A Walk With The King Of The Jungle

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
After recently getting half price admission tickets to visit the Lion Park, which was situated near Randburg, Johannesburg, our family decided to take a step into nature one chilly Sunday morning. There were no forecast of rain or hale or extreme heat and so, it was a perfect day for the outing.

We arrived at the Lion Park at roughly 10:30am. We made it a point to arrive fairly early so as not to miss any feeding of the animals and such. Normal admission fees were R130 for adults (around $18.60) and R70 for children above 4 but under 12 (around $10.00). Children under 4 years get to go in for free.
The Lion Park has recently been revamped and houses several animals, split into the herbivores (giraffes, zebras, ostriches and the likes) and carnivores (the lions, cheetahs, hyenas and others). The cub enclosure provided moments of touchy-feely with the young lion cubs. My youngest was especially pleased with stroking the cubs and sitting beside them.

Once we were out of the enclosure, we proceeded further down onto another enclosure where they had the giraffes and the ostriches. We bought R20 worth of feed (about $3.00) and went up to a platform to feed the giraffe at eye level. At first, both kids were hesitant as they found the feeding was a bit icky because the giraffe kept sticking out its tongue to lick the food from their hands. But after a while, I suppose they got the hang of it. You had to put the food fairly near its mouth so the giraffe doesn't have to stick its tongue out for you. :-) My kids also had fun feeding the ostriches.

Afterwards, we went back to the curio shop/restaurant and decided to have a light lunch of sandwiches before heading out through the main park. It was a self-drive and we made sure we followed the "rules" signs of no opening of windows and no stepping out of the vehicle. The first area of the park was just open spaces where we found some zebras, bucks and wildebeests among the bushes. Then we got to enclosures called camps, where the lions, hyenas and cheetahs were kept. We were in luck that the lions were just fed while we were going through their camps and we had a lot of photos of the animals devouring their food. The hyenas and cheetahs were a bit lazy and bloated, probably just after eating, and so we did not see them in action.

All in all, it was a good day, a little de-stressing adventure from city life. There were some other places of note near the Lion Park, like the Lion and Rhino Reserve and the Crocodile Farm. But maybe those places will be part of our next visit.

For more information, please visit the Lion Park.

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