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“Amazing experience”

Knysna Elephant Park
Ranked #3 of 77 things to do in Knysna
Certificate of Excellence
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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 March 11, 2014

Went to the Knysna Elephant Park with a group of 15 and had the most amazing time! Being able to get up close and feed the elephants was a unreal. I really liked how the trainers didn't tell the Ellies where to go, they merely told you how to interact with them and were there just to make sure the Ellies didn't misbehave. Being able to pet them was fantastic! I also loved how all the Ellies are rescues/orphans and now have an amazing new home. Definitely worth the price we paid which was very reasonable.

Thank Kaitlin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 11, 2014 via mobile

Went with my 4 children all under 7. This is my 3rd visit in 7 years and will go back again.
R25 for a bucket of fruit is well worth the cost.
The children got to feed the elephant's right down to our 2 1/2 year old.
The guides are passionate about their work, and knowledgeable about elephant's.
After feeding the elephant's dont miss out on having a meal at the restaurant.
Cost wise R600 for 2 adults and 4 children 6 and under.

Thank Mike T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2014

Getting really close to lots of elephants. Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Ideal for children of all ages up to 90!

Thank Mike-Anne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2014

My wife and I took our 5 and 7 year olds here to interact with the elephants. My wife booked us to "ride" these amazing animals and I must admit that I was less than enthused by the prospect of doing so (as I am not really a fan of the normal "circus" that takes place. Nonetheless, my daughter is an animal lover and was dying to go. When I say that every aspect of this endeavor exceeded my expectations- it would be an understatement of epic proportions. The knowledgable staff led an intimate group of 6 of us to ride while to others "walked". This was only 20 minutes of an hour+ long unrushed and intimate interaction with theses magnifient creatures. After their morning exercise, the Elephats were left to graze while the guides answered questions and let us feed, pet, and take pictures. It was unrushed, educational and something that none of us will ever forget. We elected the 7 am option for this up close and personal interaction. Its close proxemity to Knysna (15 min drive) made it really easy to find

Thank ahmichaels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2014

Had a very nice guide (thanks Collet!) who let us stay as long as we wanted, giving a lot of information about elephants and the opportunity to "hang out" with those fascinating animals.

We had a great time!

Thank whatabarbarama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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