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Drakenstein Lion Park
Ranked #3 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Paarl
surrey
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Quick Trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2014

This place is great for a quick trip. Is interesting to read about the big cats, where they have come from, what they've been through. The staff are friendly and helpful. Best time to go is at feeding time as you can get close ups on the lions and watch them eat. We ended up adopting a couple of the lions. Good fun.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PrincessB-0202
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 November 2013

All the lions in the park are rescue lions from canned lion hunting and circuses and I think they love their new home. We arrived at 4pm, just in time for feeding time. The lion's are in large enclosures and the smell of food brought them all to the fence so you can get a good look at them. After this we were shown to our tent which is on a field with lion enclosures around it. The tents are very cute with every thing you need for a comfy, if basic, stay. The park closes for day guests at 5 and that's when things really get magical. As the day cools down the lions get a lot more active and you get to see them moving about and hear lots of roaring. Because there are no day guests left you have the whole to yourself and you can sit and stare and enjoy the lions as much as you want.

Dinner is a traditional South African braai and both the meat and vegetarian options were delicious!

At night time you really hear the lions roar! I will never forget the feel of a lion roar rumbling through my chest at night. The lion park is near-ish a main farm road and you do here some traffic sounds and trains sounds, but it didn't ruin the experience for me in anyway.

I woke up at 5am and had another long walk looking at the lions as the sun rose. Seeing a white lion coming out of the morning mist is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

Breakfast was tea and coffee and rusks.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank ClairrissaJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
charente
Level Contributor
69 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2013

We spent the night in a tent during some awful late spring weather, pouring rain and unseasonally cold. However as soon as we arrived we were given hot chocolate and hot towels, great! I have to say I really cannot understand the reviewer who slated their stay here. They should have gone to Disneyland This is such a caring environment for lions, and a couple of tigers, that have suffered appalling treatment ( Declawed, broken jaw, beaten, kept in a pit etc etc). The enclosures are in super condition, with lots of places to hide, and plenty of room. The sound of them roaring at night while in the darkness of a tent is something not to be missed. Only downsides were the noise from the road, although around 400 metres away, and obviously not the fault of the park, and the very worn sheets on the beds, definitely need to be replaced! Nonetheless this is a first rate place to visit, with very helpful and caring staff as well. Try to go at feeding time for the best views of these beautiful creatures.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Keith R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West London
Level Contributor
146 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2013

We have been visiting Drakenstein for several years and have sponsored two of the lions there for the last six years. This is a sanctuary for lions born and, in a large number of cases, maltreated by humans. There is no chance to introduce the lions and other species to the wild as they would not survive. Other reviews have made strikingly inaacurate remarks about the park which is closer to two hundred metres from the road and it would take around 20-30 minutes to walk to the railway line. Still everyone has their own opinion and mine, as a well travelled person, with an aknowledged interest in wildlife, cannot applaud Paul Hart and his enough for their valiant efforts in giving these magnificent animals a good life. They have done this to such an extent that when Tygerberg Zoo closed its doors recently they took on the care of additional lions, two tigers, two caracals, four chimps and several different types of antelope and not at low cost. The chimps had a dedicated enclosure built for their needs, as did the tigers. Keep up the good work Paul and staff, you will always have our support.

Room Tip: The accomodation is tented, don't expect The Ritz. The budget for the park is raised entirely on...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank TW15EXILE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2013

When you read the blerb on the website, it is evocative - 'sleep surrounded by the sound of lions' - you can almost imagine the sursusrus of Big Cat wafting through the quiet night sky... you picture wide open spaces... a really special experience. We arrived to find this far from reality. Situated 10 metres from a main road, with a train-track (active) running through the back of the facility, the only thing we could hear was traffic, and the only thing we could smell was gasoline. The lions looked thin and scrawny, but I am sure are well cared for. As a day attraction I am sure this could - on a better day - be ok. But a 'sleep with the lions' experience? Please. Do me a favour. On the plus side, the owner and manager were kind enough - after some debate - to refund us half of our deposit. On the down side, our deposit was the full amount. And quite an amount, considering that for the same price, we spent the night in Asara, a five star hotel and vineyard. It was disappointing that our Drakenstein experience was more Frankenstein than 'Born Free', more the stuff of nightmares than 'Out of Africa', but you live and learn... and the staff were polite whilst dealing with our complaint. Methinks they may have had this problem before...

Room Tip: A tip? Don't stay there overnight! Visit, by all means, but avoid the 'sleep with the lions...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jeremy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
61 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2012

The Drakenstein Lion Park is a Sanctuary for captive born predators. Drakenstein Lion Park was established in 1998 to provide lions in distress with sanctuary, where they could live in safety, free from abuse and persecution, and be treated with the compassion and respect they deserved. none of these lions would be able to survive in the wild. They are paired with companion lions where possible. Personally I do not like seeing animals behind bars but The Drakenstein Lion Park is a Sanctuary for captive born predators. Drakenstein Lion Park but it is clear that the priority here is the welfare of the lions rather than satiating the desires of tourists. The lions are fed Mon, Wed & Fri at 4pm outside these times they can be low key and quiet as they digest their meals. From that POV there isnt that much to see so it was a privilege to witness a lions roar on our visit. A visit is recommended to support this organisation.

Room Tip: You might want to visit around feeding times mon,Wed & Fri 4pm to see a little more of the lions
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank annekscott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Drakenstein Lion Park

Property: Drakenstein Lion Park
Address: Old Paarl Road | R101, Paarl 7680, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Paarl
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 22 Speciality Lodging in Paarl

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