Animal Sanctuaries in Gauteng
Johannesburg South Africa

The Best Animal Sanctuaries in Gauteng

March 10, 2021

The city of Johannesburg is often characterized by its fast-paced lifestyle and for being the hub of arts, culture and entertainment in South Africa. It is also home to some of the best animal sanctuaries in Gauteng, making it the ideal destination for animal lovers.

Top animal sanctuaries to visit in and around Johannesburg…

Also known as the ‘nearest faraway place’. This nature reserve is situated within the cradle of humankind. It has over 25 different species of antelope and a variety of other animals like giraffes, cape buffalos, flamingos and many more. The reserve also focuses on a number of endangered species like white tigers. 

With thrilling activities like touching baby crocodiles, exotic snakes and deadly spiders and even zip lining over a crocodile enclosure. This park is perfect for an afternoon of excitement, and adventure suitable for the whole family

Bushbabies is a free-release primate rehabilitation sanctuary. It is home to 90 indigenous primates who roam around in the naturally forested environment of the sanctuary. Its guided tours are both engaging and highly informative. 

The cheetah run at this animal sanctuary offers an opportunity to witness a real-life high-speed cheetah chase. As well as game drives where you can see other animals like the African wild dog, caracal and vultures. 

A trip to this animal park is a fun wildlife adventure outing, where you can see hippos, flamingos, iguanas and many other animal species.

READ: Best National Parks in South Africa

Situated in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, this zoo has about 320 different species of animals. It is one of the ‘closest to nature’ animal sanctuaries in Gauteng and has a lot of fun activities like night and day guided tours.

With a parrot gallery, a frog room and a walk through aviary [which houses over 60 species of birds and small exotic mammals]. These gardens feature beautiful birds like the endangered southern ground-hornbill. 

Houses a variety of animals like the sacred Ibis, collared barbets and a number of buck which often roam around the rocky hills of the reserve. 

READ: Glamping in South Africa

  • Hunyani Snake City

The hunyani reptile breeding centre in Edenvale, Johannesburg is a snake and reptile park where visitors can expect to see cobras, pythons, king snakes and other reptiles like crocodiles. All while being educated about the conservation of the animals. 

Address: 17 Voortrekker Ave, Edenvale, Johannesburg, 1609, South Africa
Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday 9 am – 4 pm
Sunday Closed
Phone: +27 84 916 4737

The elephant sanctuary is said to provide a journey into the world of the African elephant through the guided tours and overall experience. Visitors are able to touch and interact with the elephants in a unique way. 

Address: Dam, Zandfontein, Hartbeespoort, 0216
Hours: Daily 8 am–5 pm
Phone: 012 258 9904

Johannesburg is a world-class South African city. From these animal sanctuaries to theme parks and museums, first time visitors are sure to have a one of a kind experience here. 


  • Reply
    March 16, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    As an animal lover and someone who spent a lot of my time visiting Sanctuaries growing up, this list of recommended places to visit during a South Africa stay is wonderful. I especially love that there are white tigers at the Bothongo Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve — I will make a note of this one in particular, as I also love flamingos, but white tigers are my favourite animal. They are absolutely nowhere to be seen where I reside and no sanctuary nearby has cared for white tigers for quite a number of years, so it would be magical to experience them once more. Thank you for this article and information provided.

  • Reply
    Gabby Maine
    April 29, 2021 at 8:01 am

    While I don’t think I’ll be visiting any Animal Sanctuaries in Gauteng anytime soon since I live in the States, I love reading about them. Animals are so amazing and I love being able to witness them. I’d love to visit one of these places one day though!

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