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“nice experience!”

Knysna Elephant Park
Ranked #3 of 76 things to do in Knysna
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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
Level Contributor
29 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“nice experience!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

walking between the elephants and feeding them was a very nice and unique experience! Also the rangers who are with you are very kind and answer every question you have. I had the feeling they respect the elephants and take good care of them. It is good that the elephants can walk around freely and eat whatever and whenever they want. We learned a lot about the elephants at the park!

Visited March 2017
Thank Lies V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 904 reviews from our community

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English first
Hamburg, Germany
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Just wonderful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We had a wonderful time walking with the elephants, so quiet and moving being so close to these gentle giants.
I would definitely recommend the walking experience, as you can be really close to them and interact during the walk. Also it is way more natural for them than having somebody on their back.

Visited January 2017
Thank merlin35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This place exceeded all our expectations. We spent time feeding the elephants , then approx 20 minutes walking with the elephants accompanied by our guide. We had plenty of time to have photos taken , whilst our guide ,Elliott told us everything there is to know about elephants. We learnt so much from Elliott. When the walk was over ,most people went back to the reception we stayed to walk round again, learning even more from Elliott. Nothing was too much trouble for him & he really made it such a wonderful experience for us. Thank you to everyone. Brilliant value for money. Highly recommended

Visited March 2017
Thank michael h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
“Incredible encounter with one of the Big Five! ”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

What an experience! Feed, touch and walk amongst the most majestic creatures you'll ever encounter... The park is well run, clean and organized. The animals are well kept and seem extremely happy in this sanctuary and the staff know them intimately (an FYI for those who aren't hugely keen on animals in captivity). You get to spend time with them up close and there's no rush to leave... you can stay and mingle with them for as long as you like. It really is worth a visit! Decent restaurant and facilities too :)

Visited April 2017
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Awesome Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Great reception area. Nice display, artwork and information layout.
Buy the fruit baskets as you can feed the elephants.
OUR guide, Elliot was professional yet we were very comfortable with him interacting with the elephants.
Love the fact that there isn't a time frame with regards to interaction with the animals.
This visit gave my entire family a newfound respect for these gentle beasts.
Time and money well spent.

Visited April 2017
Thank Ziyaad B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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