Upon arriving in Johannesburg, the first thing I did was rush straight to Lion Park. The place is about 45 minutes from the airport, and its main attraction is lion cub interaction. I got there at about 2pm, which seemed to be naptime for the adorable baby lions. I was a little bummed about this, but at the same time stoked because I hear the cubs can be a bit aggressive (in a playful way) when they want to be. My normal self would have been okay with that, but not my tired/pregnant/headaching self. I gave the cubs a little bit of love and then headed on my way.
My next stop was the giraffe feeding station. These massive giraffes are just walking around waiting to be fed by eager tourists. There is a platform you can go on to be at eye level with them. Their tongues feel gross and sandpaper-y… like cats times a billion. It was an awesome experience, though.
After feeding the giraffes, I went on the “safari” portion of the park. Basically, you drive around and there are random lions and stuff just chillin. There are fences around the park and people who feed the lions so it’s not like they’re really “in the wild.” After seeing wild lions on a real safari in Tanzania, this one was a bit… sad. It’s crazy such beautiful, powerful animals could be enslaved for my entertainment.
If you pay extra you get to ride around in one of these and watch the lion trainer interact with the big guys. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to watch it from your own car without having to pay. 🙂