Visit to the lion park #JohannesburgNotes

As mentioned in my earlier posts, the temperature in Johannesburg was quite lower than what I am comfortable with. Fortunately though, the sun was out during the weekend and the weather was perfect for our outings.  On our return from Soweto, we’d lazed about the pool for a good while before eventually going indoors!

The plan for Sunday, was a visit to the famed lion park. It sounded quite adventurous but we were assured that the wild animals were in fact bred in captivity and were not free moving, like in a forest reserve. To be clear, captivity meant a few acres of land within an enclosure, for each type of animal. Not cage(s).

We had a leisurely breakfast and then headed to the park, took us about an hour’s ride or so. Once inside, we bought our tickets and waited for our turn to board the vehicle which was going to take us on a safari. The vehicle arrived and I was surprised to see a perky young lady introduce herself as our guide and driver for the afternoon!

The tour was made enjoyable by the sometimes witty, sometimes humorous commentary of our guide! She was really knowledgeable about the habits and habitat of the various animals and gave us some interesting tidbits too, of which I now only remember a few 🙂

  • During the mating season (June- November) the male ostrich’s beak and legs turn pink to attract the female for mating.
  • Artificial salt licks placed at random places, these provide the animals with minerals and salts required for proper growth
  • Big5 of African wildlife – In Africa,the game animals lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo are collectively known as the Big Five

A striking thing about the whole thing was when the lions were being fed! Yes, that scene has stuck with me. The lions are fed once in 2 -3 days and the day we visited was a ‘meal’ day. We were in the lion enclosure when the meal vans arrived. The lions recognise the vans and start to get ready for the meal. It being a Sunday, there were a whole lot of private vehicles that got lined up to view this spectacle 😐 It was like a complete invasion of the privacy of the lions and the scene was almost cringe worthy! It somehow made me sad .. to think that the king of the forest is reduced to this. Anyway, maybe the from the lion’s point of view this arrangement is convenient and as its kept safe from the vagaries of nature it can survive longer! Who knows!! 🙂

Here is a selection of photographs that I clicked using my mobile phone and from within the vehicle. I’ve retained the original aspect ratio (did not zoom/crop) so that you can get a feel of the whole landscape. Some pictures were taken in a high zoom mode as the subject was at quite some distance.

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Zebra..in contemplation mode
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A herd of Cape Buffalo..
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Ostrich..taking a stroll
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African wild dogs.. at their waterhole
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A closer look..
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Can you spot the Cheetah?!
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The landscape..
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A lion with his cub
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Waiting for their meal..
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A lion sharpening the claws just before the meal arrives
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Can you spot the family of lions?
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Another angle..for a better view of the lions relaxing after the meal..
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Young one of a giraffe
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Licking salt… Artificial salt licks are kept for the animals, at random places
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Can there be a forest/nature park without deer!
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The Gemsbok.. an African antelope
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Herd of Sable Antelopes
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Sable Antelope… zoomed in to get a good view

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Another view of the landscape…
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The Black Panther.. in a small enclosure

Apart from these, we also saw different types of hyenas  – spotted and striped ones, but could not get good pictures. Interesting fact is that the different hyenas were in separate enclosures as they cant get along with each other !

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Reached this spot quite late in the day.. it was quite chill and we only managed to spend a few minutes there..

Phew! quite a number of pics even after filtering and re-filtering 😀 Hope you liked the tour 🙂

11 thoughts on “Visit to the lion park #JohannesburgNotes

Add yours

  1. Beautiful landscape! And interesting bit about the salt-licks. 🙂

    They are thankfully not in a cage, but even the enclosure might feel so compressed for them, as compared to the vast forest lands they are used to. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ever since I started working with wild life and conservation I cringe at the thought of wild animals being in enclosures. Away from their natural habitat, albeit in a recreated one. Even though these might be larger.

    But having said that all yours shots are great and I’m sure it would have been quite an experience.

    I’ve seen langurs licking salt for minerals in the natural forests of Madhya Pradesh. Have a lovey video from work too.

    Thanks for sharing this link with me Priya. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes any sort of enclosure is kinda sad.
      Interesting to hear that you work with wildlife and conservation!! I’m imagining it must be challenging but fulfilling at the same time…
      Glad you liked it. Thank you Natasha 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I curate content. It is extremely gratifying and exciting to be in doing so. My company has lodges in the forests of Central India and they work closely with sustainability and eco-tourism.
        They are known as Pugdundee safaris.

        Liked by 1 person

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