Elephant Sanctuary Hartbeesport Dam

Elephant Sanctuary Hartbeesport Dam

Elephant Sanctuary Hartbeesport Dam
4.5
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
About
The Elephant Sanctuary offers an interactive elephant experience. 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. You will be 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 a natural area where you will be able to touch and interact with them. 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 the elephants,Learn about elephant anatomy, feed them,see the Elephant night shelters where they sleep. Remember to wear flat walking shoes, sun hats and bring your camera. The 08h00 Elephant Experience includes brushing the elephants down.Open 7 days a week, at 08h00; 10h00 and 14h00. We have overnight accommodation available.
Duration: 1-2 hours
Does not meet animal welfare guidelines
Tripadvisor does not provide bookings for this experience because it does not meet our animal welfare guidelines.
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  • Louise S
    London, United Kingdom1 contribution
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic Visit but please pay attention to group sizes
    We visited on 04/04 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Our only criticism was that the groups were too large (there were easily 30 people in the 8am experience) and our elephant experience was impacted by a very rude / big family who did not follow the guide’s instructions and they were disruptive throughout and acted entitled when they did not get their picture perfect poses. When we realised they were going to be on the monkey experience with us too, we asked the guide if there were different time slots we could attend, and he very kindly split the group into two groups.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 8 April 2023
  • Gina L
    Seale, Alabama36 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Elephant kisses
    Oh my goodness! Dreams do come true. I have always loved elephants and to be able to walk with them and touch them was amazing. We took LOTS of photos. I got elephant kisses! James was our guide and I loved his enthusiasm and how animated he was.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 7 June 2023
  • Chuck S
    Winnipeg, Canada113 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Entertainment and education
    After a visit to a game reserve, we wanted to get up close to these marvelous animals. The park visit is everything we expected. It was clean. The staff were brilliant. We were given a tour by a man named Bond. Of course, he played on his name. He spoke very well and in an entertaining and educational manner. We learned more about the elephant. And then we were able to feed them and get up close. These are not circus animals but certainly trained. Well worth the couple of hours.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 11 June 2023
  • Monica S
    2 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ones in a lifetime experience with these gentle giants.
    We had a great experience with these gentle giants and their caregivers. We fed the beautiful elephants with pellets and fruit that the caregivers provided. We had our time ( too little time in my opinion) to walk with them and to touch them all over the body. To feel their skin was amazing. And to get close eye contact with the amazing creature was ones in a lifetime experience. The elephants looks well taken care of and have a lot of space. Our guide TK was funny and educated us in a easy understandable way. The biggest downfall was that the groups are too big.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 15 July 2023
  • Bartleboy
    24 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Educational and enjoyable
    We received a very educational experience. The four elephants in residence have been rescued from life-threatening situations in the wild. The staff emphasizes that they are still wild animals, and we were to follow very strict protocols while interacting with them. Our guide, James, was very engaging and informative. His presentation was highly interactive. As three retired adults, we were enriched by the experience.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 12 November 2023
  • Motshabi Nomvethe
    Centurion, South Africa9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome experience
    Beautiful, humbling experience! The elephants are majestic and amazing. Our guide James’ passion & knowledge is infectious. Really enjoyed the afternoon learning and interacting. The coffee shop could do with a few snacks like muffins, biltong, nuts and not just liquids. So might be best to pack your own. Only an hour’s drive from JHB/PTA.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 29 December 2023
  • Sasha Z
    Oakville, Canada6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the visit!
    An amazing experience with caring animal handlers. I love elephants and am not one for animals in captivity but these animals are taken care of due to various circumstances where they otherwise would likely have perished. TK and Connie were awesome, knowledgeable and professional. We had a very memorable outing. Thank you.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 6 January 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles490 reviews
Excellent
327
Very good
100
Average
26
Poor
19
Terrible
18

Jay C
Birmingham, UK55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Friends
From start to finish fully informative guide and tour of the sanctuary, split into groups which made it more exclusive as not so many people. Didn’t expect to interact with the elephants as much as we got to which was a massive bonus. Feeding them, petting them, walking with them , oh it was just an amazing experience - so majestic and didn’t once get the feeling they were being exploited or mistreated as sometimes you hear. Would definitely go back with family. Great day out for all ages, toilets, cafe and gift shop all superb. Staff are lovely and take all the photos you want of you with the elephants which is nice and aren’t super pushy about tips.
Written 31 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jen04
Johannesburg, South Africa1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
Great place, easy to find. The staff are brilliant. The elephants are so calm and peaceful. I will definitely be back with friends.
Written 20 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sasha Z
Oakville, Canada6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
An amazing experience with caring animal handlers. I love elephants and am not one for animals in captivity but these animals are taken care of due to various circumstances where they otherwise would likely have perished. TK and Connie were awesome, knowledgeable and professional. We had a very memorable outing. Thank you.
Written 7 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Happiness35609802038
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Friends
The experience was amazing! The guides and elephant keepers are very knowledgeable about them and also understand when people are a little afraid. But they are more than gentle. My friend who came from china also enjoyed the tour.
I was also stung by a wasp :( and was attended to very quickly and didn’t miss any part of the tour. Please also take money for tips.
Written 5 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Motshabi Nomvethe
Centurion, South Africa9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Beautiful, humbling experience! The elephants are majestic and amazing. Our guide James’ passion & knowledge is infectious. Really enjoyed the afternoon learning and interacting.
The coffee shop could do with a few snacks like muffins, biltong, nuts and not just liquids. So might be best to pack your own.
Only an hour’s drive from JHB/PTA.
Written 30 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Navigate56226995004
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
What an amazing day, with all the rain and being Christmas day, could have not worked out better, be greeted by the staff was amazing, the tour guides, the Elephants, & monkeys, everything on point. Will make this a every 2 year experience.
Written 26 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Samantha
Bracknell, UK19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Friends
Absolutely incredible experience - one you should definitely not miss! Guides are friendly, enthusiastic and informative. Seeing these gentle giants and learning about them is really something special.
Written 24 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JP K
Canberra, Australia2 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Friends
The sanctuary was just as amazing as everyone says. Beautifully maintained and you can see all animals and monkeys are cared for well.

Be weary though - I feel we were scammed. Ourselves and friends paid for a "Video" package. A couple of days after we were informed the video got corrupted and we could not be supplied with it. We then asked for our money to be reimbursed at which point was told money cannot be refunded to international bank accounts or the card that was used for payment. By this stage we had moved on from the area and could not return in person. We then asked what our options were, at which point we were fully ignored and have yet to receive any further correspondence to our follow up requests.

We feel we have been scammed and just want to ensure others are aware of this practice. It is a shame that this will be our memory, and our story to others, as opposed to what an amazing experience it itself was.
Written 6 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bartleboy
24 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Friends
We received a very educational experience. The four elephants in residence have been rescued from life-threatening situations in the wild. The staff emphasizes that they are still wild animals, and we were to follow very strict protocols while interacting with them. Our guide, James, was very engaging and informative. His presentation was highly interactive. As three retired adults, we were enriched by the experience.
Written 12 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

donkeyboy16
5 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Family
This was booked as a package in advance for 2 adults and 2 children. The elephant experience we had done as a couple 20 years before which was a beautiful intimate experience. Sadly this is not the case anymore. We were part of quite a large group of tourists perhaps 25 or so. Before we even started we were asked if we wanted a video recorded for R260 which we had to pay there and then. This would be important later. We listened to a long talk about the elephants which our children found rather long and boring! We then went to see 2 elephants for the feeding time. We saw a large male and a much smaller elephant both happy to see us behind a small fence. 20 years ago there was no fence. We were then told to form 2 groups one for those that paid for the video and the other for those who hadn't. Those who paid got to feed the large elephant and have pictures! Get what you pay for! Then we walked in a group with elephants some way behind us. In the past l seem to remember walking alongside the elephants. The interaction felt very staged for pictures, uncomfortably so. If you buy the video and watch it you know what l mean. The staff were very good though really informative and friendly. The kids were happy of course, they didn't care. Then we waited for the monkey experience. We sat patiently waiting and inquired near the time when it would start. We were told there would be 2 groups again but ours would be a late start. Why? No one to lead it. They didn't seem to plan for the large group size. We noticed all the others on the elephant experience were in one group while we were allocated with new people. The first group left on time with us about 5 mins later. We overheard the first group leader shout your group can feed the monkeys! Along with our kids we thought haven't we paid too? We were then told by the guide the package doesn't cover feeding the monkeys!? The kids were gutted! It spoiled the whole experience for us. I wondered why the others had the option all the way around. We had spent a fortune as we also paid for my elderly parents. At the end l complained to the lady on reception to be told the real reason. There was a limit on the group size for feeding. I was rather upset. I sent an email to the manager. He agreed it was poor service but offered no compensation. The monkeys are very friendly but if you have no food they aren't interested. As for the Lion Park. Very, very poor. They don't let you cuddle the cubs anymore since covid? I joked with the man on the gate if covid was still happening l wouldn't be in South Africa. I spoke to South African friends in Johannesburg and they couldn't believe it.
Written 12 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Elephant Sanctuary Hartbeesport Dam (Hartbeespoort) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

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