Life is about the journey - some roads are not always what they seem but you sure learn a great deal from them!
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Published April 14th 2013
Knysna Elephant Park
There are very few places in this world where you can meet an elephant in its own habitat. The Knysna Elephant Park, which is dedicated to adopting orphaned elephants, is one such place. Found about two hours south of Port Elizabeth, Knysna Elephant Park hosts a range of activities that will definitely leave you with stories that will last a life time.
Knysna Elephant Park has a day tour every 1.5 hours. You can join the tour to watch, or purchase a bucket of food (which contains fruit and vegetables) to engage in the feeding activity. Kids of all ages are welcomed, as long as there is a parent/guardian with them.
Outside of the normal day tours, Knysna Elephant Park also offers you a chance to ride the elephants, and to stay the night. Special guest quarters were built in the elephant sleeping enclosure where you can fall asleep to the murmurs and sounds of the elephants.
The last time I was at the park I was introduced to an orphaned elephant named Nandi, who followed me around and wrapped her trunk around me as a hug. Six years later, the same elephant was at the Park, and she remembered me. She came up to touch me with her trunk, as a way to say "hello". The guides tried to push her back, and when I told them the story they immediately understood. It is a moment that I will never forget.
Apart from feeding elephants, everyone is encouraged to walk with them through their natural habitat. I felt intimidated by their huge size, yet gentle nature. Nandi kept her distance as a gesture to all of us two legged kind, that there was nothing to fear. Some younger elephants did not understand this protocol, and were keen to play. Of course this guides were exceptional and herded the younger ones back to the main herd.
There is just so much to do at the Knysna Elephant Park that I suggest you make this a whole day event. Apart from an amazing gift shop, there is an awesome café/restaurant, a great play ground for kids, and an exceptional view of the elephants. Tours are weather dependant, so I suggest you call them to ensure there will be tours on the day.