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Address: 1km off the N2 Highway between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna, Knysna 6570, South Africa
Phone Number: +27 44 532 7732
09:00 - 16:00
Open now
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Sun - Sat 09:00 - 16:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

Founded in 1994, The Knysna Elephant Park was the first facility in South...

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.


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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,672 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 980
  • 284
    Very good
  • 79
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  • 8
Up close and personal with Sally!

We had been told about this Conservation Park and despite the weather being very " British" (raining) we had the most lovely encounter with not only the elephants but the simply... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
Rob G
Alton, United Kingdom
via mobile

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1,672 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,370: English reviews
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Elephants are my favourite animals so on our trip to SA, this was an absolute must, but I came away feeling uneasy about it all. We arrived early hoping to be able to have a coffee and the restaurant was closed for refurbishment so we had quite a lot of hanging around. There is a small museum/information centre. The process... More 

Thank Mzykl
Alton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

We had been told about this Conservation Park and despite the weather being very " British" (raining) we had the most lovely encounter with not only the elephants but the simply wonderful staff who care for these magnificent animals. The story on boards around the main entrance draws tears sometimes but it is hugely uplifting too. Being able to feed... More 

Thank Rob G
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Family of 6 did the elephant ride, as well as feeding the elephants. Great facility and fun time. The staff was very good and knowledgeable. The ride was fun, but the highlight was the time spent feeding and being with the elephants in the field.

Thank John E
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

WOW WOW WOW! What an experience! Not everyone gets to walk with an elephant, feed them and even hug them everyday you know! Our guide was phenomenal and such a friendly guy! I had 2 friends with me and they absolutely loved it!!! We will definitely be back!!!

Thank EstelleGrobler
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

This probably was the best part of our time in Knysna. Our guide taught us so much and allowed us to stay longer and join our Groups that arrived later. He knew every single elephant and their stories. This really helped us to understand how elephants live and when to spot them where when we went on the Addo Elephant... More 

Thank KerstinGloeckner1912
Level Contributor
52 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

A lovely, ethical and well designed facility to adopt and rehabilitate elephants from less desirable upbringings and conditions. The tour was great and our guides were fantastic, we really felt that we learned a lot. Feeding the elephants was an excellent experience, where we walked with a herd of 6 elephants straight after the feeding!

Thank Markdavin
Level Contributor
55 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I was not an enthusiastic participant in the elephant ride. It was a lot like the old pony ride around a ring. One could only pity the elephants lot when compared to those in Addo Park. The educational program may have value but take a pass on the ride.

Thank Margdris
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

This was a great experience and really the highlight of our trip. Starts with an info session and shows the efforts the Park makes to provide a home to abandoned elephants and then re-introduce them to reserves where possible. Then out to the elephants. First - buy a bucket of food at the kiosk - you will regret it if... More 

Thank Lee S
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

My partner from UK wanted to see elephant's whilst visiting South Africa.I booked for an overnight at the lodge which included a walk with the elephant's,a free breakfast and a guided walk the following morning The elephants also come and go at night in the boma which is attached to the luxury accommodation building you sleep in so you get... More 

Thank faerienomad
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Was so awesome to just be up so close to these large animals. Guides made the trip so interesting with lots of facts about them.Booked for hour trip but you can stay as long as you want to.

Thank bruce k

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