At the Pretoria Zoo with a 50mm 71/365

04.09.2012 between 10:55am and 1:51pm 

Day 2 of my home holiday and I took the boys to the Pretoria Zoo for a few hours. It was fun, dusty, hot and very dry… and also the first time that I’ve ever been there!! I was looking forward to seeing animals that weren’t in the Joburg Zoo… and that didn’t disappoint… we loved the komodo dragon, Okapi and the koalas and the red kangaroos.. and of course the sharks and fish in the aquarium.

We also LOVED the cable car, and the view of the city from the top of the “mountain”, and the walk down the “mountain” past the ground hornbills.

Komodo dragon at the Pretoria Zoo

OMW these school kids drove me batty at the shark tank. Their teachers were nowhere to be seen, and everytime the poor sharks swam around their tank, the kids would scream on top of their voices!!

Cable car at the Pretoria Zoo

As close as he’s going to get to a leopard :)

Love the reflection of the cable car cables in Bradley’s glasses, while we went up the hill

Cable cars at the Pretoria Zoo

Hey that’s me…. taken by Bradley in the cable car

The view from the top was magnificent and we could even see the Union Buildings (which I’ve also never ever seen IRL… I really need to drive to Pretoria more often)

View of Pretoria from the Zoo

The hornbill enclosure was at the top of the ridge

On the way down…

What we didn’t love… many of the food and ice cream stalls were closed today, as were a few of the loos… big problem with kids on a hot day.    We also didn’t love the main restaurant area… it’s really shabby compared to Joburg Zoo.  We didn’t love that many of the pathways were closed and that many of the animal enclosures were empty and pretty small (seriously, what’s a zoo in Africa without a LION??!!).  We didn’t love that it felt run down… although I’m hoping that the closed walkways means they are fixing it up!

But we did love the day… it was an adventure!

PS.  I did regret only taking the 50mm lens in the end, but glad I didn’t have to carry a heavy camera bag

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7 Responses to At the Pretoria Zoo with a 50mm 71/365

  1. cat@jugglingact September 5, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    They are constantly busy with upkeep there and a lot of the small enclosures are not used anymore and the areas will be changed – I saw a masterplan the other day. The lions are in fact right at the top in one of those huge enclosures (next to the tigers) – the one closest to the cable way if you have walked around the path down “one level”. They have so much space that you sometimes do not even see them – like a whole little smallholding.

    Pretoria has much to offer – let me know if you come again and we make a plan to see each other.

  2. cat@jugglingact September 5, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    And the restaurant is really crappy – the operator is so bad. We always take a picnic – there are plenty nice little shady places to picnic.

  3. Avril (Mom) September 5, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Fun day out!!! Love the pics – komodo dragon is huge (like B’s reflection on glass) – photo of you and C is really lovely !

  4. alida September 5, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    You are so lucky to have seen the leopard so close. Every single time I’ve been he’s been snoozing in his hammock so all I see is his tail and the tips of his ears.

  5. Janet September 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    I haven’t been to the Pretoria zoo since Stacey was a little girl. Somehow I thought I was nicer than the Jozi one, but that was a long time ago :) Glad you had a fun day and are getting to spend some time with your boys! Enjoy the rest of your break!

  6. Mrs FF September 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    Lovely pictures. I am not a zoo or animal person so going to the zoo or on a safari not on the top of my to do list.

    But going to Union building that I would recommend anyday. I think I have been there at least 10 to 15 times in the last 3 years. The garden is beautiful (always well kept) and I am sure your mum would love it, the view of Pretoria from the top is amazing and the building itself is nice. Just make sure you take different zoom lenses along to be able to take various pictures and pack a picnic basket if you want to make it a longer trip. Another tip please visit during the jacaranda season (which I am sure is anytime from October)

    You might also want to know that during wedding season there are sometimes up to 3 couples taking their wedding pictures in the gardens on saturdays and definitely lots of tourists.

  7. Angel September 16, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    You didn’t see the lions!? They were always up on the hill near the end of the cable car…
    I like Pretoria Zoo more than Johannesburg Zoo… although JHB Zoo was hectically under construction when we were there last.