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Pretoria Zoo: Everything You need to Know About Pretoria Zoo South Africa

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Pretoria Zoo is the most popular zoo in South Africa. According to reports, is also one of the eight biggest zoos in the world and one of the most rated zoos. The Pretoria Zoo, also known as The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, was founded in 1899 by J. W. B. Gunning. Pretoria Zoo is located in Pretoria, South Africa. Pretoria is the capital city of South Africa.

ALSO READ: Visiting Kruger National Park South Africa

This 85-hectare zoo situated just 5 minutes outside of Central Pretoria and 5.4 km away from the University of Pretoria (also known as UP, Tuks, or Tukkies) is home to thousands of species including birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and invertebrates. The purpose of this article is to provide useful information such as Pretoria Zoo entrance fee, times, events, animals, trading hours and many more.

Pretoria Zoo History

The National Zoological Garden of South Africa famously known as The Pretoria Zoo was founded by J. W. B. Gunning in 1899. This popular Zoo in South Africa is located at 232 Boom Street, Daspoort 319-Jr, Pretoria, South Africa.

According to Pretoria Zoo official website, the farm Klein Schoemansdal, the property of Z.A.R. president Stephanus Schoeman, was purchased by Johannes Francois Celliers who renamed it Rus in Urbe. In 1895, the state acquired the farm and the zoological gardens was formed at the outbreak of the Second Boer War in 1899. In 1916, it became the official National Zoological Gardens.

Pretoria Zoo Entrance Fee

Many people online frequently ask how much is the entrance at Pretoria Zoo? The National Zoological Garden or The Pretoria Zoo’s entrance fees for 2020 are R 110 per adult and R 75 per child. The entrance fee at the zoo allows visitors to access all sections of Pretoria Zoo including the African Savannah section in the middle, the aquarium and reptile park on the western side, pens on the northern end and the aviary and enclosures of different animals close to the entrance.

pretoria zoo entrance fee to see elephant
Pretoria Zoo elephants / image:

The entrance fee for school groups is R 50 per group from Monday to Wednesday and from Thursday to Friday, the entrance fee for groups is R 75 per person. Your entrance fees will be lowered to R 40 per adult and R 30 per child if you register to become a Friend of the Zoo. As a Friend of the Zoo, you receive two complimentary visits to participate in all hosted events and a reduction of fees for the FUN WALK which takes place monthly.

The Pretoria Zoo membership costs R 125 annually for an individual or R 300 annually for a family. For people who have more than three children, they will be charged an extra R 30 annually per child. We have listed all the Pretoria Zoo fees below for your perusal.

List of Pretoria Zoo Entrance Fees

  • Adults R 110 entrance fee
  • Children (2-15 years old) – R 75 entrance fee
  • Parking fee (per vehicle) – R 25
  • School Groups –  R 75 entrance fee per person

Once you are inside the zoo, you can choose to opt for more fun activities, but there are extra charges that you may become subject to including the following:

  • Hiring a Golf cart for 1 hour for R 100 or pay R 190 for 2 hours
  • Hiring Children’s pushcarts for R 60 – R 80 for a day
  • Camping fee (Children) – R 110
  • Camping fee (School Groups) – R 75
  • Camping fee (Adults) – R 165

Pretoria Zoo Trading Hours

The Pretoria Zoo is open 7 days a week, all year round. Operating hours: 8:30am – 5:30pm. Tickets are sold until 4:30pm.

Pretoria Zoo Animals List

Pretoria Zoo Lion
Lion at Pretoria Zoo / image:

According to their official website, the Pretoria Zoo houses 44 specimens of 7 amphibian species, 309 specimens of 93 reptile species, 388 specimens of 4 invertebrate species, 3,871 specimens of 190 fish species, 1,358 specimens of 202 bird species and 3,117 specimens of 209 mammal species. Some of the animals you can expect to see at the Pretoria Zoo include the following:

  • Tigers
  • Lions
  • Zebras
  • The African Savannah elephant
  • African Penguins
  • The American flamingo
  • African wild dogs
  • Black Eared Marmosets
  • Black and White Ruffed Lemurs
  • Burmese pythons
  • Chimpanzees
  • Giraffe
  • The grey crowned-crane
  • Hippopotamuses
  • Leopards
  • Natterer’s piranhas
  • The okapi
  • The White rhinoceros
  • Southern Ground Hornbills
  • Meerkats

Pretoria Zoo Animal Feeding Times

According to Vibescout, animal feeding times at the Pretoria Zoo are as follows:

  • Bears feeding times is from 9:30 to 10:00
  • Red river hawks are fed at 14:00
  • Feeding times for Sharks are on Wednesday and Sunday at 12:00
  • Lions and tigers are fed at 2:30 on alternate days
  • Penguins are fed 3 times daily at 9:30, 12:00 and 15:30
  • Vultures are fed on Wednesday and Sunday at 14:00
  • Elephants feeding time is at 10:30

Things to carry to the zoo

When planning to visit the zoo, you can take your own food to Pretoria Zoo. You can include other items such as water, sunglasses, camera and wear comfortable shoes for walking. Pets are not allowed inside the Zoo. Other prohibited things on Zoo grounds include grills, roller blades, animal foods, skateboards and bicycles.

Alcohol at the zoo is allowed in private events, however, it must be limited to a specific venue. It is prohibited to walk around the zoo with alcoholic beverages.

Pretoria Zoo Map

Walking from the entrance, you will encounter a walk-through aviary, enclosures for waterbirds, lemurs and chimpanzees, a bird of prey aviary, more bird enclosures and the monkey and baboon enclosures along the western boundary.

At the center of the Pretoria Zoo, a visitor will see large sections set aside for the African Savannah waterhole and a set of large enclosures for smaller carnivores, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, rhinoceroses, Przewalski’s horses and mammals. You will also see smaller enclosures for pudús, red pandas, ruffed lemurs, small primates, kangaroos and emus, owl aviaries, marmosets and tamarins and breeding units for birds.

Against the northern hillside are six large enclosures for lions, dholes, tigers, Barbary sheep, Hartmann’s mountain zebras and Nubian ibexes.

Aquarium 1 and 2, and a reptile park, accessed via a separate entrance can be found in the western section the zoo.

Things to do at Pretoria Zoo

Below are some of the activities you and your family or friends can do at the Zoo:

  • Have a picnic at the zoo
  • Have a braai with friends and family
  • Do fun-walk
  • Weddings and functions at the Zoo
  • Host children’s parties
  • Adopt a wild animal

There’s no doubt that you will have fun at Pretoria Zoo. More than 600 000 people visit this zoo annually. You will see all kinds of your favourite animals including some of the largest reptiles in Africa.

Note: We are not affiliated with the Pretoria Zoo. You can visit for more information.

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