We have been living in Richards Bay for quite a while now due to my husband’s job. We have always been looking for things to do with the kids because we know that they get bored at home. It so happened that on Sunday morning, we were all set to go somewhere and as usual, we had no idea where to go. My husband and I finally gave in to going to our ‘usual’ day time hangout and decided to google map the search term, ‘Animal Farm’ to get directions. Now we do this quiet often (no, really; we know the ‘suggestions’ off the top of our heads!) but on this particular Sunday, I saw a NEW suggestion pop up; Reptile City.
We saw the travel time was about 20 minutes and agreed that we should give the place a check out. The directions via google map were fairly easy to follow and we reached Reptile City with great excitement and in what felt like no time! I looked at the outside and was very sceptical of going in because it looked like a really small place but my husband and I decided that since we drove all the way and had promised our kids that we would take them to an animal farm, that we should give the place a try.
We paid our entrance fees (R60 per adult & R30 per child) and entered. Boy, it was totally NOT what I was expecting. Once I entered, all I saw were HUGE and AMAZING snakes surrounding me. When you look at the way the snakes behave in their habitats, you will be left thrilled! The snakes were awake and moving around, some even picked their heads up when we stood nearby and others were lazing around with their heads out of their ‘huts’ as though they were waiting to strike. To be honest, I was blown away with the setup on the inside and the snakes looked very well fed considering that they were so thick and big.
When you walk out of what seems like a never ending passage way of amazing reptiles, you walk out in to the sun and on to a small walkway bridge where you are immediately met with beautiful and huge koi fish that you can feed (Food is available at reception when you pay your entrance fee). Walk a little further and you get to choose paths (Yay, I love options! And the perfect way in which this establishment was set up gave my journey an ‘exploration feel’. ). If you choose to go to your right, you are met with beautiful peacocks, African greys and turtles.
Go to your left and you get to see little rabbits, bigger rabbits, turtles, a turkey and a really cute goat. Continue straight and you see another wide variety of snakes that are in outdoor cages with wire fencing, chameleons (okay, I think they were chameleons; they were BIG and green, don’t judge me. Although a great thing about this place is that they had the names of the animals and the descriptions on the cages), birds and oh my Gosh, CROCODILES. HUGE Crocodiles that were sleeping pressed against the ground with their mouths wide open!
There were also horses, hamsters and an ostrich. Inside the small shop, underneath the counter were a selection of deadly spiders on showcase. My kids were so excited and so were we. I fell in love with this place, really. I love the closeness of the snakes, it gives a certain thrill of being so close to something that’s actually really deadly. I loved that the cages were all filled with correct signage’s explaining what each thing is. I personally hate it when I go somewhere and the card for the animal is there and the cage is empty. It kind of builds up the excitement inside me only for me to be let down. Another plus point of this place was that even though it was a place for animals, the paths and pens were actually quite clean and bins were provided all along the way for any potential dirt that you may have. Another awesome thing about this place is that it has rest points with a concrete chair and table, and shelter along your path. Some rest points are right next to the pens so you can sit down and still view animals.
All in all, this was a great discovery that I feel I need to share. Reptile City is a hidden gem. If you get a chance to stop by, you should. It’s great fun for the kids and even for yourself! I have honestly fallen in love with this place. You should check it out for yourself.
Simone Gobin is a 24 year old, it graduate, wife to Avi and mother to Yash & Ralee Gobin. She spends her days being a mother and a wife. She has decided to start a blog as a creative outlet as well as connect with other parents. Her belief is that there is a lot to learn from other parents out there and she welcomes all advice possible.