Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there any age or physical requirements?

The minimum age requirement for volunteers is 18. The demands of the placement require a degree of fitness and mobility for those volunteers wishing to work in the field with the elephants and contribute to their daily care. However, we can accommodate volunteers with physical impediments who are capable of assisting us in the office. Please note that we do not have wheelchair facilities.

2. How long can I volunteer for?

The duration of our Everything Elephant programme is one week.

Due to the nature of our Walking with Giants programme, the minimum volunteer placement time is three weeks and we recommend at least four weeks for volunteers who want to become fully involved with our research. There is no maximum length of stay…you are welcome to join us for as long as you want!

3. How safe is it in this part of Africa?

During your stay with us at The Knysna Elephant Park, you will be living in a secure area that is gated and patrolled at night. Many members of the staff and management live on site as well as temporary volunteers, students and park guests, so you will never be far from other people. The Garden Route part of South Africa is some of the safest in the country and while we cannot guarantee anything 100%, we make every effort to ensure the safety of both our guests and ourselves.

4. Will there be Internet?

Yes. Wireless Internet is available for use on your laptop or phone, otherwise there are computers available for you to use. However, it is important to note that personal wifi access is limited during the day, due to priority access for work purposes. We are on a farm; and this is African wifi…we do not have the internet speed you may be used to . Telephone and fax services are available at an additional cost if required.

5. Are the elephants tame?

While the elephants you will be working with are very familiar with people and being in close proximity to people, they are still wild animals and thus deserve the respect one would give a wild animal. We have very strong safety guidelines that we expect all students, staff and volunteers to adhere to in order to ensure the safety of you, the guides and the elephants in our care. Associated with this is a code of conduct we ask all volunteers to sign upon arrival, so that every member of the team is aware of what is expected of them during their stay. The Knysna Elephant Park is a world-class elephant facility and the AERU team is a well-respected, professional department of the Park.

6. If I am ill, are there medical facilities nearby?

Yes there are. There are medical and hospital facilities both in Plettenberg Bay, 9km from the park and Knysna 22km away.