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“A once in a lifetime experience!!!!”

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Knysna Elephant Park Lodge
Ranked #18 of 107 Speciality Lodging in Knysna
Reviewed 23 April 2011

Had the pleasure of staying here for 3 nights. The room was modern and lovely and you must stay in room 1 as we had 3 windows looking down directly where the elephants sleep at night in the boma. (even our bathroom) There is also a beautiful communal lounge where you can go and see them sleeping at night, (coffee & tea and sofas provided), but our room 1 was an even better view! The most noise the elephants made was when they were eating, but their noise didn't keep us awake (wouldn't care if it did); were awoken at 5:30 by a truck of workers coming in and all talking. Was so wonderful to sit out on the verandah during the day and watch the elephants out grazing in the lovely surroundings. Taking the tram out to see them was amazing. You get to pet them and feed them a bucket of fruit and it is so worth the price to take an elephant ride. These elephants have all been rescued or were abandoned and they are treated with the UTMOST CARE. You can tell the elephants love the handlers and the handlers love the elephants. The ride on the elephant was something we'll never forget. Definitely worth every dollar!! There's a tall platform that the elephants come to as to make it easier for you to get on, but the handlers will always give you further assistance should you need it. Almost an hour's ride around the lovely property at a nice pace (there was a group of 3 elephants on our tour) with a handler on the front and you sit behind him centering yourself; no threat of falling off if you keep yourself in the middle! Having the elephants stop for a drink of water was cool. The handlers are truly caring and wonderful with these amazing creatures. (Buy the video they take of you on the ride; so, so worth it)

The one thing that is very important to know if you stay overnight here, and certainly hope you do, is that the restaurant closes by 5:30pm so having transportation is a must as there are no eateries, etc. within walking distance . A not too far drive to a place called Zinzi's was very nice on lovely grounds, for dinner. (As there is no mini-market or anywhere close by where you can get a sandwich or snacks/juice/soft drinks etc., we thought by them having 1 or 2 vending machines would be a great idea.) Also, on the first night we were there, we were the only guests staying overnight and as reception closes at 5:30 as well as the restaurant, we were pretty sure there were no other staff members at the place as we sure never saw anyone (except for the elephant's workers - 24 hours there were always a few guys down below cleaning, feeding, and taking good care of the elephants.) The staff that we met during the day were really wonderful.

Except for a few glitches that I mentioned, I would absolutely, positively 100% recommend staying here and experiencing the elephants . I guarantee it will be one of the highlights of your life!!!!

Room Tip: Room # 1 is a must!!!!
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  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Kathron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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66 - 72 of 96 reviews

Reviewed 18 April 2011

Stayed 2 nights. The idea of this Lodge is to experience the elephants and I can't imagine it being better anywhere else. Being able to watch the elephants from the lounge that is a few meters from the elephants is awesome, watch all night if you like. The life and care given to these huge animals is 5 star therefore anyone staying here has a 10 star experience.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Champagne42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2011

After entering hundreds of competitions I eventually won a 2 night stay at the KEP in conjunction with Getaway magazine which we used in March 2011. We were welcomed by some lovely staff and shown our room which was right next door to the elephants boma. Hmm, interesting, we thought, what goes on here? We were quite early and had a chance to have a look around and see where the elphants were. No sign for a while then, all of a sudden, the whole herd arrived at the dam and some proceeded to have a swim and a play whilst others were gazing at the buckets of grub being tentatively held by some tourists. Funny how one never sees oneself as a toursit. There were plenty of handlers around to ensure that the ellies were cared for and to make sure they didn't get bored. They chomped their food in their boma with gusto and it was amusing to see how each one tried to pinch it's next door neighbour's food. The nice thing about staying the night is that you can see them at any stage and what they get up to. They are fed throughout the night so there's no chance of them being hungry at all. We walked with them the next morning after a very quiet night except for a few digestive mistake on the ellies part. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would recommend a visit if you are in the area.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank annepohl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2011

We stayed here for one night in a twin room. We phoned ahead and at first were quoted prices I think for the deluxe suites, which initially put us off as we were only staying one night and on a bit of a budget. We went though to have a look and one of the staff showed us the rooms. All of them were lovely and clean. What made us stay is when we were showed how close we would be sleeping to the elephants when they came in the shed at night to feed and sleep. I was speechless, our beds were within metres of their beds and we could view them eating and sleeping from a balcony with leather sofas, tea/coffee making and blankets incase you got cold -we could've slept there if we wished!

We were shown the twin room and this one was much cheaper than the prices quoted plus you could walk out in the morning with the guides to take the elephants to where they spent their day grazing - there was only an additional fee for an elephant ride (we felt this a little too expensive for the time you were riding, 30 minutes or so for approx £40).

All the elephants had been rescued either from circuses or orphaned as babies so they were all relatively tame and needed to come in at night to be fed. Although our nights sleep was slightly restless as you could hear everythingt the elephants were doing. I never thought 11 elephants pooing, weeing and breaking wind all night could be classed as an amazing experience but it was. If you're looking for a good nights sleep, you will not get one but what's sleep!

We were up at 6am to walk out with the guides. In total, there were only about 10 of us including guides. It was unreal to be walking beside them. We spent a couple of hours just watching them eat, they really didn't seem to mind us being there. Eventually, they walked off and we returned for breakfast. Great fried breakfast and the chef was very comical.

All in all, for the experience, lovely staff and spotless rooms, I can not fault this place at all.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Ginger089
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2011

A wonderful place, everything was first rate. The staff were incredible, they could not do enough for us, our guide Mac gave us and our children an incredible insight into these wonderful animals and was a credit to the park. The location was excellent and most importantly the welfare of the elephants was paramount. In short if you are going to Knysna, this park is a must.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Titanic1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 November 2010

We stayed here for a night with our young children. As with all animal attractions, we weren't sure what to expect. Any apprehensions we had were completely dispelled; KEP is a slick operation and the health and welfare of the elephants is clearly the its primary purpose. It was truly amazing to have such free access to elephants without feeling their wellbeing was compromised in any way by our presence.

By staying at the lodge we were able to spend unlimited time with the elephants, and gain much more of an insight into the conservation work done by the Park than if we had visited for the day. We were very grateful to Greg for taking the time to discuss their work with us. I suspect that the experience on offer here is unique, and we felt it offered very good value for money.

Elephants aside, our room was very nice, the cafe offered good value for food of a high standard and the staff did their utmost to make our stay enjoyable. Initially our main reason for visiting was so our little girl could see elephants at close hand, but the KEP offers so much more than that, and we enjoyed our time there as much as she did, and left feeling quite inspired by their work.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank ST
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 October 2010

We live in Wittedrift just outside of Plettenberg Bay, we got married at the Knysna Elephant Park in August 2009 and we had the most amazing wedding with unforgettable memories with the wonderful gentle giants - our guests were entertained by the Elephants while we were having our photos taken & then us arriving back to the Lapa on 'Harry' was an expereince we would definately recommend - even in a wedding dress!!!! The hospitality, food & the service was fantasic, to this day our guests still talk about - how unique the day was!
A year later and we have visited the park often, volunteering to help with baby Bafana & we can see how devoted the team are to these animals. Definately recommend Knysna Elephant Park to everyone - its a special place that touches your heart!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank kimbles_2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Knysna Elephant Park Lodge

Address: N 2 National Road, Knysna 6571, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Knysna
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 107 Speciality Lodging in Knysna
Number of rooms: 6

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