We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Fantastic beasts and where to find them”

Knysna Elephant Park
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
4-Day Garden Route Experience from Cape Town
Ranked #5 of 48 things to do in Knysna
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
Reviewed 20 April 2018

Driving through the park is a truly wonderful thing to do and a great way to enjoy a more 'compact' safari experience. The park can be traversed in a couple of hours, even at a slow crawl, and the animals can be viewed up close. We saw a large herd of elephants at a watering hole and lolling about on the road, often standing just metres from the car. You are sure to encounter many other species along the way. Highly recommended.

Thank MilooliM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (2 373)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"these gentle giants"
in 69 reviews
in 123 reviews
"these magnificent animals"
in 36 reviews
"love elephants"
in 33 reviews
"elephant experience"
in 46 reviews
"orphaned elephants"
in 26 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 85 reviews
"short video"
in 25 reviews
"close encounter"
in 22 reviews
"take pictures"
in 39 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 25 reviews
"humbling experience"
in 18 reviews
"garden route"
in 59 reviews
in 199 reviews
in 619 reviews
in 95 reviews
in 184 reviews

74 - 78 of 2 373 reviews

Reviewed 19 April 2018

The Knysna Elephant park is a must do when you are visiting the area. Touching and feeding Elephants is really amazing.
We where a little disappointed in our guide. He wasn't telling a lot about the elephants, unless we asked a question. Then we got a brief answer. We learned more from the video then from the guide. Besides that we enjoyed the elephant experience!

Thank willemsnele
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2018

What an amazing experience. Well run and highly professional sanctuary. A great value for the money. Our guide Mac was so interesting and had a love for these elephants that was palpable. Highly recommend!

Thank Jacksoncr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2018 via mobile

Truly once in a life time experience. To walk around these huge animals. With guides who know the park and elephants history. Would definitely recommend it to anyone and go again should we ever get the chance to.

Thank LiLDre93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 16 April 2018 via mobile

Get up close with these majestic animals. Feed and pat them. There are also zebras on the grounds. The staff are very professional and knowledgable.

Thank Jackie1237
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Knysna Elephant Park also viewed

Knysna, Western Cape
Knysna, Western Cape

Been to Knysna Elephant Park? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing