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“Elephants” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Knysna Elephant Park

Knysna Elephant Park
1km off the N2 Highway between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna, Knysna 6570, South Africa
+27 44 532 7732
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Group tours/safari
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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
Cirencester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Elephants”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

Good to have close contact. Pity that it has come to a situation that they can only survive where man deems it. Overall an enjoyable experience

Visited March 2013
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Johannesburg, South Africa
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5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Walking with the big feet”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

Absolutely Amazing!! Being able to walk with these majestic animals was a humbling experience. I can't wait to spend some time with them again!

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

This was really worth doing - you get to spend around 45 mins with the elephants,which is enough time to ask questions, feed the elephants and get close/touch them. Our guide Wilfred was very friendly, took us around each of the elephants and encouraged us to get close to them to make the most of our experience (it can be slightly daunting to get close to such a big animal!). You also felt like the elephants were living in a great environment and their welfare was paramount, which I think is important when you visit such a place. Overall a fantastic experience!

Visited March 2013
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Cape Town
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“BIG treat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

My wife is a big animal fan, so this was a BIG treat for her. We both enjoyed the experience of feeding and walking with the elephants. I found the information displayed at the park's entrance about the history of the Knysna elephants very educational. A must see and enriching experience when in Knysna.

Visited February 2013
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“fantastic experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

Great experience to get up close to elephants. Very well organised, watch a short video first then taken out to elephants on trailer. Shown how to feed elephants from fruit bucket you buy. Remember to feed the young ones as the older ellies always push them away, follow the guides instructions. Then you are put into groups to touch ellies and take photos. Wear trainers asout in long grass areas and uneven ground.

Visited March 2013
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