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Address: 1km Off the N2 Highway, Knysna 6571, 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 1,681 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 985
  • 285
    Very good
  • 79
  • 19
  • 8
Nearly extinct 🐘

Don't expect a huge herd of elephants roaming free in the park! The sanctuary cares for orphaned, mistreated and sick elephants. At the time of our visit there were 7 elephants... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Cape Town Central, South Africa
via mobile

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1,681 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,376: English reviews
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Don't expect a huge herd of elephants roaming free in the park! The sanctuary cares for orphaned, mistreated and sick elephants. At the time of our visit there were 7 elephants which we could get close to. One can feed and interact with the animals in nature, under the supervision of a guide. It's a wonderful privilege and educational experience.

Thank DeEchteNadia
George, South Africa
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

We did the short tour of feeding and touching elephats. You can see / feel the love the staff have for the animals. No abuse whatsoever. Very educational especially for my son. They are an elephant orphanage, so looking after ellies without families and then re-introduce them in the wild when they are ready. No breeding done here.

Thank MetMadi
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

A one in a lifetime experience, this is really a must do. The reception is friendly and so are the guards that are with you when you encounter the elephants. For a small amount you can buy a bucket of food for the elephants. Once in the fields you can feed then. After that you can make as many pictures... More 

Thank Jos B
Centurion, South Africa
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

The interaction with the elephants are amazing. The rangers are extremely efficient and helpful. The kids absolutely loved feeding them. It is an absolute must for anyone who wants to get closer with these animals.

Thank CharmaineCenturion
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Definitely worth a visit! The park is easy to find, though the last kilometer is dirt road which was unexpected but not a problem if you are used to driving in SA. The elephant feeding trips are every half hour and I was surprised that there seemed to be about 15 people on every trip. Definitely buy yourself a feeding... More 

Thank Ruth R
Level Contributor
65 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

You have to go to the elephant park - its a hands on experience with wonderful guides and you will fall in love with the elephants. Never been so close - able to pat and talk to the elephants. Just wonderful!!!!

Thank Michaelbristol
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

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 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago 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 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

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 1 week ago

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

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