White Lion Out in Front
A worthwhile visit.
If you find yourself in the region of Harare, Zimbabwe, then a visit to the Lion and Cheetah Park is a must, especially if you have children/grandchildren. The park is located near Lake Chivero and is a short 30 minute drive south-west of Harare.
This sanctuary is constantly being developed and although there aren’t any cheetahs at the moment, a drive through the park will reward you with sightings of many game species such as giraffe, wildebeest, zebras, impalas, baboons, eland, blesbok, nyala, warthog and duiker.
The star of the park is undoubtedly Tommy, a monster Galapagos tortoise, weighing in at around 500 kg (half a tonne), and over 250 years old! Tommy has his own house and is quite the clock watcher, in the habit of leaving for home at the same time every day. According to the senior game warden, he always takes the same route home, at the same time every day around 4:00 pm.
Your entrance fee helps support the animals and you can enjoy a comfortable, stress-free day amongst the wildlife. Secure parking is available near the café/kiosk where visitors can get light meals and snacks with seating at the outdoor tables. Here you will also find enclosures where brave guests can get up close and personal with white lions, leopard tortoises, other animals and, of course, Tommy!
No trip to the park would be complete without a drive through the lion enclosure, where the resident pride spends their days relaxing under the shade of a tree or sunbathing on the rocks.
Please keep in mind this is not a zoo type of situation but a wildlife sanctuary, looking after animals that in most cases will not survive in the wild. Another point is that the sanctuary, under supervision, allows children and adults a chance to see and handle selected baby wild animals, to learn the meaning of saving wildlife. Those young animals will be removed from the public while they grow up further, until they are ready to be set free in the wild. So that the mistakes that apply to one generation of animals, will not be passed on to the next. Sanctuaries are designed to save and preserve life, not cage it. We were accompanied by a professional wildlife vet for our entire excursion in the park.
If Tommy, as an example were set free in the wild, what would happen to him? He would most likely be killed on a highway by a truck or he’d cuddle up to a wild lion or be cooked and eaten. If he survived long enough and fortune smiled on him, he would be caught and put into a wildlife sanctuary.
Wildmoz is wholeheartedly behind all good wildlife sanctuaries and does not support zoo’s or circuses, or any wildlife containment, for the amusement of man, etc.
All the photos we have for you are taken in and about the sanctuary. You want more? Well there is a video of Tommy at the bottom!
A further surprise was to find that a leopard tortoise eggs had recently hatched in the park enclosure. So the children were shown these little ones, only two weeks old.
This is a one minute video of Tommy.