National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

National Zoological Gardens of South Africa
4
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
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The large cages at this renowned zoo are home to an expansive collection of animals from all over the world.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
638 reviews
Excellent
234
Very good
229
Average
109
Poor
40
Terrible
26

Luke P
Plettenberg Bay, South Africa6 contributions
Apr 2023
What a sad visit. Many enclosures overgrown with weeds, many empty, with no signs or explanation. Many enclosures had animals but no signs. Case in point: the condors were clearly condors, next to the Bald Ibis, but no signs. There were many others too. The Gymnogenes looked sad - no, batshit crazy - and clearly just wanted to escape their tiny enclosure, along with many other animals. Some signs were spelled incorrectly - eg Wolfs/ Wolwe instead of Wolves/ Wolwe. The ‘Wolfs’ sign had fallen down and was lying, soggy, inside the wolf enclosure where I guess it will still be in ten years’ time. There were many signs, on huge billboards, to the ‘Sundail’ (sic) and even on the official map, ‘Sundial’ was spelled ‘Sundail’. It is a central meeting-point. Many displays were haphazard, South American animals next to Madagascan Lemurs, no logic to it. Apart from that, many animals just looked terribly depressed, and were just waiting to die. Saddest of all was the Red Kangaroo, all alone unless there was a partner in the shed somewhere. He was just lying, looking injured, chest red from scratching/ a rash. A baby fallow deer was lying, looking very cute in the grass, until you saw the huge red wound on her bum. Nowhere were there any staff to point this out to. There was one worker but he was overly busy feeding all the animals. I must say they looked fed and watered (except for the Red Kangaroo which was very thin.) There was litter everywhere - the place is clean by South African standards, but filthy compared to anywhere overseas. There was litter, with many plastic bottles, in the wild dog enclosure. I see from a 2022 post that this is nothing new. Oozing through the centre of the zoo is the smelly, grey-green, incredibly polluted Apies River. Plastic absolutely everywhere and there is a whole whirlpool of it near one bank. Not the zoo’s fault, but it certainly doesn’t help. The overriding impression is the no-one at the zoo has the least idea about animals, about marketing or spelling, or about management of a complex organisation. Sadly, too, the place was full; full of children learning that THIS is how you treat animals. Top ten zoos in the world? I think not. This zoo is not in the top hundred; there are easily ten zoos in Australia way better run than this one. Will not be back.
Written 30 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Natalie
1 contribution
Apr 2023 • Family
Not what it was. Many facilities and enclosures are closed. Disappointing to see litter thrown into some enclosures, and shows such a lack of care from the public. The wild dog and tiger enclosures were full of litter. I was sad to see the leopard in such a small space. The river that flows through is so polluted and filled with litter it is such an eye sore, and the smell is horrendous. I do hope that the building material that we saw are signs of improvements to come. Overall just a big disappointment and far from the place that I remember during my childhood.
Written 30 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gene R J
Silver Spring, MD8,929 contributions
Feb 2023
We arrived here with our rental car at 9:30AM on Monday and parked in the zoo lot. After paying 240r admission and 30r parking, we used the restrooms, reviewed the large map and proceeded to the huge Moreton Bay fig tree across the large flocks of American and Chilean flamingos, then on to see the cages and pens up to the Apies bridge. After crossing to see the hippos, we continued upward in a broad circle of large enclosures to see all the wild sheep, antelopes and rhinos, ending back at the bridge to continue in the main park.
After 2+ hours, we saw plenty of animals at feeding time to justify our admission and felt very positive about the efforts to run/maintain this 200 acre property. While we were happy to walk ~5km, others may choose to rent the golf carts for 150r/hour with a 200r deposit.
Written 27 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fatima M
Johannesburg, South Africa10 contributions
Dec 2022 • Family
The Pretoria Zoo has really lost its gem. One was the best tourist attraction has now turned bad. No feeding at proper time. No animals its a sad site
Wish it improves
Written 9 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Da-mien Bezuidenhout
Pretoria, South Africa2 contributions
Oct 2022 • Family
A once beautiful zoo has turned into such a sad attempt to entertain people. The cableway did not work and was in terrible state. The Australian themed section was permanently closed. There was a lot of animal displays missing. The Pretoria Zoo can be an incredible experience if maintenance could just attend properly. Despite all the issues above, we did have a nice picnic on beautiful green grass. There is a lot of food stalls to buy a quick bite or drink. The restrooms is usable. Try to get there early to park near the zoo, because the street is super dangerous to park in.
Written 7 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Arshad M
South Africa15 contributions
Dec 2022
Getting out to see the animals was great, however, since my last visit which was a year ago, there is substantial degradation of facilities. The cableway to the top of the lion enclosure was not functional and in a terrible state of disrepair. The Australian themed animal enclosure was permanently closed, and many of the other animal enclosure were empty.
Written 3 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pieter D
4 contributions
Feb 2022
My wife and I visited the Pretoria Zoo with friends on 2 February 2022 and were pleasantly surprised at how well everything is maintained and how well the animals are cared for, despite the challenges of Covid.
My last visit was 10 years ago and while it is true that there are fewer animals and some enclosures are empty for a variety of reasons, our overall experience was great and the visit was one of the highlights of our road trip.
In spite of rapid growth, due to the heavy rains, the gardens were well maintained and workers were labouring throughout the day to clean up and beautify the gardens. The enclosures are clean and spacious.
We spent 5 hours exploring the zoo by golf cart and it was well worth the visit.
The staff are to be commended for their friendliness and devotion to their work.
Written 7 February 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

debbie l
Durban, South Africa16 contributions
Jan 2022 • Friends
Very disappointing trip to what boasts to be the largest zoo in SA. My last visit was 15 years ago & it has definitely degraded since. The gardens, enclosures, tanks & facilities are poorly maintained with many being uninhabited. There is zero Covid protocol being policed with many people crowding together unmasked. I would not recommend this place to anybody who is actually wanting a positive & enjoyable visit to view animals & reptiles
Written 6 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin L
Centurion, South Africa130 contributions
Nov 2021 • Family
For visitors who have been before, the deterioration is very evident. After cANCer had set in, this was probably inevitable but it’s still sad to see.

For young kids, the animals are still exciting to see and there are still plenty of exhibits to enjoy, even though you will find broken bottles, alcohol bottles, pig sty-ish picnic areas with little scattered all over.

Many of the main attractions are gone, the enclosures left to fade into dilapidation. Many of the enclosures with animals in them are visibly neglected.

Other than that, the experience is worthwhile for kids, but the place needs a lot of time and money put in to make it world class, sadly money that is usually looted by the corrupt state.
Written 7 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ntombi C
Centurion, South Africa40 contributions
Sep 2021 • Couples
Beautiful and peaceful with more amazing wildlife 110 entrance parking 25 car hire Small one for 4 people 100 rental plus 200 refundable at the end of the trip 😀
Written 19 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (Pretoria) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

National Zoological Gardens of South Africa is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM