg, climb aboard the cart and let the tractor and go see and feed theses lovelies. Really knowledgeable staff...More

Thank Mike L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2018 via mobile

Don't be fooled. This place used to be a genuine sanctuary and elephant rescue centre but is now just a tourist attraction. They use cruel techniques to make them submit to their will. Anywhere that offers riding of elephants cannot be a sanctuary. Elephants should...More

1  Thank Mike M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KnysnaElephant, Marketing at Knysna Elephant Park, responded to this reviewResponded 21 February 2018

Dear Mike, Thank you for your comments and feedback. We feel it is important to stress that The Knysna Elephant Park has never represented itself as being an “elephant sanctuary” (although some marketers refer to us as such). We are very open about the fact...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2018 via mobile

Walking with these giants without any barriers or cages was amazing. great value for money. Be sure to buy a bucket of food for them, they love it and come straight to you.

Thank quintes m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
Peter R
12 March 2018|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from KnysnaElephant | Property representative |
Hi Peter R Only 2 of our rooms have windows looking into our boma, but all of our rooms are connected to a communal lounge area which overlooks the elephants sleeping quaters. I hope this helps :) Kind Regards The Knysna... More
1
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Samantha V
3 May 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from KnysnaElephant | Property representative |
Hi Samantha, I am so sorry that we are only responding now. The rates for Adults for our Daily Tour is R 290.00 each, Children from 5 to 12 years old R 130.00 and Children under 5 years of age free. We sell feeding buckets... More
1
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Rosco S
14 December 2016|
Answer
Response from KnysnaElephant | Property representative |
Good afternoon Rosco S, thank you for your message. I have not been able to find any review by Kate V. I will continue to search and I will reply to her as soon as I find the review. If you have her contact details, I would... More
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