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“Unforgettable....believe each reviewer that shouts its praises”

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Knysna Elephant Park Lodge
Ranked #18 of 105 Speciality Lodging in Knysna
Sydney
Level 6 Contributor
157 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“Unforgettable....believe each reviewer that shouts its praises”
Reviewed 25 September 2011

A stunning experience. A night in the elephant boma should be on everyone's bucket list. The time with the elephants was the highlight of the Garden Route.

The lodge is great, rooms large and tidy...but it's all about the boma here. Guests have 24 hour access to the lounge to watch the elephants come in and feed each evening and bed down. Your room is just outside and the sounds of the elephants shuffling about outside is cathartic..

Enjoy morning strolls with (or on!) the elephants and take a great deal of comfort being with expert handlers. If you have any attraction to these amazing animals, do not miss this.

Room Tip: The lodge is large but pay for the boma experience...a MUST
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  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank StevenBSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2011

The highlight of our trip to South Africa was most definately our overnight stay at Knysna Elephant Sanctuary. From arriving in the mid afternoon and the childrens delight in finding elephant shaped chocolates on their beds, to hand feeding the elephants it was magical.
After dinner at a nearby restaurant, ZinZi, we returned to have hot chocolate while sitting wrapped in blankets on the sofas in the lounge area above the elephants overnight indoor accommodation.
An early morning start, 630hrs, which wasn't a problem as the elephants are not quiet eaters and we rode on the elephants for their early morning walk. Words cannot describe it, the coolness of the morning sitting on an elephant and the sun coming up.
Afterwards, breakfast in the cafe.....excellent value and we purchased the video of the Elephant Walk, brilliant. Cousins from Cape Town accompanied us and did not know the Sanctuary existed... it is now on their Must Do List for future guests.

Room Tip: Just stay there
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank warts26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gordon's Bay, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2011

Everything about the Elephant Park is amazing. The staff are brilliant, the location is stunning, accommodation spotless and comfortable - not to mention the fascinating stars of the show - the elephants. The experience of staying in the lodge is one not to be missed because you can visit the elephants' sleeping quarters as often as you like at night and you enjoy the wonderful thrill of walking out with them at sunrise and witnessing their training session with the guides. I never thought I'd get so close to an African elephant and feel so safe. It was a real eye-opener and a huge learning experience.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank BergenZee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
3 Thank Kathron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durban, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
2 Thank Champagne42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kokstad, South Africa
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
3 Thank annepohl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leek, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ginger089
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

Property: Knysna Elephant Park Lodge
Address: N 2 National Road, Knysna 6571, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Knysna
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 105 Speciality Lodging in Knysna
Number of rooms: 6

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