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“Better Than Expected”

Elephant Sanctuary Hartbeesport Dam
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Elephant Sanctuary Tour from Johannesburg or...
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Elephant Sanctuary has African elephants and offers an interactive elephant experience, elephant back riding and overnight accommodation. We offer hands-on educational elephant interactions. This provides our guests with a far more intimate experience with the elephants. Our dedicated staff is committed to the use of positive reinforcement elephant training methods and as a result we have relaxed elephants who enjoy interacting with our guests.Guests are guided on foot through The Elephant Sanctuary. Guides will provide in-depth information and insight into African Elephants. You will be introduced to our elephants in the forest area, and here you will be able to touch and interact with the elephants. You will see the special relationship that the elephant handlers share with their elephants and become a part of it. Walk trunk-in-hand with the elephants. See the stables where the elephants sleep at night. Guests learn about elephant anatomy and are able to feed them. Remember to wear flat walking shoes, sun hats and bring your camera. The 08h00 Elephant Experience includes brushing the elephants down.Open 7 days a week, at 08h00; 10h00 and 14h00.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

While we had a good idea of what to expect, we were really surprised and thoroughly enjoyed the educational aspect of the sanctuary. Our guide for the day was Simba, who clearly enjoys his job and enjoys teaching his guests about the animals he works with everyday. The first 20-30 minutes of the experience is getting educated about the elephants you are about to meet. After the educational portion, you can feed the elephants (who are waiting somewhat patiently behind you during the educational portion). After you feed the elephants, you are walk to another area and meet two more elephants, where you are encouraged by their handler to put your hands on them and feel different parts of them, literally from trunk to tail (Who knew the bottom of an elephants foot was silky smooth?). You may even get a "kiss" from your elephant, and if you are, try to be the first one to get one... to be surprised is better!

We had a great time, and the knowledge the money spent supports the animals welfare and hopefully a return to the wild some day, it's definitely an experience not to be missed.

Thank Matry0shka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"elephant sanctuary"
in 63 reviews
"gentle giants"
in 10 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 17 reviews
"these magnificent creatures"
in 6 reviews
"different parts"
in 5 reviews
"love elephants"
in 5 reviews
"dream come true"
in 4 reviews
"guide sam"
in 4 reviews
"humbling experience"
in 3 reviews
"monkey tour"
in 3 reviews
"their lives"
in 3 reviews
"african elephants"
in 3 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 3 reviews
"well worth the money"
in 3 reviews
"bucket list"
in 5 reviews
"worth every cent"
in 3 reviews
in 43 reviews

247 - 251 of 314 reviews

Reviewed September 16, 2013

I National Tour Guide and Operarator and recently took tourist from the States to the Sanctuary they had an absolutely amazing morning with the elephants and after the interaction we had a lovely 3 course meal to end the afternoon. I will highly recommend this tour, even for locals although it might seem pricey it is really worth the effort, if you take what goes into helping these elephants , feeding and funding the sanctuary it was money well spent. Keep up the good work !

1  Thank Brenda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

This place definatley is an elephant sanctuary. They teach about respecting the elephants and the methods/ length they go to to ensure their conservation and land protection.

They do three tours a day - so it's best to call and get the times, if you don't then you can still see the elephants and if you're lucky one of the many well educated staff will talk to yu about them but you cannot get up close orfedd them.

The tour is very well priced for what you get and considering the work they do it's a small investment in conservation. I went to the last show of the day at 2pm - there were about 25 people and this ranged from grandparents to children - the place is set up so that anyone can watch and see the elephants close up but the tour is not suitable for wheelchair bound or very young children - remember we are talking about very large and wild animals.

This place also offers accomidation and a cafe. We only saw photos of the accomidation and spoke with some guests who thought it was the best place they had every stayed! The cafe is great - light sandwiches, hot/ cold drinks and snacks - all very wll priced (not your normal tourist attraction situation).

Getting there is easy enough - many of the JoBurg tourist operators will take you or it seemed easy enough to find - it took about 2 hours from Rosebank in JoBurg. If you can - plan your day out there - the dam looks wonderful and the township is very touristy with lots of shops etc. There is also a lot of guest houses.

Well worth it - very interactive and extremely respectful to the elephants

Thank Marika V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2013

The place is easy to find and located in a nature. The prices are slightly higher than one could expect, but you definately get what you pay for. You can closely meet elephants or even ride one, as well. Booking is essential. There´s a nice gift shop inside the area where you can spend the rest of your money:) Would recommend to visit this place together with the Hartbeespoortdam and Aerial Cableway which are very close to this. Unforgettable experience for me indeed.

Thank Alena B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 27, 2013

really worth the money guides knowledgeable and very friendly accommodation first class and food in the lapa 5 star really a great day and night will do again

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

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