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Is Cango Wildlife Ranch a zoo?

Leeds, United...
2 posts
Is Cango Wildlife Ranch a zoo?


We are thinking of spending two nights in or around Oudtshoorn in February 2023. We will be coming from Storms River and going onto Franschhoek.

We would like to see some wildlife and in particular big cats, but ideally in as close to their natural environment as possible. We have been put off by Cango Wildlife Ranch as it appears to be a big zoo? Is this the case and is there anywhere else anyone would recommend?

Many thanks

1 reply
Liverpool, UK
Level Contributor
6 477 posts
15 reviews
4 helpful votes
1. Re: Is Cango Wildlife Ranch a zoo?

Yes I think a zoo is a fair description of CWR. If you want to see wild big cats you need to go further east or north and have more time for that. It also depends on your budget if you really want to see wild big cats most are in private reserves and many of those require an overnight stay with guided drives. There are larger fenced reserves with free-roaming lions and, depending where, there may be leopard or cheetah in the reserve but chances of seeing them in a few days is always going to be luck, so do keep that in mind.

Addo Elephant NP has re-introduced lion and hyena to the main area (about 40,000 ha I think) which are as 'wild' as you can find in that part of SA. It has lots of native wildlife and being a National Park you can self-drive (tarmac roads) with a small conservation entry fee so it is the most cost-effective way to see wildlife (as opposed to wild species kept in small fenced areas). There are many private game reserves of varying sizes that stock lions. Some are so small the lions are fed, so like a safari park in the UK. The larger reserves that have better space for true free-roaming and a functioning ecosystem in the Eastern Cape include Shamwari, Amakhala, Kariega, Kwandwe, etc. The Klein Karoo is a drier environment, examples like Sanbona and Inverdoorn have both cheetah and lion.

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