This may sound extremely absurd, but these three meet at the Drakenstein Lion Park in Paarl. The dragon is the place, Drakenstein (‘Draken’ translating to Dragon from Dutch), and it is here where the lion park was established as a haven for neglected and abused lions in captivity. Here they have the opportunity to enjoy a safe environment and have a good quality life.
Cape Town is not really famous for the Big 5, even though there are one or two private reserves with lions, this is probably the closest you will get to these African cats.
The bonus is you can overnight at Ingonyama Tented Camp and enjoy a tented safari experience in the Winelands – a unique experience. You can look forward to 0a traditional South Africa meal for dinner and the beautiful setting will remind you that you are in the Winelands.
If you’d prefer to make this a daytrip – you are also welcome to visit the park as a day visitor. Of course the lions are more docile during the day, as this is when they cat-nap, but if you wait until four in the afternoon, you could enjoy the excitement of feeding time.
This leaves only the chimp. Chimps are the newest addition to the park. They were brought here after Tygerberg Zoo closed and they needed a new safe environment and new home. The lion park then created a Chimp Haven for these new family members.
You can also adopt a lion or a chimp and support the nurturing care they receive at the park.
Of course this is not a complete Big 5 experience, but the drive out to Paarl does deliver on the unique luxury of seeing lions in the Winelands and spending the night listening to their roars.
The park is open daily, except on Christmas day.
Image credit: http://www.lionrescue.org.za/ourlions.htm
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