Things to Do in Western Cape
Drakenstein Lion Park
4.5
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Drakenstein Lion Park and nearby attractions

See what travelers are saying
  • Wombling_Free_7548
    Bristol, United Kingdom2,079 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Safe space
    Slightly nervous that this wouldn’t be a genuine sanctuary, but it absolutely was. Loads of room for the lions (and one tiger) to roam. Very attractive setting. Would recommend. Happy for tourist prices to subsidise local prices, this is quite common and is clearly advertised.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 27, 2023
  • Shahid D
    Esher, United Kingdom7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hidden Gem
    One of the greatest experiences of my life! I was lucky enough to visit during a quiet period, and got to spend significant one to one time with the furry inhabitants. Shane spent a lot of time with me also, telling me the history and important work being conducted by the team! Each of the animals has a unique story, emphasising the very positive initiative undertaken here in terms of rescuing them from difficult times and looking after them. They all are VERY well looked after and seem very happy - especially at feeding time! Will recommend to everyone I come across - just look at the pictures!
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written November 27, 2023
  • TB
    Villeneuve-Loubet, France10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This sanctuary is a must !
    Ethical and genuine. For anyone willing to visit a respectful sanctuary, this is the place. All lions are rescued from a dark past of captivity. All of them are now provided with spacious enclosures, adapted to their needs. The place is huge and very well managed. The family who runs is fantastic and fully dedicated to the well being of their rescued lion from all over the world. This lion park is a must and it should get all the support needed!
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written November 29, 2023
  • Resort57290698287
    4 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Enjoyable experience
    Visited on a Sunday morning on the drive from Franschhoek to Cape Town. The park is extremely well maintained and each Lion enclosure has details of the Lion's background (most of which seemed to have been pets in the Middle East or from Romania). We were told one story about a Lion being kept on a 14th floor apartment balcony. Madness. As it was hot, we only saw the lions lying down, but a member of staff let us go round to other side of the pen where we could get very close to a couple of Lion cubs. My daughter was fascinated with the cubs. Feeding times are at 4pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If I went back I would go at one of these times as you definitely see the Lions. These people are doing a good job looking after Lions that have been born in captivity and looked after by people who do not know what they are doing.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written March 16, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles220 reviews
Excellent
148
Very good
54
Average
9
Poor
6
Terrible
3

Shahid D
Esher, UK7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
One of the greatest experiences of my life! I was lucky enough to visit during a quiet period, and got to spend significant one to one time with the furry inhabitants. Shane spent a lot of time with me also, telling me the history and important work being conducted by the team!

Each of the animals has a unique story, emphasising the very positive initiative undertaken here in terms of rescuing them from difficult times and looking after them. They all are VERY well looked after and seem very happy - especially at feeding time!

Will recommend to everyone I come across - just look at the pictures!
Written November 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RoseM
55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
Excellent excision. We visited during this lion sanctuary during lion feeding and it was awesome. The only thing separating you from these majestic animals is a 6ft wired fence...you are that close. We saw all different species of lions, including a white lion and a Bengal tiger... A must do!
Written January 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Resort57290698287
4 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Visited on a Sunday morning on the drive from Franschhoek to Cape Town. The park is extremely well maintained and each Lion enclosure has details of the Lion's background (most of which seemed to have been pets in the Middle East or from Romania). We were told one story about a Lion being kept on a 14th floor apartment balcony. Madness.

As it was hot, we only saw the lions lying down, but a member of staff let us go round to other side of the pen where we could get very close to a couple of Lion cubs. My daughter was fascinated with the cubs.

Feeding times are at 4pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If I went back I would go at one of these times as you definitely see the Lions.

These people are doing a good job looking after Lions that have been born in captivity and looked after by people who do not know what they are doing.
Written March 16, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nel911
213 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022 • Family
Saving animals from human abuse is always a project that I can back.

Ticketa also dubble as entrance tickets to the ape enclosure next door.

There are also goats that kids can feed and pet.

The park is big. Its neat and wrll kept. Ample seating with umbrellas. A play area for kids too.

A few things to keep in mind before visiting.
Make sure the weather is not too hot. The animals arent as active and you most likely wont see half.
Check feeding times. This might help also to be able to see them out and about knwoing its their feeding time.

Then in regard to park safety; everything looks well and safe. The onky issue Ive found was the overhead lookout points - their wood planks are lifting and the stairs are quite wobbly. This could result in unsteady footing or someone to fall.

Other than that, we will recommend.
Written February 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jane P
Mortain, France121 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Lions, a few tigers and other big cats, including white lions to be seen in large paddocks with natural flora, and as free as they can be while in captivity. Many have really sad stories behind their origins and now they are somewhere safe. Fed on dead chickens three times a week - it is good to go during the feeding times to see the lions acitve. The keepers care very much for them and would love some extra donations so they could afford to give the lions red meat more often.
Written April 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TB
Villeneuve-Loubet, France10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Friends
Ethical and genuine. For anyone willing to visit a respectful sanctuary, this is the place. All lions are rescued from a dark past of captivity. All of them are now provided with spacious enclosures, adapted to their needs. The place is huge and very well managed. The family who runs is fantastic and fully dedicated to the well being of their rescued lion from all over the world. This lion park is a must and it should get all the support needed!
Written November 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Leighleeco1992
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2016 • Business
I went there with my kids and there were absolutely no lions or tigers. All I had to hear all the time was the Lions are asleep instead of feeding them or telling me when to visit on the days that the Lions are fed so I could actually see them as I booked well in advance. so I couldn't even take pictures of anything . The tour advisor who assisted us was shouting at my kids the entire time telling them to keep quiet as they are naughty and out of hand . I'm not impressed and wouldn't recommend anyone to this place. I would rather go to vredenheim lion park as there were well equipped friendly educated staff and actual lions I could see. This park has poor facilities and I had to look for everything . When I asked for assistance I was told what to do rather than guided from one point to the next. So disgusted with this false advertising and poor service. Won't come again or recommend .
Written September 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike-and-Lis
Syracuse, NY44 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Couples
I wish TripAdvisor would have a separate ratings designation for legitimate non-for-profit organizations. Maybe, 1-5 hearts instead of stars. Even so, we’d give Drakenstein Lion Rescue Sanctuary 5 stars AND 5 hearts. My fellow Americans, please note, however, this is NOT a Disneyland/theme-park-type-venue, designed for the entertainment of tourists. The welfare of the lions is priority #1 always at Drakenstein Lion Park. This is the real deal. Anyone caught harassing one of the lions is briskly escorted off the premises. That said, we found the entire staff to be very welcoming and friendly.

The big cats (mostly lions, one tiger) all have heartbreaking past histories, which you may or may not choose to read on signs posted above their habitats. It is uplifting to see them now: relaxed, content, healthy and comfortable. Their coats and manes are downright luxurious! Their eyes are bright and alert. They have lots of open space in tall, natural field grasses and wildflowers. We were deeply comforted to see their dignity restored. All fences are in excellent repair. The grounds are scrupulously clean and well organized, surrounded by farms with the mountains in the background.

Lion Feeding time was an event! When 33 large carnivores anticipate dinner—it can be felt in the air! (For those of you who may have concerns, rest at ease that the lions are not fed live-prey)

Evaluated on its’ own unique terms, our tent-camp overnight experience was exceptional! We enjoyed this one-of-a-kind opportunity thoroughly. We understand that Drakenstein Lion Park is not trying to compete with the Big-5 Safari Resort Lodges, but rather, reaching out to people who love lions and camping. It was beautiful at sunset.

Our canvas tent was clean and comfortable. All in good repair. Having the opportunity to hear lions roar at night is a rare treat.

As we were the only ones camping that night, we felt honored to have The Park Foreman, Kaarl, join us for dinner. We enjoyed his company immensely. He served us generous portions of a variety of meats—cooked authentic down-home South African Braai style—with a large baked potato, roll & salad. Reasonably-priced honesty bar was also available for beverages/beer/wine. That morning, hot water was ready for instant Coffee/Tea along with rusks, all very nicely set out for us.

We’ll remain inspired by the strength of their commitment. We’ll never forget our time there.
Written October 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jenny C
Ireland6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Couples
My husband and I visited Drakenstein today and were truly amazed by the work being done here. It is heartbreaking to read the stories of the lions past however it is great to see them in a place like this where they can spend the remainder of their lives happy, comfortable and free from abuse. They have plenty of space in their enclosures, some are on their own and others are paired up if they get along. The park appears to rely on visitors and donations to run the park and the R100 ticket price goes directly to the lions. The staff are so friendly and knowledgable and will answer any questions you have, it's also worth trying to be there for feeding time where you can walk around the park after the staff and watch as each lion is fed, they are very active and vocal during this time! Definitely worth a visit, if I'm ever lucky enough to be back in Cape Town I will definitely visit again! Keep up the good work guys :)
Written September 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mel427
San Antonio, TX69 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Friends
As a traveler from North America, I had very low expectations for this excursion, but our guide suggested that we would learn a lot about lions in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent.
The lions are fed on MWF. We arrived early on a non-feeding day. Because there were no other visitors yet in the park, we had the undivided attention of Chevon, one of the lions' caretakers and a woman who knows a great deal about lions in general and her lions in particular. She ended up walking around the park with us, introducing us to the lions, telling us their histories and describing their temperaments. She added so much to our enjoyment and education. At the first enclosures, the lion couple were sleeping happily in the sun, and Chevon prepared us for the possibility that we would be seeing a lot of sleeping lions, that lions sleep most of the time. So when the next enclosure offered a lion and two lionesses, all of whom were awake, walking around and, eventually, having lion sex, we felt like we might have come on a good day. We met a lioness who chases the train when it runs along the track next to the park. We watched Jack, a special friend of Chevon, walk right up to the fence where he stood three feet from us looking at us looking at him. Then he turned around, walked to the top of his own hill and went to sleep.
This park is a place that makes one feel hopeful about the future for captive born lions in Africa and elsewhere. The park houses many lions rescued from zoos in Romania! The lions have space and companionship, so they can do what they like to do.
If this had been the only wildlife encounter of our ten day trip, we would have felt that our brief visit to Africa was a success. I respect the work they are doing, the way they respect the animals in their care.
Written July 9, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 186
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Drakenstein Lion Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about Drakenstein Lion Park

According to Tripadvisor travelers, these are the best ways to experience Drakenstein Lion Park:



All Western Cape HotelsWestern Cape Hotel Deals
All things to do in Western Cape
Amusement Parks in Western Cape
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars