On the fringe of the Knysna woods is a facility for orphaned African elephants. This project was started with 2 abandoned elephant calves in 1994. Today the matriarchal herd is led by the first calf, now a fully grown elephant, Sally. The herd numbers eleven at the moment. There are also a smaller herd of males on the premises. They live in a protected area, but move about freely.
Since they were hand reared and is domesticated it is possible to come into close range of the beasts. In the wild they are aggressive and very dangerous but these ones tolerate visitors well. Walks with them and even elephant rides is part of their daily activities.
As an elephant need huge amounts of food daily, they are fed where you can come up close to them. Rangers keep a weary eye for if the animals becomes irritated with their guests.
What a privilege to be out in these beautiful surroundings early morning and to be part of such a great experience.