The Knysna Elephant Park is proud to have celebrated their 20th anniversary on the 26th of October. Started in 1994, the Park has dedicated the last twenty years to elephants and has grown into a domesticated elephant facility which is both nationally and internationally recognised as one of the best in the world.
Since 1994, the Park has dedicated itself to providing a home to elephants from all over South Africa and beyond. More than forty elephants have passed through the gates of the Park. These include calves rescued from culls, elephants relocated from reserves where rhinos were attacking them, animals losing their homes when the reserves closed down, a tiny calf, searching for milk after losing her mother in a translocation, orphaned and abandoned calves from reserves and zoos, animals no longer wanted by their owners as they were seen to be unworkable and dangerous…..The Park has taken each and every one of these animals on. All these animals have found a home at the Knysna Elephant Park. Each animal has been monitored and assessed to establish the best method of care and management. Some have stayed on at the Park and become part of our family. Others have been moved to reserves where they now roam freely.The Park has also contributed to changing traditionally accepted elephant management to better suit the welfare needs of elephants. In 2009, a research unit was started. The African Elephant Research Unit (AERU) is specifically aimed at improving elephant welfare through science. For the last five years, this unit has dedicated itself to collecting data that have directly contributed to improving elephant welfare and management at KEP. Researchers, volunteers and students are able to monitor and observe the elephants through the day and night, gaining insight into all aspects of elephant life at the Park.
The Park has grown from strength to strength over the last 20 years; and has grown into one of the Garden Route’s premier tourist destinations. We look forward to making a further positive contribution to the next twenty years of elephant management and wildlife tourism.