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“Amazing Elephants!”

Knysna Elephant Park
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4-Day Garden Route Experience from Cape Town
Ranked #5 of 48 things to do in Knysna
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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 April 4, 2018 via mobile

We went with our children aged 8 and 6. Really enjoyed our close encounter with the elephants and zebras. You really can get up close!
The staff were all very friendly and full of fascinating information.

Thank Chris C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"these gentle giants"
in 69 reviews
in 123 reviews
"these magnificent animals"
in 36 reviews
"love elephants"
in 33 reviews
"elephant experience"
in 46 reviews
"orphaned elephants"
in 26 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 85 reviews
"short video"
in 25 reviews
"close encounter"
in 22 reviews
"take pictures"
in 39 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 25 reviews
"humbling experience"
in 18 reviews
"garden route"
in 59 reviews
in 199 reviews
in 619 reviews
in 95 reviews
in 184 reviews

88 - 92 of 2,378 reviews

Reviewed April 4, 2018 via mobile

It was a nyce environment. We just loved everything about that place feeding and riding the elephants was amazing. Not to forget our guide Davison he is one of the best, he is so caring, funny and he made us laugh all the time. Our visit was great thanx to him. Thas was our 2nd time to visit that elephant park. We are planning to come back soo and we will like to have more funny with Davison. We have no complain everything was just fine keep up the good work you guys doo. The love and caring of animal you have Dave. We salute you. Chao chao.

Thank SashaK760
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 3, 2018 via mobile

Place was very informative with excellent guides that knew a great deal about the animals in their care. Hand feeding them fresh fruits and squash was very fun. Walking amongst them and being able to touch their skin was amazing
Lots of Zebra walking around also.
Nice place takes about 2 hours

Thank smassey1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 3, 2018 via mobile

What an absolutely smashing day. Love that you can spend as much time with them as you want. Make sure to buy a bucket of food for each person in your family to really enjoy the experience. Guides were brilliant and also really good at ensuring everyone got their time with the elephants rather than just the more ‘pushy’ people in the group!

Thank VictoriaSnedker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed April 2, 2018 via mobile

Very well managed facility and the elephants are clearly well minded and cared for. I was very excited to meet the elephants and really enjoyed the feeding part at the start.

We were then assigned to an elephant and guide for the waking experience and it all went downhill from here unfortunately.
I was assigned to the elephant Thato and a guide named Davison. Davison was extremely rude and arrogant and any question asked was greeted with a grunt and a derogatory answer that left me feeling quite frankly stupid and an annoyance. It was evident he hated his job and didn't have a genuine love for these beautiful animals. He was also very inpatient with Thato who like any other young elephant was playful and sometimes walked too fast which led to him shouting at her and becoming aggressive with her.

The whole experience was ruined by the guide which was so unfortunate as my husband was paired with a brilliant guide who educated him with amazing facts about elephants and was very kind and patient with the elephants.

My advice is to definitely go and enjoy the amazing encounter with elephants but do try and avoid being paired with the guide Davison at all costs if possible as you most certainly won't be leaving with a smile on your face but rather with a bitter taste in your mouth☹️

2  Thank Tribesmen87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KnysnaElephant, Public Relations Manager at Knysna Elephant Park, responded to this reviewResponded April 18, 2018

Dear Valued Guest,
Thank you for your review. We appreciate guests giving us feedback, both positive and negative.
Our apologies to you for not receiving the best possible service, we are saddened to hear you did not have the best encounter.
We always have very good feedback on the knowledge of our guides have. On this day, Davison received multiple good reviews from other guests. However, consistently good standards are what we strive for. We have taken up your comments with Davison to try and understand why he did not provide you with the best experience possible.

Based on your feedback, we have already taken steps so that our standard of guiding can be improved thank you for your feedback and hope that your next visit to the park will be the extraordinary experience we aim for.

Kindest regards,
Knysna Elephant Park Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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