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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
Today
09:00 - 16:00
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 16:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Description:

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.

EXTRAORDINARY ENCOUNTERS - BE TOUCHED BY AN ELEPHANT

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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A great experience!

Our visit was both informative and fun, and it's evident that the money us tourists spend is being ploughed back into research and improving the lives of more elephants. Buy a... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 25 January 2016
Chris B
via mobile

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1,761 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,435: English reviews
Level Contributor
36 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2016 via mobile

Our visit was both informative and fun, and it's evident that the money us tourists spend is being ploughed back into research and improving the lives of more elephants. Buy a bucket of feed, pick an elephant and capture some great pictures. There is also no rush or pressure to leave which makes a change from other parks. Although the... More 

Helpful?
Thank Chris B
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2016

It was so special to get close and take pictures of and with the elephants. I didn't know that you can also feed them. I wish i could have spent more time there.

Helpful?
Thank Timeawayadvisor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2016

The work they do here is fantastic. I am not a believer of animals in captivity but after listening and learning what is it they do here i was very impressed. It was the most amazing experience. We stayed over night so got to experience the elephants sleeping. something you may never see, an Elephant so relaxed lying down and... More 

Helpful?
Thank Karine Yvan A
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2016

Our 2nd visit and was great to meet up with some of the elephants that were only calves last time we came.

Helpful?
Thank Helen L
Jeffreys Bay, South Africa
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2016 via mobile

Andre's always had a deep feeling for ellies and so on our way from a quick birthday break in Knysna, to our home in JBay, we stopped to see what the Knysna Elephant Park was all about. The welcome was warm, the staff super knowledgeable and entertaining, and the elephants themselves, well we couldn't have asked for more. A brief... More 

Helpful?
Thank ChezanneT
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2016 via mobile

This was amazing and the work that they conduct is truly wonderful. Geofrey was our tour guide and had so much knowledge to share. The experience was worth it and I truly hope that they will be able to continue rescuing elephants for many years to come.

Helpful?
Thank WilmaMol
Lydenburg, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2016

I cannot describe to anybody how it feels to be so close to these huge animals, to sit on the back of one of these magnificent creatures and look down to the ground! Well trained and fed animals and the handlers had answers to all our questions.

Helpful?
Thank Granny1243
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2016

It was an undescribable experience to be so close to these huge and magnificent creatures. The staff was well educated and had answers to all questions asked. One of the best-spent hours in my life.

Helpful?
Thank an0lte
Sheffield
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2016 via mobile

This is the most wonderful elephant park. The elephants are well looked after, really well trained and the trainers are very informative. We fed the elephants first then rode them, a professional photographer took snaps along the way to purchase later. If you love elephants this is an experience of a life time

Helpful?
Thank RachelM07
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2016

Lovely environment for the Elephants and Staff have a great knowledge and passion for their work. Will definitely visit again soon.

Helpful?
Thank Jody1303

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