The Lion Park East London
is located within 5 minutes drive of the second biggest city in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The Park offers visitors the opportunity to view some of Africa’s most potent predators at an arm’s length away. Lion Park has quite several animals to view. They host
White Lions *, Tigers, Cheetah, Crocodile, Fellow Deer, Alpaca, Nyala, Giant Aldabra Tortoise, Meerkat, Bunnies, Lemurs and a large variety of birdlife. *It is reported that the Lion park does not keep any more tigers at the end of 2019.
The park was accused of breeding lions for the Canned Hunting industry in 2014. The park claimed that they would not breed and that their lions are sterilised. Despite these objections, this quote is still (November 2019) on their Facebook Page description:
The park gives visitors the chance to interact with an adult Cheetah, baby crocodiles and with lion cubs when available or feed buck from the palm of your hand.
The owners of the park, Mark and Wendy Johnson, then shifted their field of interest and opened a primate section at the end of 2015. But still, there was a lot of animal interaction going on until today.
Loving and caring staff… but that’s about it
The staff really seems to enjoy their work while feeding and taking care of all the animals. However, there seems to be a lack of resources throughout the complex as some structures definitely need revamping asap.
We visited during December and were disappointed with the overall experience. It seems many areas of the site need maintenance. The animals we saw seemed well kept, although the cheetah’s enclosure was quite small. This was the only big cat we saw as the lions were lying far away in a big enclosure.
Most disappointing are the photos on facebook associated with this place showing people drinking and partying in close proximity to the animals. I would not recommend supporting a place which allows or encourages this near its animals.
Visitors are driving the demand for petting wild animals
While the park has turned away from exhibiting lion cubs, a visitor demands she wants to see them.
June 2019 – It is unclear if the park or only the restaurant is under new management
Sadly there is no other information available about Kerry Sutton. Visitors seem to be more happy about the facilities condition.
10 August 2019 Good fun-filled family day out. Educational with lots of. Beautiful animals to see. Child friendly, spacious, clean, nature.
13 October 2019 – Lovely day out. Food is really well priced and tasty! Entrance fee is reasonable and the place is really well maintained! I definitely recommend it!
But sadly, there is still animal interaction taking place and the park seems to go on and market itself as a party venue.
A Local Guide on Google Maps
October 2019 – The Lion Park is situated just outside of East London. A comfortable drive away so no need to pack a lunch. The park itself has a decent variety of animals to see and offers animal interactions. The park really shines as a party venue, with decent rates, excellent service and a great vibe for kids and parents. There are also braai areas scattered around which we’ll definitely be using in future.
Animal encounters have boomed in South Africa, catering to people who are hungry to touch and love wild animals plus snap a selfie while they’re at it. Tourists can walk with lions all over the place, cuddle with monkeys, take selfies with cheetahs. Most important for us, there is no difference between cuddling a fierce predator or a cute little monkey, and we hope that the new owner of the Lion Park ends this practice as well. You too can help by encouraging your friends and family members to say NO to wildlife petting. Say NO to all wildlife interaction. Say NO to petting apex cats like lions, cheetahs and tiger cubs and to playing with monkeys, lemurs and apes.