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.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Knysna Elephant Park
Tel: +27 (0)44 532 7732
How to get here
The Knysna Elephant Park is situated just off the N2, 22km from Knysna and 9km from Plettenberg Bay. It is clearly signposted.
Best time to visit
The Knysna Elephant Park is open throughout year.
Around the area
Plettenberg Bay is home to some of the most popular holiday beaches in South Africa, while Knysna offers a wide variety of adventure activities, boat cruises and relaxing accommodation options.
What will it cost
All the rates are available on the website. A tour is R235 per adult and R100 per child while and elephant-back ride will set you back R885 per adult and R425 per child (between 6 and 12). Rides are not suitable for children under 6.
Where to stay
Accommodation is offered at the Knysna Elephant Park. Guests can even stay in a suite that overlooks the elephant enclosure.
What to eat
There is a restaurant at the Knysna Elephant Park, which offers a variety of lunch options.