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Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve

Review date: 9 July 2006.

We visited the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve on the 9th July 2006, a beautiful sunny highveld day. It is an easy drive from Johannesburg (you should get there within an hour). The first thing we noticed was that there was a long queue of motor-vehicles outside; the ranger later let us know that there is no restriction on the number of vehicles allowed in, and this results in it being crowded with vehicles inside - we were there happy to be on the game drive (cost R650 for 4 people), as the ranger should have right of way. The predators are hand-fed and so you are assured of seeing them if you come at feeding time, as we did (it was at 1300 on a Sunday, but check their website to be sure you go then) - this is a big bonus, but it did feel a bit like cheating. The ranger was fairly knowledgeable, she'd learned the latin names of a number of animals and was friendly. However, there was a problem with the seating and she didn't step in at the start to try and sort it out, us visitors had to do so ourselves. A few of us were taking photographs, and the ranger didn't seem to understand where she needed to stop to optimise the photos given where the sunlight was coming from. The highlight of the trip was visiting the lion cubs, which included 2 of the rare white lions - it is worth going just for this experience. The staff were professional, and didn't allow one to visit the cubs which were older than 10 months or younger than 3 months. At the end of the trip their credit card machine wasn't working, they took down my credit card details but asked that I pay by bank transfer...unfortuanately this arrangement resulted in them double-charging me...but they've promised to sort it out. Overall, I would highly recommend visiting the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve rather than the animals in captivity like those at the Johannesburg Zoo....and definitely go and play with the lion cubs.

Bengal tiger
Blue Crested Crane
Wild dogs

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