28th of July 2018
Pauline had seen a pamphlet about The Knysna Elephant Park and really, really wanted to go but I was not that keen because “those” sort of places creep me out and plus we would have to back track 50 kilometres to do it. Anyway I couldn’t say no to her because more than likely I would want to go and see something that she wouldn’t be keen on sooner or later. So back we went again heading East and arrived at the gates and first impressions were of it being very neat and well looked after. We paid our $70 odd dollars plus $4 for two buckets of fruit and vegetables that were cut up nicely for us and then watched a video off the history behind the beginnings of the park. The Knysna Elephant Park was established in 1994 and was the first facility in South Africa to to house and care for orphaned African elephants. Over the last 20 years, the park has cared for and raised more than forty elephants. The very first elephant was a female and she is now the Matriarch of the herd but other elephants have moved on to other reserves. We were then taken on a trailer towed behind a tractor out in the park to where the elephants were that particular day. They have steel railings about 30 metres wide which the elephants line up behind when we were feeding them from our buckets and this is just to have some sort of order for them.
After they have finished their treats they wander back off into the paddock and start eating an amazing amount of grass (apparently up to 200 kilograms a day). We were then also able to walk along with them and give them a rub and a scratch which they really enjoyed.
It was an amazing experience and I must say really made me eat my words, the elephants to me seemed incredibly happy and loved. At any one time the park can only have a maximum of 15 elephants but at the moment there are only 10 and the farm was just full of grass so they live very well!
From here we started the drive back to Cape Town to meet up with Veronica who had already arrived back from Italy. We stayed one night in a very quiet (again) camp park and the next morning continued the drive back to Cape Town. On the way back in we stopped at a road side farm stall that sold the best sourdough bread that we had been able to get so far in Africa (but not as good as yours is Maree Tink!). Naughtily we also had a very yummy cheese bread stick with our mid morning coffee.