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“Highly Recommended Experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Elephant Sanctuary Hartbeesport Dam

Elephant Sanctuary Hartbeesport Dam
P.O. Box 4570, Brits, 0250, Hartbeespoort, South Africa
27 12 258 0423
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Phoenix, AZ
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Highly Recommended Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

I grew up in Johannesburg and have returned many times, but was not aware of the Elephant Sanctuary until this visit. It was an up close and personal experience with the elephants that I will highly recommend, albeit a touch expensive.
Simba gave a talk about the elephants and their maturity that was instructive, and then there was plenty of time for all to feed them. Water and sanitizer was provided for washing up. These are 'rescue' elephants and while not tame have learned to interact with the public through kindness.
Then we went to the 'touch and feel' part of the experience. Everyone could get next to an elephant; feel it's tusks, skin, foot pad, ears and have photographs. The guides even took photographs so everyone could be in the picture.
Then everyone was afforded an opportunity to walk with the elephant holding it's trunk.
It cost about $55 USD per person which I felt was a little expensive for a largish group, but I would do it again.
For an additional $50 there was an option to ride an elephant which my son-in-law did and he loved the experience. One star removed for cost, but this is an expensive operation to house and feed them.
The whole visit lasted about 3 hours and there is a shaded cafe with drinks, light food, souvenir's etc.
It is next door a monkey sanctuary which we did not do, but I am told it is worthwhile. Also the Hartbeesport cableway and extensive African markets. It makes an excellent day and is about 75 minute drive from Sandton.

Note: There was a visitor in a wheelchair which was handled very well. There is a 10 minute walk on non paved ground from the car park.

Visited March 2013
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The Colony, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

This was our first experience, up close and personal, with elephants and it was wonderful. We had plenty of time to interact with the elephants and our guide, Simba, was very engaging and told us about the elephants and the native plants we passed on our walk. We enjoyed feeding the elephants and getting to touch and interact with them. Especially liked getting the "Elephant Kiss." Although it is a bit expensive, it was well worth the money!

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falkirk
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“What an experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

We almost didn't go into this attraction due to the cost. We asked before going in and were shocked at the price as were people in front of us who only found out at the reception.
However, we were so glad we did.
First of all you get to feed an elephant then you get to touch the elephants under supervision of a guide which was a magical experience. You then can get a kiss ( very tickly and you end up with a muddy face but great experience) and also walk round a field holding the elephants trunk.

Visited April 2013
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South Africa
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Expected a bit more...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

I have to say that although this is a great experience, my review is slightly biased because I have been to similar sanctuaries that are better run.

If you have not interacted with elephants before - it is a must do.

Given the somewhat high price of the experience I expected slightly more of a personalized service.

Visited February 2013
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Bloemfontein, South Africa
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Unforgetable interaction”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We spent 2 hours with these giants. We brushed them, walked with them, although it was in an enclosed camp. Fed them and could be close to these magical animals. Please remember that these are wild animals and NOT pets!! It is sad to think they are not in the wild, but they seem to be treated with respect by their handlers. I loved the time with them! Go for the early time slot, it's cheaper and depending on the group, they allow your more time with the elephants.

Visited March 2013
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