Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
Bensusan Photographic Museum, SAB World of Beer, Satyagraha House, Hillbrow Tower, Enoch Sontonga Memorial Park, Moyo Restaurants, Newtown Cultural Precinct, Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square, Johannesburg Art Gallery and Sculpture Park, Brenthurst Gardens, Nelson Mandela Bridge, Constitution Hill, Apartheid Museum, Rand Easter Show, Radium Beer Hall, Oriental Plaza, ABSA Art Gallery, The Bag Factory, Standard Bank Gallery, MuseuMAfricA
Spread over 54ha of prime land, the Johannesburg Zoological Gardens houses over 2000 animals in landscaped enclosures designed to create natural barriers rather than bars, giving the visitors the impression of being in a game park.
The Johannesburg Zoo is one of the oldest, established over 100 years ago on park land set aside for animals, many of which were donated by Sit Percy Fitzpatrick, author of Jock of the Bushveld. Since its founding, the zoo has proved to be popular with the public and it’s a regular weekend family outing and party venue for Johannesburg residents.
Children love the farm animals section where pigs, cows, chickens, sheep, ducks and other favourites are located. The discovery centre has 30 animal skins for children to touch while lively demonstrations are offered to school groups to learn more of the animals on show.
The zoo’s administration has a few super creative offerings from which the public can choose, including a 90-minute ferry tour, a behind the scenes tour and evening tours. There is also an early morning fun run through the zoo while the animals wake to a new day. Overnight campouts are available over weekends for a chance to see the nocturnal animals patrolling their enclosures.
Most popular are the large beasts on show, specifically the white lion, Bengal tiger and polar bear. Feeding times are a treat too, as it’s the only time when all animals are most active.
BG is the world’s only tweeting honey badger (and the cutest) and he can be followed @zootweetslive to find out what’s happening at the zoo.
It’s possible to adopt an animal to assist with its wellbeing. The Johannesburg Zoo is registered as a non-profit organisation and all donations are welcome. There is also a fun volunteering programme in place.
Conservation and ensuring the protection of endangered species are key to the zoo’s philosophy and with the help of public attendance at the zoo and donations, the administrators and staff are doing a wonderful job.