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Experience Africa’s Wild Heart at these Top 5 Animal Parks in Cape Town

You don’t have to make the big move to the Kruger to see all of South Africa’s diverse wildlife. Within an hour’s drive outside of Cape Town, you can visit some of the Cape’s most renowned animal parks and game reserves. Experience the vibrancy and beauty of Cape Town and the wild heart of Africa with ease using your iVenture City Pass.

1. Embark on a game drive at the Aquila Game Reserve

Just 2 hours drive outside of Cape Town is Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa, situated in the rolling plains of the Southern Karoo Highlands. The reserve is home to Africa’s famous Big 5; lions, leopards, elephants, Cape Buffalo, and Rhinos. Perfect for a Cape Town safari, and you’ll definitely want to snap a few pics of the wildlife.

With your premium City Pass, you can experience an authentic game safari for free, valued at R1395. Opt to take the shuttle or drive there yourself, where you’ll be welcomed with drinks on arrival before ushered to a buffet lunch of authentic Cape cuisine. It’s after this that you’ll be whisked away on your game spotting safari.

When you return to the lodge you’ll find there are many other amenities. Feel your troubles melt away at the luxurious spa, or take a plunge in the infinity pool before you make your return to Cape Town.

2. Get cuddly at the Alpaca Loom and barn

A short drive away from Butterfly World is an encounter of a more cuddly kind. The Alpaca Loom and Barn is home to you guessed it. Alpacas! The whole family will love getting acquainted with these fluffy camels, feeding them and petting their soft mops of hair. There are even little crias to fawn over, especially during birthing season. It’s a joy to watch them learn to walk, bottle feed them or cuddle them. Use your City Pass to get access to the barn tour for free.

You can stop for tea and a light lunch at the on-site coffee shop while the kids enjoy the jungle gym outside, and you can even buy some handcrafted alpaca wool clothes and accessories from the gift shop.

3. Spot some toothy grins at the Le Bonheur Crocodile farm

In the same general area, just a short drive outside of Cape Town, are encounters of a more scaly kind! Le Bonheur Crocodile farm gives you the chance to get up close and personal with hundreds of Nile Crocodiles. Your City Pass gives you free access to the park for the day.

The brave can even get face to face with these scaly predators when they go crocodile cage diving. You can also visit the other exotic and local reptiles and snakes on-site. But if you’re looking for something a little more laid back you can try your hand at bass fishing in the lake, grab a bite to eat at the pizzeria or enjoy the self-catering braai spot.

4. It’s all about wine and cats at the Vredenheim Wine Estate and Big Cat Sanctuary

Right in the heart of Stellenbosch’s lush wine route is Vredenheim Wine Estate. They’re not just famous for their wines; the estate is home to a menagerie of animals, and at its core is the Big Cat Sanctuary. Home to both brown and white lions, tigers, caracals and leopards, the estate is a safe haven for these majestic felines. If you arrive at the right moment you’ll get to witness feeding time, at 11:00 and 15:00 respectively.

The big cat tours are every hour on the hour from 9:00; bring your camera and take the time to catch some truly memorable photography of these awe-inspiring animals. With your City Pass, you get once-off free access to the Big Cat Sanctuary, followed by a complimentary wine tasting to get a taste of Vredenheim’s most popular blends. After that, you’re welcome to visit Hudson’s restaurant next door for some 5-star cuisine.

5. Sink your talons into some once in a lifetime Eagle Encounters

Another gem situated in the heart of Stellenbosch is Spier Wine Estate, famous for its sprawling lawns, exquisite wines, and its spectacular bird of prey aviary, Eagle Encounters. Your City Pass gets you to access this wildlife rehabilitation, conservation, education and eco-tourism centre for these fearsome raptors, and visitors from across the world and South Africa love to visit these fearsome feathered friends, many of which have been rescued and treated.

You can simply choose to admire these predatory fowl, but the brave and daring enough can take part in interactive flying shows. Glove on hand, these birds will fly right into your waiting grasp, which is sure to get anyone’s pulse racing. For a less hair raising experience, you’re welcome to venture into the owl enclosure to pet and interact with these nocturnal predators.

When you are done rubbing shoulders with your new feathered friends you can stop by the wine estate for some well-renowned wine tasting experiences and pairings.

South Africa is where the wild things are and Cape Town, with its culturally diverse cityscape, sprawling coastlines and picturesque mountain ranges, is no different. You’re always spoilt for choice for activities on any given day in the Mother City. With your iVenture City Pass, you can access these activities and attractions with unparalleled ease, experiencing Cape Town’s top attractions for free. Check out our City Pass Packages to find the perfect package for your stay, and while you’re at it, take a look at the other top attractions in Cape Town.