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“The best Zoo in Gauteng” 5 of 5 stars
Review of National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

National Zoological Gardens of South Africa
232 Boom Street, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
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Ranked #13 of 74 things to do in Pretoria
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: The large cages at this renowned zoo are home to an expansive collection of animals from all over the world.
Pretoria, South Africa
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“The best Zoo in Gauteng”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

I visit the Zoo every year between December and January with my kids.
It is a must to rent one of the Golf carts - for three hours at least - then you can see the whole zoo, without feeling like you did a marathon.
Only negative point is the location of the zoo, and you seem to worry if your car will still be outside - but, nothing has ever happened, that I am aware of.
I always try to be there before the gates open, not later than 9am, then you still get paring inside the zoo parking area.
We pack a cooler bag with goodies for lunch, and when we want to have lunch, we just go and fetch the food and blankets from the car, in stead of carting everything around.
They have a restaurant for lunches, but usually the queue is too long.
The cable car is a must, you have a good view over the whole zoo.
The zoo is well maintained, and they have a wide variety of animals, and the enclosures are clean.
The aquarium and reptile portion of the zoo is also very good.
One "main" attraction of the zoo, is the "snow cones" they sell - crushed ice with a flavor of your choice - I love the Tiger Blood.
They kids love this outing every year.

Visited December 2012
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192 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“I could have driven the golf carts around all day”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

The zoo was empty during the week and I loved the idea of the carts. It made getting around easy especially in the heat. It was the closest I have gotten to rhinos and hippos which was super cool. They had some unusual animals and some that I have not seen before. I loved the pygmy hippos and long haired monkeys. They had some spectacular birds as well.
I was disappointed by some empty cages(giraffes), plastic and bottles in the streams and the smoking permitted everywhere. I wish it was cheaper so that more people can go to the zoo regularly. . I do believe that the zoo is in need of some renovations and hope that they do it cause it has a lot of potential. The Koala exhibition made me sad cause it looked like it was in need of more trees or more koalas. I have seen them in Australia and this just looked awful. There were lots of stagnant water around the zoo as well. Around the hippos there were six dead birds which some kids were scared to see:( I am not sure what the reason for the dead birds were for.

The food was average but a nice place to bring a picnic basket next time or a bbq. The staff were very helpful and friendly. I would visit again and hope that there were changes made to meet the standards of some of the other amazing zoos in the world.

Visited January 2013
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Paris, France
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Place to go in Pretoria is you have kids”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

A very large zoo, with an amazing number specicies not only from Africa, some exceptional animals like gorillas, white tigers, pandas, rhynos or wolfes. Don't miss the Spring Box

Visited November 2012
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Bridgetown, Barbados
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“A most relaxing visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

I visited the National Zoological Gardens on the pen ultimate day of my departure from South Africa. It was the perfect ending to a perfect visit. The entry fee of 60 Rand was more than reasonable and the surroundings calming in their peacefulness.The huge tree on the left as one enters the zoological environment sets the pace. Having been on several safaris seeing animals in confinement was not the high light of my visit, though I was really ecstatic to be fairly up close to a rhinoceros! I liked the options of walking, taking the cable car or renting a sort of buggy.

Taking a snack is a must, since I found the fare offered to be less than enticing. The toilet facilities were acceptable and spacious and vendors goods, on the outside of the Gardens are worth a look as well.

Visited November 2012
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Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
361 reviews 361 reviews
212 attraction reviews
Reviews in 126 cities Reviews in 126 cities
231 helpful votes 231 helpful votes
“Zoo in transition : good day out”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

This Zoo is like a metaphor for the new South Africa: important, in transition, with some problems, educational, but essential viewing.
There was a number of enclosures that were in the process of being renovated /clean/ awaiting new animals. like most zoos these days , it appeared that funding was an issue , as is the case worldwide, and some parts of the zoo were or appeared empty. Opportunities to increase the revenue for the zoo were limited, as restaurants were empty or closed, and we could not find the gift shop either.
The Cable car was great fun, viewing the animals from overhead, and the ice cream welcome.
The stars were of course the animals, among our favorites were the giraffes, okarpi, seals and the white tiger. All the animals appeared to be well cared for and in roomy enclosures.
Excellent day out in the sunshine.

Visited November 2012
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