My kids are animal lovers and love animal encounter outings but I am very cautious to ensure that the experiences we visit are ethical. Here are our Favourite Animal Outings around Cape Town.
Drakenstein Lion Park
Drakenstein Lion Park is home to rescued lions from abusive situations and is an incredible sanctuary providing lifetime care in a safe environment and providing the animals with compassion and the respect they deserve.This is truly an incredible experience while supporting a worthy cause. Click here to read more.
Old Paarl Road (R101), Paarl | Tel: 021 – 863 3290 | lionrescue.org.za
Eagle Encounters is a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation, conservation, education and eco-tourism centre based on the Spier Wine Farm. This is a rehabilitation centre for birds of prey that have been injured, poisoned, abused or hand-reared. Once they are fit and healthy and able to hunt and breed they are released back into the wild. Only hand-reared birds are kept for education purposes. Eagle Encounters has two missions: rehabilitation and education. Click here to read more.
R310 Baden Powell Rd, Stellenbosch | Tel: 021 – 809 1100 | www.eagle-encounters.co.za
Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness Centre
The Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness Centre is a lovely animal experience for kids and lots of fun for the whole family. It provides an educational experience on African wildlife and bird species. Education is the main focus with a wildlife educational programme where the conservation message is conveyed in an appealing way to the little ones. Click here to read more.
Old Paarl Road (R101) & R304, Stellenbosch | Tel: 021 – 884 4506 | www.giraffehouse.co.za
Imhoff Farm: Higgeldy Piggeldy Farmyard
Higgledy Piggeldy Farmyard is located on Imhoff Farm next to the Blue Water Cafe, a fun family café with spectacular mountain and oceans views overlooking Noordhoek Beach. There is an entrance to Higgeldy Piggeldy from the back garden at the cafe. The farmyard is one of the best petting zoos I have seen. There are lots of animals to pet and feed. The kids will absolutely love it. Mine did and we spent ages feeding the animal and having a good laugh at some of them too. The Blue Water Cafe is set in a lovely secure garden for the little ones to play in and has a magical faraway tree with tree house, a slide and jungle gym.
Kommetjie Road, Kommetjie | Tel: 021 – 783 4545 | www.imhofffarm.co.za
Penguins @ Boulders Beach
Boulders beach is home to an endangered colony of the cutest African Penguins, one of the only colonies in the world, it’s impossible not to fall in love with these adorable waddling webbed birds. Boulders beach forms part of Table Mountain National Park and consists of three pristine beaches. It is a wonderful beach for children as the massive boulders protect the waters from wind, waves and currents and provides a calm swimming environment. The water is also warmer and you will find small rock pools and sandy coves to explore, perfect for the little ones to play in. Click here to read more.
1 Kleintuin Rd, Boulders Beach, Simons Town | Tel: 021 – 786 2329
Sanccob Rehabilitation Centre for Seabirds, Table View
SANCCOB is a non-profit sea bird rehabilitation centre. Their aim is conserve and protect sea birds and other sea life, especially threatened species like the African Penguin. If you have a love for Penguins they offer a Behind the Scenes Tour by a trained guides. You will get the opportunity to experience the working life of a busy seabird hospital to see how the birds are cared for, treated and fed and if you are lucky you could have the opportunity to have a personal encounter with a penguin. If you love seabirds then this is must for you.
Behind the Scenes Tours: Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm, Sunday 10am – 2pm. The tour includes a 20 minute tour of the facility and 40-minute activity with an ambassador bird. Booking essential: [email protected] or Tel: 021 – 557 6155
22 Pentz Drive, Table View | Tel: 021 – 557 6155 | www.sanccob.co.za
Two Oceans Aquarium
The aquarium displays over 3000 marine species including sharks, fish, turtles and penguins with large viewing windows. The displays are well laid out and presented with educational information on all species and raised viewing platforms for children. There is an interactive Touch Pool and a Microscope Exhibit offering a hands on opportunity to touch kelp, starfish, anemones and hermit crabs. The little ones will love the puppet show which takes place daily, three times a day at 10:30am, 1:30pm and 4pm downstairs in the AfriSam Children’s Play Centre, where they can also create artwork and play. Click here to read more.
Dock Road, V&A Waterfront | Tel: 021 – 418 3823 | www.aquarium.co.za
World of Birds
Set in a tropical garden there are over 3000 birds and small animals to view of 400 different species. You can watch the penguins, pelicans or birds of prey being fed or have a personal encounter with a monkey. The cheeky squirrel monkeys provide plenty of entertainment, the kids will absolutely love this experience. The Monkey Jungle is open from 11:30am to 1pm, and 2 to 3:30pm. The talking parakeet with have your children in fits of laughter. Click here to read more about exploring in Hout Bay. Open daily from 9am – 5pm.
Valley Road, Hout Bay | Tel: 021 – 790 2730 | www.worldofbirds.org.za