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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
See all hours
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 1,760 reviews
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    Very good
  • 85
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Interacting with the elephants

Beautiful park for the elephants, they are so well looked after. We were shown their sleeping area at night, and overlooking this, is the Lodge that you can stay in. How... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Durban, South Africa

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1,760 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,434: English reviews
Dundee, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
106 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

We visited this elephant park late in the afternoon and maybe missed out a little bit.You can buy fruit at R45 to feed the elephants,which they make short work of,they are really well behaved and friendly.The keepers allow you to touch and photograph the animals and explain how they are rescue elephants.You can also get an elephant ride,but we never... More 

Thank beardie27
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW

Beautiful park for the elephants, they are so well looked after. We were shown their sleeping area at night, and overlooking this, is the Lodge that you can stay in. How beautiful to sit and watch them all night while you relax with your dinner and drinks! it is pricey to ride the elephants, but what an experience! Our total... More 

Thank klepp0
Telford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Knysna Elephant Park offers the best Elephant Experience on the Garden Route. The guides are great and the elephants evidently cared for.

Thank Will D
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This was a hit for grandparents, adult children and grandchildren. Good value for American dollar. Included educational displays, video, and short lecture by professional staff. Short ride out to see the elephants and feed them buckets of fruit for a small additional fee. We were also able to pet them, ask questions , and take photos. The staff were very... More 

Thank Anita C
Franschhoek, South Africa
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We were really impressed by how caring the staff were and how well they knew all the elephants in their care,

Thank carolbhickman
Cape Town, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

My partner and I visited during our December holiday. WOW what an experience to meet these graceful creations. Feeding and meeting them up close was certainly a magical experience! The tour guides were very good and the session was very informative! A must see when you visit this side of the world.

Thank 815hayleyn
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

This was a brilliant experience! We took the tour which I think leaves on the half hour. We firstly got to see a short informative video about the park and the work they do. We then headed out in a small group to see some elephants. We got to feed them and then walk around with them and stroke them.... More 

Thank Patricia Mary B
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
78 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

We were told this is a sanctuary for elephants. You buy a bucket of food extra to your ticket to feed them. They love the fruit and you get the chance to stroke them as well. We paid extra for a photo with them. We then bought a South African frame from the timber village in knysna to put the... More 

Thank bernvines
Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
38 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

It was a last minute decision: and we are so glad. Touching an elephant is awesome!!! It is true that these elephants are used to be around people, but still is an amazing experience. And the zebras are all around us!!!

Thank Vaskovskyy
Cape Town
Level Contributor
4 reviews
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

While being able to feed and touch the Ellies we felt it was very expensive for such a short interaction.

Thank Victoria K
KnysnaElephant, Marketing Manager at Knysna Elephant Park, responded to this review

Dear Guest Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent visit to our Park. We always like to hear that guests have a pleasant experience with these magnificent animals. We apologise if you found it a little costly to pay for your tour and elephant feeding bucket however, we are competitively priced in comparison with other Garden Route experiences. We... More 

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