Johannesburg Zoo is a top attraction in Parkview, a leafy, upmarket northern suburb in Johannesburg. The zoo is internationally accredited and highly respected for its husbandry practices, which includes maintaining a high standard of animal welfare, nutrition and ethical conduct, ensuring the physical and psychological well- being of all its animals. The zoo was opened in 1904, when a piece of land was donated to the citizens of Johannesburg as a recreational venue. The land came with 10 animals and today the zoo has seven classes of animal life: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects and arachnids, amounting to 365 species (1868).
The zoo’s animal collection includes charismatic White and Tawny Lion, Cheetah, Puma, Polar Bear, Brown Bear, Ringtailed Lemur, Siamang and Forest Cobra. See also the Spectacled Bear, Snow Leopard and Stripped Hyaena, which are rare in zoos. Endangered species are: Siberian Tiger, Margay, Wild dog, Lowland Gorilla, Sumatran Orang-utan, Red panda, Black and white Ruffed Lemur, Wattled Crane, and Cape vulture. In addition to animals from other parts of the world, there is a large collection of South African animals such as African Hippo, Giraffe, Zebra, Baboons, Meerkat, Honey Badger, Springbok, four of the big five - Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant and Lions and majestic birds such as Secretary Birds and the Bald Ibis. In the walk- through aviary, visitors can almost touch the birds.
The zoo’s plant collection consists of public gardens and landscapes plants in animal exhibits, which recreate their natural habitat and indigenous & historical gardens such as Medicinal, Rose and Herb gardens.
The zoo also provides Animal Talk and Feeding sessions about Chimpanzees, Vultures, Polar Bears, Wild Dogs and more. These take place every weekend and public holiday from 9h30 and run through out the day. Zoo keepers narrate personal stories of zoo animals, how they live, their relationships, origins and social norms.
Children can visit the farm yard where they can see and even touch friendly farm animals such as Nguni and Bapedi Sheep. There are very small to giant breeds such as Shetland pony and Shire horse. Children can also play on the zoo’s play ground gyms.
The zoo offers a range of excellent guided tours: Day, Night, Dinner and Behind the Scenes Tours, which allow for splendid experience of seeing, smelling and hearing real animals. Each tour is different and has its own unique features.
Day Tours start with everyone getting on a zoo ferry to visit several areas, like the apes, Amazonia, Heart of Africa and the pachyderms. A Tour guide introduces you to the animals by sharing facts and interesting stories and giving some animals a treat. This tour is charged on a sliding scale of R85, R75 and R65 for groups of 15, 20 and 35 sizes. School groups are charged a flat rate of R50.
Night Tours allows visitors to see the zoo’s night life explore their world, such as Honey Badger, Owl, Tiger, Lion, Hippo, Civet, Caracal, Margay, Porcupine, Genet, African Wild Cat, Red Panda, Serval, etc. Visitors bring a picnic meal, torches and wear comfortable shoes and get ferried around the zoo on a journey of discovery. The Tour guide explains the nocturnal animals’ natural behaviour as the group sees it happen.
After the tour, everyone enjoys their picnic and the zoo provides a hot cuppa and marshmallows to toast around a camp fire. See a different and wonderful life at night. This tour is charged on a sliding scale of R95, R85 and R75 for groups of 15, 20 and 35 sizes. School groups are charged a flat rate of R50.
Dinner Tour is an opportunity to enjoy an outdoor meal while listening to the zoo’s night sounds, like the dominant lion Numzaan’s gruff roar. The group visits several camps, similar to camps visited by the night tour. Tour cost R200.
Behind the Scenes Tours provide a chance to get close to zoo animals where only Keepers are allowed. The tour visits the zoo kitchen, where animal feed is prepared, the hospital, where veterinary care and a place to recuperate are provided, and night rooms used by animals to relax and shelter from inclement weather. This tour shows the importance of zoos and lets you get closer than ever before. Tours cost R 85.
Opening Hours: 8:30 – 17:30 with the last entry at 16:00
Admission price: Adults – R50 Children & pensioners – R30
Johannesburg Zoo Map
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