Aptly named “Knysna’s Number 1 Citizen”, in an article by Edge News, the elusive Knysna elephant has been an enigma since I was a little boy. Like the legend of Bigfoot, whether or not she was actually still there has always been a mystery.

At the Plett Camino, we cheekily put out a Facebook post on the 14th of June promising a fine bottle of Cap Classique bubbly sponsored by Newstead Family Vineyards, for the first person on the Plett Camino to spot a Knysna Elephant. It was a little tongue in cheek, but we had a hidden surprise up our sleeve, as there is actually a chance of seeing elephants on the Camino. We cant let on, but there definitely is.

And then, serendipitously on the 20th of June, the story broke that Ryan Davy had in fact tracked the elusive elephant for 12 weeks through 50 000 hectares of Knysna forest. His search was finally rewarded with a brief and emotional encounter with the old matriarch.

Sadly she roams the forests in solitude, and the human in me wishes that she could find her own herd. Elephants are family-oriented herd animals, and it is sad to know that she is all alone and has been for years.

The logistics of introducing a herd to her has been considered before and has been tried at least once with unsuccessful results. But hope springs eternal, and maybe one day, we will be able to report a happy reunion for her

In the mean time, the promise of a bottle of Newstead Cap Classique remains for the first Plett Camino hiker to spot an elephant on the Camino !

Detailed accounts of the story can be found at Edge news here:


and Daily Maverick here:


Heather Dugmore shared her views on the Knysna Elephant here >>

And this was followed by a further article on Business Live discussing the message that Knysna’s last remaining elephant has for the people. Read the full article here >>

Sarah Du Toit of cape {town} etc. magazine also covered the story and it can be found here >>

So, all in all Knysna’s first citizen has received a lot of coverage of late as a result of her latest sighting. From a human perspective, our hope remains that a small herd can be introduced to her somehow, and that a public private partnership can be set up to create a win win for SAN PArks and all other stakeholders, and especially Oupoort, or Fiela as she is sometimes known.

The good news is that we had a group of 12 ladies on the Plett Camino of the 17th September. Unbeknownst to them, there is a herd of elephant on the Plett Game Reserve, which they came upon by chance. Suddenly one of them exclaimed that this could qualify them for the Newstead Cap Classique Bubbly.

This was always the surprise that would be waiting for our hikers on the Plett Camino. And so the bottle of bubbly was happily handed over and enjoyed by all.