Animal Activities and Petting Farms in Johannesburg and Beyond


Big or small, scaly, slimy, sweet and scary… whichever way you like your animals, the many animal encounters and petting farms in Johannesburg make getting out of the house and up close to these beautiful critters easy.

Take the kids out and let them make some furry friends and discover some fascinating new places with our pick of the top animal parks and petting zoos in Johannesburg.

Petting Farms in Johannesburg

The Donkey Dairy

When we think of donkeys, we generally think of the hardworking underdogs of the Equidae family, or the famous talking one accompanied by a giant green ogre. It’s not every day, that one would send their thoughts toward the peculiar back-end of their brain to connect the animal with its dairy by-product. That is, until now, with the new Donkey Dairy farm in Magaliesburg.

Operating since 2012, the initial goal of Donkey Dairy was to preserve the rare bloodline of the blue-eyed spotted donkeys which were thought to be endemic to South Africa. However, over the years the company grew and became a rehabilitation station for donkeys and goats from miserable places. It was only in 2016 that the milking process of the donkeys was redefined to produce pristine donkey milk, and natural skin care products from the excess milk. Please see here for more on the products.

Make your way down to The Donkey Dairy to see it for yourself. With entertaining activities like bottle feeding the baby goats, grooming, petting, feeding, and riding the donkeys, hiking trails and a fun farm shop and deli, Donkey Dairy is ideal for a family-friendly outing.

Where: Portion 23 of the farm Boschfontein, Magaliesburg
When: Sat – Sun: 9am – 3pm

Website: | Email: | Tel: 072 262 5369

Petting Farms in Johannesburg

Montecasino Bird Gardens

The bird and wildlife park at Montecasino is a perfect place for a memorable family outing in Johannesburg. Wander along enchanted garden walkways and marvel at the variety of colourful birds, mammals, reptiles and unusual animals from around the world.

In your walk-through Aviary, you’ll find over 60 species of birds including Scarlet Ibises, and Nicobar pigeons, reptiles and small mammals, with smaller antelope wandering freely in the undergrowth. There’s also a bird show running on selected days and public holidays.

Cost: R105pp for adults, R70pp for pensioners and kids 2-12yrs, pay at venue

When: Mon – Tue: 10am – 4pm | Wed – Fri: 10am – 9pm | Sat: 9am – 9pm | Sun: 9am – 6pm
Where: Montecasino Bird Gardens, Cnr William Nicol Dr and Montecasino Blvd, Fourways, Johannesburg

Website: | Email: | Tel: 011 511 1864


leopard at Johannesburg Zoo

The Johannesburg Zoo

The Johannesburg Zoo covers 55 hectares of land and was founded in 1904 when the land was donated by the firm Herman Ekstein.

The Zoo houses over 320 species of animals and is internationally accredited and highly respected for its practices of maintaining a high standard of animal welfare, nutrition and ethical conduct, ensuring the physical and psychological well-being of all its animals. It is committed to playing an important role in conservation projects for indigenous and worldwide endangered animals.

As a popular tourist attraction, the Zoo offers visitors day and night tours, school holiday programmes, venue hire and regular events for the public.

Cost: Adults R120pp | Children R70pp | Pensioners R70pp | Students R70pp | Differently abled people R44pp

When: Daily, from 8.30am to 5.30pm
Johannesburg Zoo, Upper Park Dr & Jan Smuts Avenue, Randburg

Website: | Email: | Tel: 011 646 2000

horses grazing in a field in Johannesburg

Wild & Earthly

Get up close and personal with the cutest farm animals and meet baby bunnies, ponies and goats at Wild & Earthly, one of the more popular petting farms in Johannesburg. The team shares an overwhelming passion for the well-being of animals and continues to save unwanted pets and give them a forever home.

They also hope to educate children about the charm of animals. At the paddock, guests can explore animal shows, pony rides, and lots more.

Cost: Please call Des on 072 506 7135 to enquire

When: Please call Des on 072 506 7135 to enquire
Where: Benoni

Website: | Email: | Tel: 072 506 7135

crocodile swimming in a pond at Croc City in Johannesburg

Croc City

This family-friendly venue hosts hourly guided tours to interact with various reptiles, from crocodiles to pythons and also serves the best pizzas in Joburg.

Croc City also features the exciting Croc City FlyOver, the first Nile Crocodile Zip Line in Africa. Designed for the brave at heart, the zip line is an exciting adventure where visitors fly five meters above the ground over the crocodiles. The FlyOver gives adventurers the heart-stopping opportunity to glide over three different-sized crocodile enclosures ranging in size from one meter to five meters, a daring and thrilling ride.

Cost: Croc City entrance fees Adult – R100pp; Child – R70 | Flyover zipline fees: Adult/Child: R100pp

When: Monday to Sunday: 9.30am to 4.30pm
Where: Corner of Cedar & R114, Nietgedacht 535, Chartwell AH

Website: | Email: | Tel: 083 321 1016
Facebook: @croccity  | Instagram: @croccity

outdoor playground with large lawn at Tres Jolie in Johannesburg

Trés Jolie Touch and Feed Farm

The touch-and-feed farm is available to all children visiting Trés Jolie. Bring some carrots, lettuce or other tasty animal delights to feed the animals. Alternatively, buy a packet of feed at this petting farm in Johannesburg to feed the donkeys, horses, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits and guinea pigs.

The farm also forms an ideal venue for kids parties. Situated on a country estate in Ruimsig the venue offers a restaurant, a farmyard and a play area for children. Kids can also have pony rides.

Cost: Available on request

When: Tue to Thu & Sun 9am to 5pm | Fri & Sat  9am to 8pm
Where: Plot 22, Peter Rd, Ruimsig, Johannesburg

Website: | Email: | Tel: 011 794 2473 | 079 527 5008

The Picnic Park at Rietvlei Zoo Farm

Rietvlei Zoo Farm is a beautiful farm in Johannesburg South and offers a wide range of recreation, education, sport and family outdoor activities. Their Picnic Park is set in the most tranquil parts of the farm, surrounded by natural wetlands, large willow and oak trees and beautiful gardens and lawns, where you can relax and enjoy the sunshine and outdoors.

Kids can feed the farmyard animals, view the birds in the bird aviary, play in the jungle gyms or go on our fun pony, tractor rides, scooter rides or train rides.

Cost: R50pp, kids under 2yrs enter free

When: Daily, from 9am to 5pm
Where: Rietvlei Zoo Farm, 101 Swartkoppies Road, R554, Liefde en Vrede, Johannesburg South

Website: | Email: | Tel: 079 041 1488

Petting Farms in Johannesburg

Shepherd’s Fold

To get a fix of the picturesque panoramas on display in the Cradle, consider doing so from horseback. Shepherd’s Fold, in the magnificent Elandsdrift Valley, offers just such an opportunity.

An easy distance from the suburbs of Fourways, Krugersdorp and Honeydew, Shepherd’s Fold offers a variety of trails for any horse enthusiast. Whether avid and adept, or keen but inexperienced, the stables are well-equipped to accommodate people of all riding abilities.

Riding lessons, trail rides, or a combination of the two make for a variety of possibilities to experience the promised panoramic views. All rides are supervised by an experienced guide, and grooms are available to lead if necessary.

Rides are limited to 8 riders maximum and rides can last between one and two hours. The trails follow the most beautiful routes through neighbouring farms with chances to stop along the way to take in the stunning views of Johannesburg, the Magaliesburg and the Cradle of Humankind.

Cost: R100pp for pony kids – kids under 6yrs only. From R280pp for trail rides, book via Activitar

When: Email to enquire
Where: Shepherd’s Fold Stables, 55 Sunset Drive, Elandsdrift, Lanseria, Johannesburg

Website: | Tel: 084 220 2657

group of African lemur animals huddling together

Lory Park Animal & Owl Sanctuary

Lory Park Animal and Owl Sanctuary is a nice little haven to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Situated in Midrand, this animal park is a peaceful place where animals can be appreciated up close and human and animal interaction is welcomed.

Founder Edward Philippus Van Eck grew up with a strong affinity for nature and animals. The space offers regular owl and reptile encounters over weekends, while kids can enjoy a range of wildlife such as monkeys, cheetahs, caracal, tigers and lots more. 

Cost: R120pp per adult, R90pp per child from 2 to 12 years. Kids 2yrs enter for free. R70pp per pension. R50pp on Pensioner Mondays

When: Daily, from 10am to 4:30pm
Where: 180/1 Kruger Rd, President Park AH, Midrand, Johannesburg

Website: | Email: | Tel: 011 315 7307

Donkey's grazing on a farm at Rest Ur Ass Donkey Sanctuary

Rest Ur Ass Donkey Sanctuary

The Rest Ur Ass Donkey Sanctuary is a haven for up to 93 loving donkeys, most of which have been rescued from illegal skin trade and slaughter. Visitors to the sanctuary are able to interact with these gentle, often underestimated creatures. You can spend time with the donkeys and pet, brush or even feed them healthy donkey treats available for purchase from the sanctuary.

There is a tuckshop on site with snacks and drinks for sale. For anyone who loves animals and being one with nature, this is a tranquil, relaxed space to enjoy, love, and be loved.

Cost: R50pp

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10am to 2pm
Where: 784-782 Cypress Rd, Zonnehoewe AH, Roodepoort

Website: | Email: | Tel: 084 611 0089

Petting Farms in Johannesburg

Bunny Hop Haven Animal Sanctuary

The Bunny Hop Haven animal sanctuary is a home for rescued and rehabilitating exotic pets and farm animals. Schools and families can spend time interacting with and feeding farm animals during their visit.

The non-profit company is a haven and home to rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, goats, pigs, and tortoises. Most of the animals are up for adoption and the haven follows a strict home check and adoption process.

Besides being an animal sanctuary, the Bunny Hop Haven is an educational and play centre too. Children can interact and learn about animals through playing with and feeding the animals. The sanctuary houses a children’s jungle gym for endless hours of fun.

Cost: R35pp to R45pp, pay at venue

When: Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 1pm & 2pm to 4pm | Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm
Where: 59 Frederick St, Observatory, Johannesburg

Website: | Email: | Tel: 082 307 7057 or 073 397 0140

Willow Feather Farm

The Willow Feather Farm is a wholesale nursery, garden centre, and tree production farm on the outskirts of Centurion, Pretoria, operating country-wide.

Their core business is the growing of trees, shrubs and plants to serve and supply the commercial & independent landscaping market, as well as the retail sector. They offer bulk quantity, quality, and full greening solutions at competitive prices

The garden centre is open to the public and they offer kids parties, functions, mommy and baby groups, market days, and an animal farmyard that is home to many farm animals including alpacas, goats, and rabbits.

There are different play areas scattered around the farm for kids as well as a play area for babies and toddlers. The seating areas are around the farm and play areas as well as a picnic in a clean, safe, and sanitized area.

Cost: Mon – Fri R50 | Weekends and Public holidays R70 | Pensioners R35

Time: Daily 8am to 4.30pm
Venue: Willow Feather Farm, Portion 37, Doornkloof East, Corner M57 & Sterkfontein Ave, Irene, Pretoria

Website: | Email: | Tel: 073 265 9342

ooutdoor farm scene with lawn at Irene Farm

Irene Farm

Irene Dairy Farm is a picturesque, old-style functioning dairy farm that has been in practice since 1895, nestled between Pretoria and Johannesburg. Visitors can either watch cows roam the pastures and visit the calves, shop at The Dairy Shop or have lunch at the Deck or the Barn restaurant. The large gardens, jungle-gym, tractor displays and roaming cows also provide ample entertainment for children.

Cost: Free entry

When: Daily, from 8am to 6pm
Where: Irene Dairy Farm, Nellmapius Dr, Irene, Pretoria

Website: | Email: | Tel: 012 667 2326

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