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“Amazing experience ”

Knysna Elephant Park
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US$534,12*
and up
4-Day Garden Route Experience from Cape Town
Ranked #5 of 48 things to do in Knysna
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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 12 May 2018 via mobile

We booked the walking with elephants experience. We initially watched a short video about the park and then were driven out into the park where the elephants and their guides were waiting for us. Feeding the elephants made me realise just how large and powerful these animals are. There were only the four of us on the walk so we were each assigned an elephant and guide to walk with before setting off in line across the park. Being so close to the elephants and being able to chat to the guides was a fantastic and humbling experience. After walking we were escorted back to the restaurant where we were given refreshments. Exit was, of course, via the gift shop where we were able to look at the photos taken by the house photographer. There were various packages available - we bought a single A5 print which cost R45.
The whole experience lasted about an hour and was well worth the fee charged.

Thank instoreman
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 14 May 2018

Dear Valued Guest

Thank you very much for your feedback! We are very happy to hear that you had an amazing time !

Kind Regards

Knysna Elephant Park Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"these gentle giants"
in 69 reviews
"fruit"
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"
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"bucket"
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"feed"
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Reviewed 9 May 2018

I went along to see the elephants and not too willingly! I imagined that they were kind of in captivity and that I would leave there feeling sad. Anyway am so pleased to report that it was the most incredible and awesome experience and I was totally mistaken. You have to go and experience it for yourselves. I have lived in Africa my entire life and never had the privilege of touching or feeding an elephant. It was the most wonderful thing to do. They are too precious and so so clever and to hear the guides speak about them and with such passion is just awe inspiring! If you are ever in Knysna do yourselves a favour! So incredible : )

1  Thank MerlotCapeTown
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 14 May 2018

Hi MerlotCapeTown

Thank you for your positive review, we are very happy to hear that you were pleased with what you experience !

Kind Regards
Knysna Elephant Park Management

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2018

One of the highlights of our trip to South Africa. What a wonderful place with incredible staff and the opportunity to get up close to the elephants. I love that you find out the stories of each of the elephants before you jump on the truck out to see them so that you can really appreciate their backgrounds. You get to feed them and touch them plus do the touristy thing and get your photo taken. If asked, you must take the opportunity to stay out with the elephants a little longer. We will be recommending to anyone we know visiting the garden route.

Thank Jane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2018 via mobile

At first I wasn’t so sure if I really wanted to go out of our way to visit this place but I did and it was totally worth it! Unique experience I would recomend everyone!

Thank Bekous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 May 2018 via mobile

We visited because I adore elephants. This is an exceptional experience. The rangers are very knowledgable and stay with you for safety. You begin by feeding then take a walk and get up close. We luckily had a ranger to ourself and learned a lot about the elephants past.

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

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