So far my experience with elephants has only been on Okambara (Namibia), where there is a small herd of 9 elephants. Generally on Okambara we monitor them from no less than 150 meters (unless they come closer to us). And there is at least on badly behaved elephant (a juvenile testing his testosterone, er, boundaries). So we are always observing from very far away and usually through binoculars, with one eye on our escape route! It was really a delight to get up close and personal with the elephants at Knysna Elephant Park. (pronounced nighs-na) At Knysna they have a really nice facility with a small herd of rescued elephants. They train them to line up behind a railing when the people come to visit them and this prevents folks from getting hurt.
Here is a link to their web site: http://www.knysnaelephantpark.co.za/
I GOT TO TOUCH AN ELEPHANT!!!