The Knysna Elephant Park, which is home to a large herd of African elephants, welcomes thousands of visitors every year. Situated halfway between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, the establishment offers the rare opportunity get up close to these giants.

Did you know?

Female African elephants can remain fertile until the age of around 60.

African elephants are the largest land animals in the world and it is only when you stand next to them that you realise just how enormous they really are. Animal lovers can have this experience by visiting the Knysna Elephant Park and taking one of their educational tours.

These beasts, which generally weigh more than four tons and stand up to 4m tall when fully grown, can live up to 70 years. These are just some of the facts you will pick up by visiting the Knysna Elephant Park, a sanctuary for those whose habitat has been lost due to human intervention.

At the Knysna Elephant Park, adventurers are also offered the opportunity of riding an elephant, an experience you are unlikely to forget.

Visitors going on a general elephant experience will be shown a video explaining all about elephants and how to safely interact with them. Safety tips include not getting between calves and their mothers, not startling the elephants, as well as not bending over in front of them, as they can misinterpret this as a challenge or threat.

Once the briefing is complete, explorers are taken in a four-wheel-drive vehicle to the elephants' feeding area in a big, open field. Here the elephants congregate behind a corrugated barrier where visitors can safely feed them.

There is also the opportunity to stand next to the elephants for photographs. The animals are tame and are used to being handled.

The guides at the Knysna Elephant Park are all friendly and knowledgeable, most of them having worked with elephants for several years.

The elephants eat up to 200kg of grass, trees and vegetation every day, even eating right through the night. Seeing the amount of branches laid out in the elephant enclosure for a midnight snack, is an experience on its own.

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