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Topics include Background, Transportation, Dining Scene, South Africa: For Foreign Visitors & more!
Montecasino is a themed shopping center, hotel complex, casino, movie theater, and bird park all rolled into one old Italian Piazza. The number one reason to visit however, is the building itself. The architecture is unique in that everything is imitation. The walls are cracked and airbrushed to look centuries old. The walkways are cobbled paving that gives one the feeling of being outside and all the birds are sculpted and painted and attached to the trees. There are even statues of Italian housewives "looking out" of their "windows" to the streets below while fake laundry hangs of their balconies. Looking upwards and over the imitation chimney tops, one can see that the ceiling is lit up and painted blue to imitate the sky , complete with clouds. In the twilight section the clouds make way for sunsets and stars. It's an eerie feeling being indoors yet surrounded by very lifelike trees, birds, fountains and cobbled streets. They payed incredible attention to detail and even parked an old moped in one shady alley.
The casino itself hosts the usual round of roulette, blackjack and one arm bandits among others. There is also a high class Cinema, and good quality restaurants, nightclubs, candy stores and speciality shops such as a golf specialty store, jewellery store, places selling crystals and minerals, graphic novels and figurines and even jokes and novelties. For those on a budget, there is the semi-outdoor food court which is open to the sky in places but has imitation trees nonetheless. Here you can buy common South African fast food meals and ice cream. For the kids, there is a children's arcade and entertainment area. For corporate conferences they have a boardroom, a ballroom, a conference hall and a semi formal hall like one would see at weddings. Accommodation can be found just outside Montecasino proper at the 5 star Palazzo hotel, Southern Sun Montecasino or the Sun Square hotel.
Near the Entrance of Montecasino is the Bird Gardens. There you can walk around the beautifully landscaped grounds and pond and see stunning bird species up close in shiny green and neon red. Sections are connected by wooden walkways over the pond which elevate guests to be nearer the birds . Most of the birds fly around freely. The predatory birds are of course in enclosures. A small section with snakes, Meer Kats and other land animals is also on show. The highlight of the Bird Park is the Bird Show where you can watch expert handlers and entertainers persuade Eagles, pelicans, Rare Owls and other large birds to swoop in and do tricks for the crowd. The handlers also teach bird and ECO trivia as they handle the birds. Shows used to run at 11:00 13:00 and 15:00 but check with the park before going. +27 11 511 1864 for show times and price.
There is a fee for indoor parking, but entrance to the Casino / Shopping area is free. You will be searched for weapons/illegal gambling devices upon entry. Please stand in the men's or women's line and open your bag.
Gambling is only for persons 18 or older.
Montecasino is at Fourways Junction , on the corner of William Nicol and Witkoppen Road (R564 and R511)