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Lory Park Zoo, Midrand (JHB)

Kids love animals.

You just need to mention the word “lion” or “tiger” and their little eyes light up with glee and anticipation
We have already reviewed the JHB Zoo, and of course it scores well as an outing for the little ones.

You can only do the JHB Zoo so many times though, before other animal-themed options need to be found.
Lory Park Zoo then, presents a refreshing alternative if it’s animals that you want to see.

Date last visited

January 2011

Location and Setting

If it's JHB and Pretoria that you are considering, then Midrand is about as central as you can get.
...Meditation time...
Lory Park Zoo is situated at 180/1 Kruger Road, President Park, Midrand, in and among other agricultural holdings.
It sits almost directly underneath the flight path of small aircraft departing from and arriving at Grand Central Airport, so if you are an avid aviation-type person, this would be an added bonus for you...
...and when the kids get bored of the animals, just look up at the sky and point out the aircraft as they fly by :)

Directions can be found on their website at

For the kids...

It's a zoo - nuff sed :)
Ok that's not entirely true - Lory Park has a selection of some unique and fascinating animals, and the layout of the walkways and cages allows you to get up close and personal with some serious players in the animal world.
This allows for some awesome photo opportunities, and at times you forget yourself as you stand motionless, admiring the incredible sight of a Siberian Tiger as it paces back and forth only one or two metres in front of you... better hope that mesh in between you is made of sturdy stuff!

Lory Park is a sanctuary and a haven for many animals, including big cats (tigers, cheetahs, lions, jaguars, leopards, pumas), small cats (caracals, ocelots, servals), canines (foxes, jackals), primates (lemurs, monkeys), tortoises and birds (parrots, birds of prey).

Speaking of birds of prey, you can also get up close and personal with owls in their enclosure - you don a leather glove and head on in.
Lift up your arm and they just flock in to grab some grub off you. Drop your arm again and they're gone.
Very cool!

This is SO the life...
For the adults...

Growing older doesn't mean that you have to lose your appreciation for nature - and thank heavens for that, because the animals at Lory Park Zoo are as much a treat for the adults as they are for the kids.

As I mentioned above, Lory Park is a sanctuary for many animals, some of them on their way to larger facilities or different habitats.
That means that you are likely to see different animals on subsequent visits, which is always a good thing.
For example, the super-cute tiger cubs in the photo below were at the zoo during our visit in 2008, but are no longer there now (or they are just a whole lot larger :).

There is also a small Tea Garden at the zoo, but when we were there they were only functioning as a kiosk where you could get a colddrink, a chocolate or some chips etc.
According to the menu on their website though, they do offer a light meal or refreshment in between your fix of wildlife.

Anything else?

Depending on the timing of your visit, you can see the cats getting bottle-fed or as in the photo below, getting treated to a dose of fly-repellent :).
For R50 extra you can also go into some of the enclosures (cubs only, of course), for a hands-on experience with these incredible creatures.

Lory Park Zoo also offers other services like bird food sales, bird wing and nail clipping, bird lodging etc.
Best to contact them directly for any queries along these lines.

Final words

There isn't really much else to be said, that quite describes seeing big cats so close up.

For example, there is a jaguar at the zoo who was rather reclusive during our visit.
I always thought jaguars were pure black, but there is in fact a subtle yet discernible pattern on their skin that is visible from certain angles.
I am no game ranger (I run away from small spiders), so I do not know if all jaguars have this characteristic, but it was something quite fascinating to see.

For a refreshing animal-themed outing, Lory Park Zoo delivers a unique and memorable experience, and you will leave wanting to come back again soon.

Getting in touch


011 315 7307


011 312 2364


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About Plebs with Kids

Plebs with Kids visits mainly JHB-based venues, coffee shops, restaurants, play areas and other such establishments.

We rate their kid-friendliness (among other things :) for your convenience, and for the next time you need a place to go, while knowing that your little ones are well catered for.

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