Top 10 Lion Parks In Cape Town (2024)

There are places to see lions in Cape Town; these animals are one of the biggest attractions to the country. Cape Town has numerous animal parks, some of which are dedicated to the protection of lions in particular.

As a city that is centered around tourism, there is no doubt that these sanctuaries are designed to admit visitors, so the lion parks in Cape Town, as well as all other animal parks are happy to welcome people to see their animals.

While lions are the focus, most visitors are quite happy to see other big cats, as well as other animals.

Top 10 Lion Parks In Cape Town

1. Drakenstein Lion Park

Drakenstein Lion Park is a sanctuary which was established in 1998 to provide shelter for lions in distress. This is a beautiful enclosure measuring some 50 acres, which means the area is big enough for the lions to move about in a free range.

The lions at Drakenstein Lion Park are captive born; which means they are used to people, although some may have been abused before arriving at the park.

The park also has tents for visitors to relax, as well as food and drinks for visitors. This is one of the best places for visitors to see lions in some semblance of a natural environment, rather than in cages.

There are also little lion cubs at the park, which makes it all the more attractive for visitors, especially young ones.

2. Gondwana Game Reserve

Gondwana Game Reserve is a luxurious, private game reserve located at R327 Heuningklip Farm, Herbertsdale, 6505, South Africa. This is one of the best lion parks in Cape Town; it affords visitors the opportunity to see these majestic creatures roaming around freely in their natural environment.

There are game rangers on hand to monitor the animals, so visitors are completely safe. The park has the Big Five; lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and African buffalo, as well as many other creatures such as squirrels, monkeys, antelopes, and so on.

Gondwana Game Reserve has uniquely designed cabins which provide natural warmth. Visitors can safely enjoy their holidays when not driving out to see the animals.

3. Aquila Private Game Reserve

Aquila Private Game Reserve is located 2 hours from Cape Town. It is a private game reserve with an abundance of lions on display. Aquila Private Game Reserve also has many other animals on display, starting with the traditional Big 5, which include leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and African buffalo.

This is a luxury get away place; it has a beautiful hotel, complete with a giant swimming pool, as well as many other luxuries.

The reserve holds daily safaris in which guests get to come very close to the lions in the bushes, but not too close so as not to annoy them. Guides are on hand to explain their behavior, and to answer any questions.

Lions are just not lions unless they are in their natural element, and at this game reserve guest get to see lions in their true form.

4. Kwandwe Game Reserve

Kwandwe Game Reserve is just 1 hour 30 minutes away from Cape Town, and it is a real lion park in every sense of the word. Lions alone do not make a park; even in the pristine forests of nature, they always have other animals for company.

In Kwandwe Game Reserve they have other members of the Big 5, and also have many smaller animals running around the grounds.

Kwandwe Game Reserve also luxurious accommodation that is fit for kings. Daily safaris are held on the grounds, and visitors can also enjoy other activities such as bird watching and fishing. The park covers a lot of ground, and visitors may not even be able to see it all. Nevertheless it is an exciting place to visit.

5. Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is one of the top lion parks in Cape Town, although it is located just 3 hours out of the city. This is a huge expanse of land- roughly 58,000 hectares- and it is brimming with lions.

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is a functioning ecosystem. That means the lions are not handfed; but rather they are real lions that actually hunt, and do all the things consistent with lion behavior. That is great for those who want to see how lions behave in the wild; daily safaris are held in this private park.

Other attractions to this park include elephants, rhinos, leopards, and African buffalo. The park also has smaller animals like birds, squirrels, and antelope.

Sanbona Wildlife Park has ancient rock art which have long been a cause of wonder. It has beautiful hillsides, and great accommodation.

6. Shamwari Game Reserve

Shamwari Game Reserve has been described as the most successful conservation effort in southern Africa.  This reserve has been voted the best safari and game reserve in the world for several consecutive years.

Shamwari Game Reserve has restored the ecosystem, after several decades of agricultural farming; turning it back into its natural state.

This is probably the best place to see lions; they are grouped into prides and hunt together in a complex social structure. Other members of the big 5 are also available, as are hippos, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, and wildebeests and hyenas.

7. Panthera Africa Sanctuary

Panthera Africa Sanctuary is located just outside Cape Town. This is a non profit organization which was established a few years ago. This is one of the best places to see lions up close and personal.

The lions are captive bred, and they are given a home to roam about in, and to prosper. Some of these lions have been mistreated, and have been rescued by the sanctuary.

Panthera Africa Sanctuary has regularly scheduled visits, and on those visits visitors can encounter lions as well as other big cats such as tigers, leopards, and jaguar. Visitors can even volunteer so as to have a stint at working with the teams of caregivers.

8. Karoo National Park

Karoo National Park is located a few hours from Cape Town. It is a proper park with lions, and other members of the big five. This is a place where visitors can go on guided and unguided tours, although those who wish to see lions generally go with guides.

Karoo National Park has breathtaking landscapes full of plant and animal life. The park has an amazing diversity of animals; Lions, hyenas, wildebeests, porcupines, gerbils, duikers, springboks, and kudu to name just a few.

The diversity of birds is also laudable, and then there are many different reptile species as well. This is a great park; and it is sure to satisfy that yearning to nature.

9. Inverdoorn Game Reserve

Inverdoorn Game Reserve is located just 2 hours outside of Cape Town. It is a private games reserve with plenty of trees and flowers dotting the landscape. The landscape is huge; the Games Reserve overs an area of 10 000-hectares.

Inverdoorn Game Reserve boasts a pride of lions, as well as other members of the big five. However, special attention is paid to Cheetahs. There is a special rescue and rehabilitation program for Cheetahs at this reserve.

Visitors are taken on guided drive tours every day to go see the animals which also include impala, porcupines, squirrels, giraffes, pygmy mice, and so many other creatures.

The park also has cozy and yet simple lodges for visitors; these lodges are a major talking point for visitors; boosting the park’s popularity.

10. Garden Route Game Lodge

Garden Route Game Lodge is also around 2 hours away from Cape Town. The general area is called Garden Route, and it extends about 300 kilometers along the coast. However, this is not about the entire area which is equally beautiful; this is about Garden Route Game Lodge.

The lodge is a nice place to see free roaming lions in their natural habitat, as well as other Big 5 animals. This park also has a Cheetah Conservation Centre, as well as a Reptile Centre.

Every day, visitors go on guided safari drives to see the lions, as well as all the other species as they interact in this ecosystem. After seeing these animals, most people prefer to stay. The lodge has a variety of accommodation options, ranging from chalets, lodge rooms, suites and family rooms.



The lion parks in Cape Town do not typically have just lions; that is contrary to the laws of nature in which no species exists independently. Visitors who are interested only in lions are quite welcome to restrict their attention to lions; while others can take the time to appreciate the larger ecosystems that allow the lions to thrive.

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