Monday, 15 June 2009

A day at the South African Zoological gardens.

A highlight of our Staycation was a visit to the National Zoological gardens in Pretoria. It is one of the world's top 10 Zoo's and know for it's excellent breeding programmes , research and huge species collection.

Hunter decided to stay home and study, so Lucy, the kids and I had headed off and had a great time. For some background - the Zoo is huge - in a morning you can probably see about two thirds of it - we have never managed to see the whole thing in a day. The enclosures are mostly very spacious and adapted to the animal's natural habitat with the result that you sometimes do not see the animals as they have many little places to hide. They are continuously improving and adding new area - modernizing all the time.

Lucy and the kiddos just after we arrived.

Our first stop was the reptile section. Love the "dragons and monsters" signage - the zoo has lovely signage all around.

The Little Miss was very disappointed - the animal she wanted to see most was the Komodo dragon - who is (if you enlarge the picture) currently on loan to a breeding programme. At least she saw her second favorite - the koalas at the Australia section. (pictures came out too dark - not allowed to use a flash in that area).

It was great to see The Boys pointing and noticing animals.

The exit from the frog and chameleon section. I missed out on the snake s- Lucy took A to see them. I do not want to transfer my illogical fear.

Next up was the Aquarium.

Great atmosphere.

The Malawi lake exhibit is really pretty.

And I kept missing the shark in the big tank.

Next was the general Zoo area

The flamingos are right at the entrance - have been there ever since I was a kid.

Loved the giant heron -was right close up to us.

The Madagascar environment - didn't see any Lemurs, but check out all the herons.

This historical fountain is left from the old early 1900's zoo.

Look at those two girls - having a great time.

Mommy, I see an elephant!

This guy was steeling the new grass they were busy planting around the enclosure.

We had a great picnic around tea time.

Me and the kiddos on the river that halves the zoo area.

The whole Zoo are is beautifully landscaped.

My favorites - the Kodiac bears. They have a waterfall and river running through their enclosure.

We were lucky enough to see the tiger.

We only saw the lioness - we got to hear the male though - what a roar. There is a whole pride in there.

And this is the reason why you do not see the whole pride - they have a huge enclosure up a hill.

And by the end of the morning we had a tired little girl - who took her position in the pram.

And Little man L took a nap on mommy's back. Here we are standing on the walkways that transverse the Africa section - you are one storey up in the air, looking down at the antelopes etc.

An okapi - the only relative of the giraffe.

Lucy was also sad 0- her favorite, our lowland gorilla (Hobbit) was hiding in his enclosure.

We missed the huge bird exhibit, the one part of the Africa exhibit and the farm animals. We will have to go again soon.


  1. Wow! Great zoo! And I thought the Philadelphia Zoo was impressive. Glad you all had such a great day!

  2. Oh Cat...your Zoo is BEAUTIFUL!!! I love all of the pictures, thanks for sharing...I felt like I was there with you! I ADORE the elephants. We are huge Alabama Crimson Tide football (not soccer) fans and the mascot is an elephant. I am definitely going to show James and Maggie your picture...they will love it and probably clap their hands.

  3. What a beautiful zoo! Looks like you all had a great time!

  4. Beautiful pictures. We haven't been to the zoo in over a year. I am so ready to go back. I have no good excuse since it is only 45 mins away from me.

  5. I just love the zoo! Yours is GORGEOUS!!

  6. I am so jealous. This zoo is spectacular! I love the elephants reaching out for the new grass, that's great. Looks like you all had a great day.

  7. that place looks awesome! HOw great for the kids to get to see the animals up close.

  8. The zoo is amazing! Ours is similar (complete with river running through it and natural habitats), though without the aquarium.

    I know it's a hike, but have you been to uShaka in Durban? I got to see it shortly after it opened. That was an amazing place!

  9. It's taken me a while to get over. . . but what a great place! Thanks for sharing Cat!


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