The Pretoria Zoo, formally known as the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, is the largest zoo in the country, and the only one with national status. Founded by JWB Gunning in 1899, the 85 hectare plot of land is separated by the Apies River, and boasts around 6km of pathways that can be covered on foot or by golf cart. A cable car links the top of the hill with a point close to the entrance and offers easy access to the over 600,000 people who visit the zoo annually. Visitors to the zoo can expect to see various species of mammal, bird, fish, invertebrate, reptile, and amphibian species while here.
Rated one of the top zoos in the world, the Pretoria Zoo boasts over 9000 animals in 705 different species. A section at the centre of the zoo is reserved for the African Savannah waterhole with a set of large enclosures for smaller carnivores, as well as cheetah, rhinoceros, giraffe, elephant, horse, and South American mammals. The smaller enclosures house Pudus, lemurs, pandas, small primates, marmosets, tamarins, kangaroos, emus, owls, and breeding units for birds. There are also 6 enclosures for Dholes, lions, tigers, Barbary sheep, Nubian Ibexes, and Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra.
A variety of tours are offered at Pretoria Zoo, from a variety of day tours, to camping and night tours. These tours take place on Friday and Saturday nights, and the night tours are additionally available on Wednesday nights.
- The Aquarium: 50 guests
- The Elephant Indaba: 20 – 50 guests.
- The Flamingo Terrace: 100 – 500 guests.
- The Duku Duku: 60 – 150 guests.
- The Farm Lapa: 20 – 80 guests.
- The Hippo Lapa: 20 - 50 guests.
- The Mandrill: 40 - 80 guests.
- The Waterhole: 100 - 250 guests.
- Chapel: 200 guests seated.
- 2 restaurants, 4 kiosks, takeaways
- Picnic spots and braai facilities
- Craft market at entrance
- Aquarium (notably the largest inland marine aquarium in South Africa)
- Reptile park
- Third largest collection of exotic trees in the country
- Golf carts and prams for hire
- Zoo Choo-Choo