Lion encounter in Johannesburg

Jul 4th, 2006, 05:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 96
Lion encounter in Johannesburg

Good morning, everyone:

Thank you to all of you for the incredible ideas and help you've been providing these past several months. Planning our safari has been less daunting thanks to the invaluable information that I receive from reading this board!

Our TA has suggested that we try visiting the Lion Park in Johannesburg for the day. She says that we will be able to play with lion cubs, etc. This is intriguing to me since it will be a hands-on experience, but I'm curious as to whether others have spent time at this park. I'd love to hear what it's like and if it's worth the trip. How much time can one spend with the lions? What else can be done there?

Thanks so much.
crystalsong is offline  
Jul 4th, 2006, 09:14 AM
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I spent a morning out there, just out of curiosity. Frankly the entire experience made me vomit.

I really found the entire place an awful experience, but then I had spent the past ten to fifteen years as a wilderness & safari guide.
mkhonzo is offline  
Jul 4th, 2006, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 36
The Lion Park is a particularly good place to ake children. It is not a zoo, but it is also not a game park as such. There is an area through which one can drive and see a number of varieties of game, and there are the lion enclosures, though which one can drive and get right up close to the lions (including a few white lions). These lions are fed regularly and are very much in captivity, but if you accept that then you should enjoy the visit. At the restaurant there is also a zoo-like area in which various animals are kept in cages. In that area you will be allowed to enter one of the cages and hold young lion cubs (assuming there are some of the right age).
I have on a number of occasions visited the park in the company of foreign visitors, and without exception, they have thoroughly enjoyed it.
Another outing you may enjoy is to the De Wildt Cheetah Breeding and Research centre just west of Pretoria. There you get to see cheetahs (including King Cheetahs, which you are highly unlikely ever to see in the wild) and Wild Dogs. There you will not get to handle the animals.
Then there is the Elephant Sanctuary near the north-western corner of Hartbeespoort Dam. To my mind over-priced and not all that enjoyable, but you do get to walk with the elephants for a few steps.
For day outings in the Johannesburg / Pretoria area have alook at and go to the "dayoutings" page. Please ignore the rest of the web-site.
Enjoy you stay here.
RKR is offline  
Jul 4th, 2006, 02:24 PM
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Sorry that should have read
RKR is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 11:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 642

I visited the Lion Park when returning from the De Wildt sanctuary ... and I so wish that I hadn't.

This was a very touristy venue and I now worry about the future (?) of the lion cubs that have become habituated to humans.

I would recommend De Wildt where you can see wild dogs, cheetahs and king cheetahs, a range of vultures including the rare Egyptian vulture, a brown hyena, honey badgers and a few other species.

A much more rewarding experience.


Treepol is offline  
Jul 8th, 2006, 12:41 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,501

Are we talking about Rhino & Lion Nature reserve? I went there a couple of years back (see and we drove through the park and got a close look. But I still prefer to go on a real safari and see animals in the wild.

Gard - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
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