City of Joburg

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo

Johannesburg Zoo


All queries should be channelled through the call centre, Joburg Connect, which can be contacted 24 hours, seven days a week, on 0860 56 28 74 or 011 375 5555 For each query, you will get a reference number. Make sure you keep this number so that you can follow up your query. Email: Facebook Instagram Youtube


Operating hours

The Zoo is open 365 days of the year!
Business Hours are 8:30am to 5:30pm, last entry 4:00 pm

Fee structure


Joburg Zoo no longer accepts cheques. If your school uses cheques, please deposit your cheque into the following account:

Bank Name: Standard Bank
Account Name: City of Johannesburg: City Parks Main
Acc Number: 0000197122
Reference: Name of school

Two to three days before you visit the zoo, kindly bring your proof of payment and provide accurate contact details.


The Zoo offers day and night tours that will take you on a special adventure you'll never forget! Packed with information, these are fun ways to get to know our animals. It's lots of fun for the whole family.


The Johannesburg Zoo is located at the corner of Jan Smuts Avenue and Upper Park Drive in Parkview, Johannesburg. The main public entrance is on Upper Park Drive.


The Joburg Zoo has several modern animal exhibits and educational centres. To learn about some of main attractions read the short descriptions below. All directions are given from the Upper Park Zoo entrance.

Upcoming events

There is always something fun and educational happening at the Joburg Zoo. Keep an eye on our calendar and share in the fun!


The Zoo offers fantastic venues for corporate meetings, conferences, teambuilding or private parties. These venues are both indoor and outdoor facilities. For more information about what’s on offer, please click here.

Contact information



The Joburg Zoo is one of the most popular local and tourist attractions situated in the leafy northern suburb of Johannesburg. The Zoo covers 55 hectares of land and was founded in 1904, when land was donated to the public for recreational use by the firm of the late Hermann Ekstein.

The Joburg Zoo houses over 320 species of animals, totalling about 2 000 animals. The Joburg Zoo is open to the public 364 days a year, including Christmas, New Years and Easter holidays.

With international accreditation, the Zoo maintains a high standard of animal welfare, nutrition and ethical conduct to ensure the physical and psychological well-being of all its animals.

The Joburg Zoo has many fun offers to visitors such as various night and day tours, school holiday programmes, venue hire and regular events for the public. Please look through our calendar to find a fun event for the whole family!

The history of the Zoo

In 1904, the land which the Johannesburg Zoo encompasses was donated to the people of the city of Johannesburg to be used for recreational use by the firm of the late Hermann Eckstein. Hermann Eckstein was involved in the development of the new mining town of Johannesburg. He had 3-million trees planted in an area which he christened Sachsenwald, now the suburb of Saxonwold.

Since then, the Johannesburg Zoo has developed and evolved over the years. Many facilities were built, for example the hospital in 1936.

Public perception of the zoo changed in the 1960's when visitors wanted to see animals in larger, more natural enclosures. This was the start of the zoo's long-term plans to grow and improve the facility for both the animals and the visitors. These changes saw the upgrading and creation of old and new enclosures, the development of education and environmental programmes, and the zoo becoming part of local and international breeding programmes. 

Did you know?

The original animal collection consisted of one lion, one leopard, one giraffe, two Sable antelope bulls, one baboon, one genet, one pair of Rhesus monkeys, one pair of porcupines and one Golden eagle.

Here are some more fun facts:

  • The first ‘official’ enclosure was built by the Town Council to house two young lions. Only the lions and leopard were in the public area at this stage.
  • In 1910 the Bandstand was built to host the popular brass band music of the day.
  • Between 1913 and 1915 the stone elephant and rhino house was built. Also at this time, one Asian elephant and one Bactrian camel were purchased and trained for rides.
  • In 1961 for the first time visitors over the age of 16 were charged to enter the zoo.

Adopt an animal

Share your love of animals by adopting your favourite animal at the Joburg Zoo either for yourself, another animal lover, a friend or relative. It's both rewarding and fun! When you adopt, your gift provides for the care and feeding of the animals and supports the Joburg Zoo's ongoing commitment to global wildlife conservation. Your generous donation helps to make the Johannesburg Zoo the best possible place for the animals to live, and for you to visit.

There are different kinds of adoption of packages and what they contain depends on the adoption fee. Adoption packs include tickets to the Zoo, an adoption certificate and information about your animal. To participate, pick the animal your animal, fill out the adoption application form below and send the completed form with payment to:

Joburg Zoo 4 Kids

Follow the link below to find out about our Zoo School, Zoo-to-You, Honey Badger Club, Behaviour Enrichment Club, Holiday Programmes for kids aged 7-13, and Community Service for high school learners.