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“Heaven on Earth”

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Knysna Elephant Park Lodge
Ranked #18 of 103 Speciality Lodging in Knysna
Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
1 review
“Heaven on Earth”
Reviewed 15 May 2012

The most wonderful place in the world! The elephant lodge is an amazing experience, not to be matched! The guides are so knowledgable and friendly we were able to go out on a tour to see the elephants and spend as much time with them as we wanted and ask millions of questions. It was quite breathtaking to be able to get so close to these beautiful rescued animals and learn all about them. It is obvious that they are well looked after and cared for by the team there and although they are still wild animals they are now safe from harm and able to live happy lives. I would defnitely recommend staying a night in the elephant lodge if you can as having a room overlooking the elephants in the boma where we could listen to them all night eating and communicating was amazing - I could have watched them all night - plus the rooms are gorgeous - if you don't get a room overlooking them the communal lounge also overlooks them so you can watch them to your heart's content! We also did a sunrise elephant ride which although I was quite nervous the guides put you at ease and ensure you are safe at all times. The hardest part was leaving after our ride - this was the most amazing experience of my life unlikely to ever be matched. Also a good tip - if you go in the winter months it is much quieter tourist-wise so you are often able to spend much more time up close with these beautiful animals.

Room Tip: If you are able to stay in room 1 or 2 you overlook the elephants from your room otherwise the other...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Oliver R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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94 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
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English first
Purley, UK
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2012

I can only agree with all the other 5 star reviews of the Elephant Park Lodge. The accomodation was actually better than I had anticipated - clean, reallly comfortable beds with lovely clean linen. We were in a family room as we were with our 12 year old daughter, so had a double and twin bedroom, shower room and small kitchenette/living room with TV (which we weren't expecting). To be able to watch and listen to the elephants sleeping is really special ... when we arrived back from a gorgeous dinner at Zinzi's (less than five minutes away) we couldn't believe how relaxing the sound of the elephants snoring and sleeping was - amazing and something never to be forgotten. The sunrise ride in the morning was so peaceful and the setting is magical. It was a privilege to learn about each elephant's background and to know that they are now treated with such respect.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Poppyloyloy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
163 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2012

I don't think there is much else I can add here that hasn't already been said. It was the highlight of our holiday and I will remember it for a long, long time. The accommodation was comfortable with a good shower, mini bar and comfortable beds with crisp cotton sheets (pillowcases were monogrammed with an elephant) We even had a elephant chocolate on the bed on arrival!

The lounge was comfortable with complimentary tea/coffee to keep you topped up while watching the elles. The restaurant served nice, simple food throughout the day but not in the evening. They did deliver food to our room while we were out waking with the elephants so there is no need to go out to eat if you don't want to.

The experience of being so close to the elies was what made it so special. The handlers were all excellent and answered any questions we threw at them. They appeared to be very relaxed but they were watching any movement and if they thought you had put a foot wrong they would soon sort you out (I went a bit too close to the back of one elephant and the handler moved me withing seconds as he said it sometimes kicks backwards - it made me realise that they are very skilled at their jobs and very safety conscious) They were also very patient when they took us on walks with the elies and would stay out as long as we wanted to. They never tried to rush us the slightest.

We also went on an early morning elephant ride which was brilliant. I would highly recommend it.
It was brilliant lying in bed listening to the elephants so close by but after a couple of hours of it I was glad to put my ear plugs in!

I had high expectations of this place from reports I had already read on Trip Advisor and I have got to say it exceeded them. It was an exceptional experience

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank PAULENEHighPeakUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thatcham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2012

We had an absolutely fantastic stay here and would recommend it to anybody. The relatively high (by South African standards) cost of the accommodation is by far made up for by the fact that you get to spend loads of time with the elephants when the general public aren’t in the park. For example you get to see the elephants being let in at night, charge out in the mornings, spend time interacting with them in the field and feeding them at night when no-one else is around. The site itself is in a lovely location and we also got to spend time with the park manager who talked to us about individual elephants and elephants traits as well as taking the opportunity to ride the elephants, it’s a long way up! The bedrooms themselves are all in the same building that the elephants spend each night in, we were fortunate enough that both our room and the en-suite had windows overlooking the elephants. The room itself was lovely with the décor in keeping with the sanctuary. As a previous reviewer has mentioned there’s a fantastic living area where you can sit and watch the elephants in the boma during both the mornings and evenings, truly fantastic. The elephants at the sanctuary have all been rescued, some were orphaned, some were in circuses whilst others were destined to be culled. The elephants are also treated fantastically by handlers who love working with them, having seen elephants in Asia that have not been treated properly I can certainly say that the elephants at this sanctuary are treated with the utmost respect and care.

Room Tip: The elephants are noisy so if you want a room overlooking them be prepared for the extra noise!
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank BensoA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UAE
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2011

This is an amazing experience with the Elephants. The rooms are beautiful, and they are all located off a common lounge that looks out over the elephants sleeping pens. We walked with the elephants in the evening and again in the morning, watched them be ridden, and fed them. We also enjoyed a galls of wine in the lounge while we watched them sleep. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

We drove to Knysna for dinner (20kms) and enjoyed some of the increible local seafood, however we have breakfast at the lodge. The food was delicious, and very very reasonbly priced.

The staff were very helpful, and very knowledgeable. A must stay in Knysna.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank BexUae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Staffordshire
Level Contributor
144 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 November 2011

Spending a night with the Ellies was a dream come true. The rooms in the lodge are extremely comfortable and set around the Elephant's Boma where they come in to sleep at night. The main lounger overlooks this area and our room (Harry's Room) also had a window where we could watch the Ellies from. We also booked a sunset ride and the pleasure of riding on Clyde and Shaka followed by a lovely 3 course meal in the restaurant.

We were up again next morning to take the Ellies out at 6.30 and spent another hour or so with them before breakfast. This was one of the highlights of our holiday and we highly recommend that if you can you must spend at least one night sleeping with the Ellies. You might not get much sleep but it is an amazing experience. The guys at KEP do an amazing job in looking after these wonderful creatures and educating the public about them.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Susiej25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
157 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
2 Thank StevenBSydney
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 103 Speciality Lodging in Knysna
Number of rooms: 6

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