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.

“Unusual and educational experience”
Review of Elephant Sanctuary

Elephant Sanctuary
New York
Level 6 Contributor
295 reviews
118 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 252 helpful votes
“Unusual and educational experience”
Reviewed October 11, 2013

This is a wonderful attraction for kids because they can get "up close and personal" with the elephants and actually touch and walk with them.  At first, we weren't keen on going since we had been to the Serengeti a couple of years ago and had seen many many elephant herds in the wild.  This is perhaps why it is difficult for me to give this 5 stars. However, it was quite near the other attractions we had planned to visit so in the end, we opted to go.  The sanctuary houses five elephants - three females and two males.  These were orphan elephants rescued (from Zimbabwe, I believe) and two had had the tips of their trunks cut off so they had to be trained to use their trunks differently in order to suck up water and food.  Another one of the elephants had a birth defect and was born without tusks which is surely a disadvantage when living in the wild.  After learning about the history of these elephants, we then walked with them in a line, one by one, holding on to the elephants trunks.  We were able to touch various parts of the elephants and learn more about their anatomy.  When walking with an elephant, I was struck by the sheer power of its trunk.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank manhattanmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

690 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    398
    185
    62
    20
    25
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Kildare, Ireland
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Just plain wrong unless you want to go to a circus...”
Reviewed October 7, 2013

The word sanctuary does not represent this place at all. We were here today and of all our experiences in SA, this was incredibly sad. 5 elephants in total. It was essentially an outdoor circus of elephants. If you think it's ok to walk an elephant by their trunk, watch them do tricks, bribe them with food while the handlers hold steel sticks, then this is the place for you. Unfortunately it wasn't for us...
Also to mention, at over R400 per person, this was an expensive experience, which we were happy to pay when we thought it was a sanctuary...

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
9 Thank Beeret1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wirral
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Pricey, commercial but fairly enjoyable”
Reviewed September 24, 2013

My partner had never seen an elephant up close or touched one so we decided to do the walking with the elephants. This came in just shy of R1000 for the two of us and we were expecting a long walk and lots of interaction with the elephants for the price. Unfortunately though, there didn't seem to be any cap on the number of people per walk and there were only 3 elephants in the walk so we had to take turns which lasted about 30 seconds each. The walk itself is short (about 200m into the 'forest') where we stopped to be given general information elephants and where they did some 'tricks'. We were then invited to touch the elephants and take photos before walking back. All in all the walk only lasted about 30 minutes, although it was to a degree, fairly enjoyable. We were invited to give the elephants apples at the end which was quite nice. Not really worth the money and for a sanctuary I would have expected to hear a lot more about the welfare of the animals - it felt a bit exploitative and commercial, although the elephants do seem to be well looked after and happy. So, not the best experience but not the worst.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank jinkim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hadleigh, Essex
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Up Close and Personal!”
Reviewed September 23, 2013

The Elephant Sanctuary at The Crags is a terrific place to visit whatever your age. Aside from having the opportunity to walk an elephant or, indeed, to ride one, the knowledgeable staff are able to explain just about anything on African elephants.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Shaz-and-Baz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Really good experience”
Reviewed September 12, 2013

Elephant Sanctuary is located just passed Plettenburg, next to Monkeyland and is well worth a visit.

My Wife really wanted a close encounter with an elephant and this was it, you can walk hand in trunk, feed and ride these majestic animals.

Its a shame that the Elephants are in the reserve and trained but its there to help and eventually they will go back into the wild.

My one criticism of the day is that it last about 1.5hrs and is quite expensive, but this is a unique experience and you should very much think about adding this to your itinerary.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Nicholasgoodger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Elephant Sanctuary also viewed

 
The Crags, Plettenberg Bay
Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape
 

Been to Elephant Sanctuary? 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