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Review: Croc City

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Croc CityCroc City Crocodile and Reptile Farm is a small, family-run attraction that has been quietly growing and developing for the past ten years. You’ll find it nestled on a corner plot between Cedar Road and the R114, close to both Fourways and Lanseria,

Take the whole family and learn to distinguish alligators from crocodiles and boas from anacondas. Conquer your fears by getting up close and personal with a variety of crocs, reptiles and terrifying tarantulas. If you’re feeling really brave, this is the first (and currently only) place in Africa where you can fly over the croc pits on a zip line (and as a lovely touch you’ll go home with a certificate to prove it).

Croc City offers a combination of hands-on wildlife experience and an education on all things reptilian and crocodilian. Owner Anton and guide Roann are both incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about all the resident creatures, including nine of Africa’s ten deadliest snakes. No question goes unanswered. Discover how fragile tarantulas’ bodies are and how, just like us, they have off days where they are too grumpy to be handled. Learn about the illegal exotic-pet trade in South Africa. Find out which snakes are partial to eating other snakes. Educate yourself about what to do should you encounter a snake in the wild.

The crocodiles are, of course, the stars of the show and you will discover fascinating things about them. They’re aggressive and opportunistic prehistoric predators, which makes it all the more surprising that the females are quite maternal. Crocodiles that survive to full maturity tend to lead long lives, in part because of their virtually indestructible immune systems. This means they rarely get ill, which is lucky when you consider how difficult it must be to find vets willing to treat their largest residents. Noting that the grass in the main croc pit had recently been mown, I asked whether this was a safe occupation. My guide confessed that they had recently lost one lawnmower (the machine, not a person) to a feisty nesting croc.

As a sideline, Croc City collaborated with a qualified industrial pharmacist to develop a range of soaps and creams made of Nile crocodile oil. Google the term and you’ll find that it’s touted as the next miracle in the beauty world, helping to treat eczema, bites and a variety of skin complaints by tapping into the longevity and good health of the wily croc.

You’ll also be pleased to hear that Croc City has a licenced restaurant. There is plenty of shaded seating, and mouth-watering pizzas are served fresh from their pizza oven. In addition to more standard fare, Croc City’s menu includes crocodile pizzas, salads and burgers, and yes, they are made with real crocodile. It’s a lean white meat, high in protein and low in fat, so you can take a healthy bite on the wild side.

Croc City hosts children’s parties, school outings and they have just had their first wedding booking. Having recently added the zip-line experience and built a new auditorium and display area, there are no current plans for further expansion, but with customers often asking about things like crocodile cage diving and glass platforms, who knows what the future may hold?

Nicola Beach
www.expatorama.com

To plan your trip to Croc City, visit www.croccity.co.za for opening times, pricing and schedules for feedings and the weekly venomous snake show. Additionally, please note that there is ample on-site parking and a well-stocked curio shop.

 

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