Ever since I can remember Aryan has had a unique interest in wild animals. He roared like a lion even before he could talk and he could identify and name wild animals in books long before anything else. We, therefore, made a point out of it to visit the zoo at least once every year and it has always been a highlight for Aryan – the excitement and awe on his face is just marvelous. We usually visit Lory Park Zoo in Midrand simply because it is much smaller than your usual Zoo and Aryan could still see his favorites – the wild cats. This year, however, Aryan’s interest moved beyond the lions to all wild animals including elephants, giraffes, zebras, rhinos and hippos all of which he has never seen in real life. We decided that it is time to take him to a ZOO where he could step into the pages of all of his animal books and experience them for a day.
We eventually decided on Johannesburg Zoo since we also wanted to try our new the Entertainer App and they had a buy one get one free offer for Johannesburg Zoo – Bonus! Aryan was super excited and told me the names and sounds of all of his favorite animals all the way there and when we finally arrived, he jumped out of the car and into his stroller – he hates his stroller.
Within minutes we were guided to a pay point and I were pleasantly surprised at their entrance fees! Only R90 an adult and kids under 3 enter free. It turned out to be a super affordable outing since we only had to pay R90 entrance – yay for our 2 for 1 offer thanks to the Entertainer app and you are allowed to take in your own picnic basket and drinks.
We were greeted with excitement at the entrance and even had a family photo taken and then our adventure started. The Zoo was neat and tidy and Aryan loved the freedom he had to run around, climb and play. 90% of the cages were occupied and we were able to see most of our favorites – Aryan loved the bears, lions, elephants and rhinos and my favorite was the aquarium. They also had a few different play areas spread across the zoo which really helped when we needed a break. We spent the entire day there and made sure to visit all of Aryan’s favorites before the day got the best of him and he passed out, to which my husband and I enjoyed the smaller details of the zoo without having to run after our own little monkey.
If you do not want to take your own picnic basket and drinks, food and drinks are being sold inside the Zoo and from what I could see were very reasonable. They also turn your family photo into fun fantasy photos and you can buy your family package at the exit for R390 – this includes 4 postcard sized fantasy photos, 1 smaller photo, one large A3 sized photo, 2 keyrings, some fridge magnets for the kids and stickers as well as a special photo code that gives you access to your photos online.
I have to admit, I were a little nervous about visiting after reading some reviews, but I am happy to say all-in-all we had a lovely, fun-filled day and a very positive experience. We will be back and it’s definitely a must if you are looking for something fun and affordable to do with the kids this holiday. Visit http://www.jhbzoo.org.za for more information.