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“Two elephants performing circus tricks is not a sanctuary, a discusting rip-off.”
Review of Elephant Sanctuary

Elephant Sanctuary
Ranked #2 of 16 things to do in Hazyview
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Two elephants performing circus tricks is not a sanctuary, a discusting rip-off.”
Reviewed January 2, 2013

This is not a sanctuary just two perfoming elephants in a very poor commercial venture. Definitely not a sanctuary for the two poor elephants that perform circus tricks all day. R500 person for entry too. Avoid if you have any concerns for animals.

Helpful?
5 Thank Bedfordboy2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GroupM, Owner at Elephant Sanctuary, responded to this review, April 7, 2013
Dear Bedfordboy2010
I am sorry that you did not enjoy your visit to Hazyview Elephant Sanctuary and that you found it to be two circus elephants performing tricks. I can understand that a person who would like to see elephants in a wild environment without an interactive basis may find an elephant trumpeting on command or lying down on command to be uncomfortable. What I would like to point out is that these animals are in what is called a "managed environment". This means that the land-size that they are kept on is not 2000 to 4000 hectares large - it is substantially smaller. The food is therefore brought in and the elephants are looked after by handlers who go out walking and swimming and free browsing with the elephants. We would love to have the elephants on a massive piece of land, running around doing their own thing all the time. The problem is to find the land and then to pay for it - we are talking 30-40 million rand. Then how do we sustain this? Also bear in mind that just down the road Kruger Park already has too many elephants for the land they have available. This is the age-old dilemma of wild elephants. The "tricks" you refer to occur through an unusual process. They are not taught to do them. They do certain things like trumpet for example. When the handler sees them doing this, they say "Trumpet Kitso" ie. they teach the elephant the English name for the action they are already performing and then they reward the behaviour. So then if they want Kitso to trumpet, he knows that that noise he makes is called "Trumpet". It is positive reinforcement of natural behaviours. These interactions are a stimulus for the elephants. If we have any elephant that does not want to be walked with or ridden or interacted with, we do not compel them. I do however respect your opinion and views and thank you for both visiting us and for sending us your opinion. Kindly Elephant Sanctuary
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
51 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“An amazing experience...”
Reviewed December 26, 2012

I visited the sanctuary in early December, and since I was alone, I didn't think that the program would go ahead. To my suprise they were not only accommodating, but I also got to meet both elephants and I loved every minute of it! They provide a lot of information, including quite an in depth talk about the anatomy of the elephant, which I found very intriguing. Meeting Casper and Kitso, was a priceless experience. They are very tame and I enjoyed the interaction with them. I was able to walk both elephants with their trunks in hand and rounded it off with feeding them. Having to alternate between them while feeding them was such fun. Highly recommended if you're in the area!

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Thandz D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GroupM, Owner at Elephant Sanctuary, responded to this review, April 7, 2013
Dear Thandz
Much appreciate your positive response. Yes, we do look after each guest. Your support is important to us. Kindly Elephant Sanctuary
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“5 stars!”
Reviewed December 16, 2012

We visited the Sanctuary in December. Stayed at very convenient Casa do Sol hotel located next door as our brush down and trunk in hand programme was very early in the morning. Very easy to find and easy parking.

The whole experience was excellent. The staff are all very knowledgeable and genuinely love and care for the Kietso and Kasper. Expect a very hands on session where you get up close and personal with the elephants and you will leave with lots of knowledge and understanding of the elephant species and also many photos taken by the handlers for you.

Can highly recommend going to visit and support the fabulous work of the sanctuary.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank Renphil_3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brasov, Romania
Level Contributor
246 reviews
109 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“An interesting experience”
Reviewed December 15, 2012

An interesting experience.
A full documentary on African elephants.
Very much adrenaline for those who have direct contact with elephants.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank adi035
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“supplement you visit to Kruger with this program”
Reviewed November 21, 2012

My wife, three year old daughter and I recently attended their 1-1/2 hour elephant encounter program. I found it to be a much better value than I expected. It starts with a visit to the elephant's night quarters. This seems to be padding, although some interesting information was conveyed during the visit it could have been conveyed during the talk.

Next, we attended a short talk about elephant anatomy and behavior, which was more interesting and better presented than I expected. The duration was about right, we learned a lot but the three year old did not get too antsy.

We then took a short walk through the woods to a clearing where the two elephants were brought to meet us. One at a time we had a chance to go up to the elephants and handle them. Trunk, foot pads, tusks, tail, ears, etc. Each part of the elephant was reviewed by the handlers and touched. I've seen hundreds of elephants in Kruger and zoos, but seeing those two animals like that was like seeing elephants for the first time. A shot of adrenaline shoots through you.

Finally, we re-joined the elephants in a larger clearing where we had an opportunity to hold their trunks as we walked a short figure eight track. Walking with these huge animals was more interesting than you would expect.

The staff were professional, knowledgeable and friendly. The encounter guide took many good photos and video with our camera. Tips are appreciated, but they were not obnoxious about it. Highly recommended.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank winnydpu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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