The Elephant Sanctuary has African elephants and offers an interactive elephant experience, elephant back riding and overnight accommodation. We offer hands-on educational elephant interactions. This provides our guests with a far more intimate experience with the elephants. Our dedicated staff is committed to the use of positive reinforcement elephant training methods and as a result we have relaxed elephants who enjoy interacting with our guests.
Guests are guided on foot through The Elephant Sanctuary. Guides will provide in-depth information and insight into African elephants. You will be introduced to our elephants in the forest area, and here you will be able to touch and interact with the elephants. You will see the special relationship that the elephant handlers share with their elephants and become a part of it. Walk trunk-in-hand with theelephants. See the stables where the elephants sleep at night. Guests learn about elephant anatomy and are able to feed them.
Enjoy a drink in our Coffee Shop, and visit our curio shop. Remember to wear flat walking shoes, sun hats and bring your camera. The 08h00 Elephant Experience includes brushing the elephants down. Elephant Back Ridingis an optional activity, offered additionally to the Interaction experience. The different programs are listed below with summaries as to what to expect and the rates.
MEET OUR ELEPHANTS Amarula. Male Amarula is the oldest bull at the sanctuary in Hartebeestpoort dam. He spent most of his life in different zoo's in South Africa and had very little direct contact with people before arriving at the sanctuary. He moved from the Bloemfontein zoo to the sanctuary in 2008, and only arrived with one tusk. His other tusk was lost many years ago. Amarula loves all the attention he is receiving now and is estimated to be 47 years old.
Khumba, Female Khumba was born in 1990 - she is the matriarch at the sanctuary and she loves all the attention she gets from the guests and the handlers. She is the "mother" of the herd and will always keep a protective eye over the others. Khumba loves mudbaths and spend a lot of her free time splashing around in the pond. Khumba is 26 years old.
Mosadi, Female Mosadi was born 1990/1. Mosadi is a little bit bigger than other 20 year old elephants. Mosadi is "second in command" and helps maintain the family structure. She loves interaction with the other elephants and has a much louder trumpet than the others. She also loves hearing her own voice, so if there are loud trumpeting coming from the enclosures you can be sure it is the 26/27 year old Mosadi "singing".
Temba, Male Temba a male was born in 2000 (17 years old). Temba is the "baby" of the herd and he loves the fact that all the other elephants always look after him and smother him with love and attention. Temba is very fond of children and thrive on all the attention he gets from them. As the "baby" he always likes to challenge his big "brother" Mvusu as they kick up dust playing with each other.
Mvusu, Male Mvusu, a young bull, was born in 1999 and is now 18 years old. Mvusu is a typical teenage boy and is always up to mischief or testing his own strength. He often teases the females and loves a good wrestle with Temba whom is a bit smaller. Feeding time is definitely one of his favourite time passes and given enough attention he might just reward you with a rock which he will hand to you as a thank you gift.
ELEPHANT BACK RIDING (OPTIONAL EXTRA ADD-ON) Riding is an opportunity to experience elephants from a different perspective and is conducted in a boma. It is not a safari experience. (Only for the fit and adventurous). Recommended to wear jeans or long pants. Riding is an optional extra which can be" added-on" to the Elephant Interaction program. Children must be 8 years+ in order to ride elephants. Please note the Elephant Back Riding cannot be confirmed until the day of the program. For the safety of our guests our Senior Handler will either approve or decline any riding on the day.
LUNCH For groups 30 people and more a buffet lunch can be arranged. Please ask the reservationist for more information if required.