Extraordinary Elephant Encounters
Close-up interactions with South Africa's gentle giants that will forever hold a special place in your heart
The Knysna Elephant Park offers guests the unique opportunity to walk among South Africa’s largest land-dwelling animals. Experience the breathtaking beauty and calm demeanor of these incredible animals like never before at Knysna Elephant Park. In order to cater for all visitors’ preferences, there is a range of inspiring experiences on offer. The Daily Tour provides the shorter experience of meeting, feeding and interacting with these gentle giants. Lengthier experiences include Elephant Walks, Elephant Picnic Walks and school tour packages, as well as the exclusive Sundowners package, which all providing more precious and private encounters. Experience something special at this prime elephant park, and create incredible memories while walking among these exquisite creatures.
Vital Information: Pre-booking for the Elephant Picnic Walks, Elephant Walks, School Tours, Sundowners and Wedding or Corporate Functions is essential
You can select the schedule that suits you best
Activity duration varies based on the activity you choose to participate in
The Elephant Picnic Walks are not recommended for children under 5 yrs, however exceptions can be made on assessment by the head guide Sundowners group packages cater for a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 50 people
Students and pensioners receive discounts for the daily tours (R230 per person)
Groups of 10 plus may qualify for a discount
Comfortable and practical clothing
Closed shoes, comfortable to walk around in
Spectators are welcome to wait at the Indlovu Cafe
Click to See Additional Info on this Adventure
The Knysna Elephant Park (est. 1994) was the first facility in South Africa to house and care for orphaned African elephants. Over the last twenty years, the park has cared for and raised more than forty elephants. These animals include relocated animals, orphaned calves, elephants rescued from culls and ex-circus animals. Some have become part of the resident herd, others have moved onto other reserves and facilities in the Western and Eastern Cape, depending on their personalities, bonds with other animals and welfare needs. The Knysna Elephant Park has dedicated the last 20 years to elephants; and it is both nationally and internationally recognised as one of the best captive elephant facilities in the world. More than 40 elephants have been rescued and/or relocated by the Knysna Elephant Park. The Park has played a vital role in formulating regulations and guidelines for captive elephants throughout South Africa.
The present KEP herd numbers ten – the largest domesticated matriarchal herd in the country. The style of management offers guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with the elephants, on elephant terms. Responsible and educational interactions allow guests to appreciate the awe-inspiring presence of these animals, but still give the elephants the space and freedom to choose where they want to move, what they want to eat and who they want to interact with. There are no fences to spoil the close encounter and our environment encourages elephants to exhibit natural behaviours.
All interactions are conducted according to strict welfare guidelines.
The experienced handlers and guides are seen as part of the herd and spend their day in the field with their elephant charges, always on hand to personally introduce the elephants and provide more information about them and the Park.
Daily tours leave reception every 30 minutes and no prior reservations are required (all weather activity). Following a short video, guests are transported to the field where you have the opportunity to interact, feed and walk amongst the herd of African elephants. You also have the opportunity to purchase an ‘elephant snack bucket’ to feed the elephants during your visit.
Responsible and educational interactions enable guests to appreciate the awe-inspiring presence of these animals, on elephant terms. There are no fences to spoil the close encounter and our environment encourages elephants to exhibit natural behaviours. Guests are welcome to spend as much time as they wish with the elephants – transport returns to reception every half hour. The herd of elephants play a vital role in closing the gap between man and animal, allowing the public to better understand the plight of the African Elephant and that of their peers in the Knysna Forest. Visitors leave the park with a sense of awe for these magnificent animals.
Experience Duration: 45-60 minutes. Guided tours depart every 30 minutes, on the hour, but you are welcome to stay with the elephants as long as you wish.
Children 5-12 years: R160
Children under 5 years: Free
Tour Guides: Free
Pensioners & Students: R230
Groups (Over 10 persons): R265
Elephant Snack Bucket: R45
Operating Hours: 09h00 – 15h00
The new Breakfast Picnic Elephant Walk offers an extra-special encounter for those guests wanting to welcome the new day in the company of our elephant herd. Take a leisurely stroll at elephant pace around the Park, enjoying the views of forest and mountain vistas. Take in the morning sights and sounds, in the company of your very own elephant guide, as he personally introduces the elephants.
The elephants will accompany you to the lapa venue, overlooking the valley filled with indigenous forest and birdlife…listen for the call of the famous Knysna loerie. Here, a picnic basket awaits you, filled with delicious breakfast goodies. Relax and enjoy your breakfast with friends and family – in true African style.
Pre-booking is essential. Limited availability. Not recommended for children under 5 yrs, however exceptions can be made on assessment by the head guide. Includes a breakfast picnic basket filled with delicious goodies.
Children 5-12 years: R595
Experience Duration: 1 hour
Departure Times: 07h30
Experience an incredible scenic walk, meandering through the Park at elephant pace with panoramic views of the Outeniqua mountains and Knysna forest. Join the guides who will relate informative ‘elephant tales’ while you follow in the footsteps of these remarkable animals. Round this off with refreshments at the Elephant Park restaurant. Bookings Essential as there is limited availability – only three walks per day are permitted. Comfortable walking shoes are advised and reasonable fitness is required. Walks are weather permitting
Experience Duration: Approximately 45 minutes.
Children 5-12 years: R495
Departure Time (Morning): 07h30
Includes a standard early-morning breakfast at Indlovu Cafe
Departure Times (Afternoon): 15h30 and 16h30
Followed by refreshments at Indlovu Cafe
One of the Parks primary objectives is conservation through education. The elephants stand as vital ambassadors for their wild counterparts – both in the neighbouring Knysna forests and throughout the African continent. School groups from all over the country visit the Park every year; and through responsible and educational interactions, the team at Knysna Elephant Park are able to provide thousands of school children the opportunity to learn more about the largest land mammal on the planet.
Many of these children would never have the opportunity to see, never mind meet, an elephant in person. Scholars and students are privileged to have a close-up and personal encounter with these gentle giants, and leave having gained a new found respect for these wonderful animals, as well as a better understanding of the African elephant and their desperate need for conservation and protection across the continent.
Teacher: 1 teacher per 10 children FREE.
Additional teachers: R200 per person
Pre-School Learners: R40 pp
Primary School Learners: R60 pp
High School Learners: R80 pp
Elephant Snack Bucket: R40 (3 included per 10 children)
Departure Times: 09h00 to 15h00
Experience Duration: 30 – 45 min
Discounted rates are offered to school groups but pre-booking is essential to confirm numbers and arrangements with teachers.
The Knysna Elephant Park also offers a unique and affordable venue for weddings, conferences and other events. The chapel and adjoining reception venue, the Lapa, are both beautifully situated at the edge of pristine indigenous forest and overlook the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountain ranges, providing the perfect backdrop for your occasion.
The venue can accommodate up to 120 guests. Natural wooden details and thatched roofs offer a unique African feel and the large windows and open plan design allows for the inclusion of the beautiful 180 degree views being included in your special day. The venue offers a special touch of Africa and yet adapts easily to a variety of themes and décor, to suit your specific requirements and theme. Wooden tables and chairs are included in the package, but you are welcome to hire additional furniture if required. The lapa has proved to be a highly adaptable space, allowing for a relaxed, rustic feel, as well as a sophisticated, elegant affair…the choice is yours. From an intimate low-key event to all-out spectacular glamour, this venue allows your dreams to take shape. A vast deck and kitchen complete the facilities. The space allows for a choice of table arrangements, dance floors, catering and dj’s. The venue is perfectly suited for stretch canvas tents, which can be easily hired from local suppliers. A selection of local wedding planners, who know the venue intimately, can be recommended to make your planning easier and less stressful.
Please note: The Park is a reserve, filled with natural vegetation, fynbos and a variety of animal life. For this reason, the Park only allows the use of natural materials, such as petals or bubbles, as confetti.
The exclusivity of the wedding venue does not allow for guest cars. Transport for your guests to and from the venue is included in the wedding package, as is transport for the bride before the ceremony.
Whether you are planning a conference, a team building day, or a unique birthday celebration, this venue provides a unique setting for any event. Ideally situated in the heart of the Garden Route, the Knysna Elephant Park is the perfect location for a variety of occasions, corporate or private. The venue itself is beautifully situated overlooking pristine indigenous forest with the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountain ranges in the background and offers a private and tranquil setting for a variety of occasions.
Due to the open plan design style of the venue, the layout options are endless and the venue can be tailored to suit your requirements. A variety of catering options are available for full day packages. Optional accommodation and activities can be offered at a discounted rate, depending on the number of people attending. Dinner options are also available to end off the day. These can be quoted on separately depending on your specifications and requirements.
Sundowners Group Package:
Enjoy sundowners and snacks and an exclusive elephant interaction at the Lapa. This package is available for groups of 10-50 people. Ideal for special occasions and celebrations such as birthdays or anniversaries, as well as team building & staff functions. Sundowners are weather permitting and prices will depend on your group size and menu requirements. Bookings are essential.
Sundowner Times: 16:30 to 19:30
Experience Duration: Approximately 2 hours
Includes snack platters and refreshments.
The cafe sources natural and local in season ingredients for its menu, which offers a variety of dishes from hearty daily soups and salads to tasty burgers, wraps, sandwiches and other snacks. Croissants, scones, cakes and chocolate brownies are some of the delectable items available for teas and deserts! Fully licensed, the cafe offers a wide selection of beers and wines, many of which are made locally along the Garden Route. If time is short, there are a variety of both sweet and savory treats that are ideally suited to grab and go.
With a playground adjacent to the café, there is plenty to keep the children occupied while you wait for your meal.
The cafe is open daily from 08:00 to 16:30 and caters for breakfasts, lunches and teas. Dinners can be arranged on request, particularly for our guests sleeping over in the Elephant Lodge. The cafe is also available for small functions, group outings and children’s birthday parties.