School Holidays are upon us, with the German and American schools first to break up, the government schools arent far behind, and then mid term break, followed by the August holiday for the private schools. There is so much to do and see in Joburg an Pretoria at this time of year, so for the next few weeks we will share our favourite places, great for teenagers, toddles and whole family day trips.
Winter provides great opportunity for incredible game viewing due to it being so dry. So this week we are sharing the well known spots (plus a few hidden gems) for the Animal Enthusiast.
If you are out and about - please share where using hashtag #translatingjoburg so we can add your hideaways to the list.
Pilanesberg National Reserve
2.5 hours from North West of Joburg.
Take a day trip, camp or stay in one of the lodges. Either have a guide, or self drive option, either way ensure you take either a picnic or sundowners, up to the highest point of the Lenong Loop - you feel like you're on top of the world!
If you want to eat there - Bakubung Lodge’s restaurant is open to day visitors, and kid friendly too!
The Lion Park
Just north Fourways, Johannesburg, South of Pretoria.
A cross between Zoo and Game Park - the Lion Park provides you with close encounters to number of predators, such as Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, and Wild Dog.
The experience is unlike a safari - you don't need to wait for hours to ’spot’ something, so its easier for the kids to get excited and stay engaged. You can either go out on a big truck, or self drive. Then you can go and stroke/ touch the lion cubs, grab some lunch, or even set up a braai (we did this last time we had visitors in town - its a beautiful spot)
I am still not 100% of the ethics behind the park, and there was a death last year - people didnt close their windows! But go make your own mind up, you will either love or hate it!
For further information visit the Lion Park website.
Working Diary Farm, lovely restaurant and great farm shop. Lovely place for brunch followed by a stroll through the grounds.
For more information visit their website here
30 Minutes north Pretoria,
Home to big 5, take a self drive, or book one of the game drives through one of the lodges on camp. Alternatively you can go with your own guide Luze from Spirited Adventures offers private tours.
Further information on Dinokeng Reserve website.
Personally we are yet to go to Pretoria Zoo, living directly opposite Joburg Zoo for 5 years, we never made it anywhere else! But I have heard the aquarium is great and what child doesn’t love lights and fish! We may even catch the Gautrain and then the bus - a day full of buses, trains and animals sounds like a perfect day for my kids.
More information on the Pretoria Zoo webiste here.
Our kids have all grown up going weekly to the zoo and adore spotting the animals, running around and the many playgrounds. We have also taken them to the various events, such as Breakfast with the Lions, Night Tours and Camp outs, all have give behind the scenes access and remarkable value for money.
Sadly you aren't allowed to take in scooters or bikes, however you can head across the road to Zoo Lake, and cycle / scoot around the lake, feed the ducks or head to Moyo for a coffee.
Check out the latest events and information on the zoo here.
Montecasino Bird Garden
Love or hate monte casino, the bird garden is a big hit with our kids! They run two shows daily, and we nearly always head here at least once during the holiday.
More info on their website - Montescasion Bird Garden Or email email@example.com
Toddlers Pick - Bryanston Munch Garden Centre
In the garden centre is a pet shop, so the kids can interact with the bunny rabbits, walk through all the fish, snakes, geckos and lizards. Before you ahead over for a coffee and run around on the jungle gym.
Where are your favourite places to take the kids to see the animals? Share with us in the comments below.