I don't think I've been to a proper zoo since I was 11 years old and we visited the Pretoria Zoo while in the old Transvaal to visit relatives (actual people and not zoo primates). On my recent stay in Johannesburg I decided to take a free morning and head down the M1 to the Johannesburg Zoo to see what it is about.
The Zoo is situated surprisingly close to the Johannesburg City Centre. Established in 1904, it has traditionally been owned and operated by the City of Johannesburg. However nowadays it is a registered Section 21 non-profit organisation. While there I could just not get over the fact that the concrete jungle was in the background the whole time.
The zoo must be an awesome place to take city kids to experience wild animals in close proximity without being divided from them by a tv screen. This was quite evident by the fact that there were hordes of school kids about oohing and aahing at the animals. Not to sound spoiled, but for me it was a little bit boring. The main reason must be that I am used to seeing most of these animals in the wild in game reserves around Port Elizabeth. How fortunate we are down here to have these places so close. But not to take away from the Johannesburg Zoo. They have very good facilities and give kids the opportunity to see what they may never otherwise get to see.