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Infrastructure upgrades and animal collection at the National Zoological Garden.

Home to nearly 5000 animals; a haven for vulnerable and endangered species; invested in offering thousands of visitors an entertaining and educational experience

The National Zoological Garden in Pretoria is undergoing extensive refurbishment to make sure it continues to offer over 200 000 people who visit each year an entertaining and educational experience.

Paving and walkways repair and renewal (Parking A)

The National Zoological Garden (NZG) is home to thousands of animals, all housed in safe, clean enclosures and all managed and taken care of in line with best global practice as given by World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) guidelines. NZG is a WAZA member

The zoo is managed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) that assumed management of the property and all activities associated with it in 2018. Refurbishment of the zoo started two years ago, and continues. The zoo marks its 123rd anniversary this year.

Construction of new Reptile Park Bridge

SANBI chief executive, Mr Shonisani Munzhedzi told delegates at a media briefing this afternoon that NZG is home to 4 840 individual animals (524 invertebrates, 2 240 pisces, 219 amphibians, 416 reptiles, 962 birds and 477 mammals).

The construction of various infrastucture projects, including the installation of biosecurity measures and renovations to mammal enclousres

SANBI chief executive, Mr Shonisani Munzhedzi told delegates at a media briefing this afternoon that NZG is home to 4 840 individual animals (524 invertebrates, 2 240 pisces, 219 amphibians, 416 reptiles, 962 birds and 477 mammals).

“We have an ongoing collection strategy at the National Zoological Garden and have recently acquired wild boar, African bush pigs, American alligators, green anacondas, Madagascan giant day geckos and blue cranes. Our focus early this year to is grow the primate and bird collection,” Mr Munzhedzi said.


The refurbishment of the following facilities: Hippo Abultion, Gorilla Ablution, New section ablution and the Zoo loo ablution (Funded by NDT)

As regards building work, he said a decision to upgrade infrastructure was taken shortly after SANBI assumed management of NZG in 2018. Refurbishment started two years ago and proceeds in stages as is usual with properties of this size.

Entry fees to the zoo are discounted while renovations take place. Updates on work and its progress are posted regularly to the social media platforms of the zoo and to the NZG website.

The refurbishment of the elevated walkway (NDT Funded)

“Refurbishment of the car park was completed in 2022. Improved access to the reptile park and aquarium was wrapped last year. Five sets of ablution facilities have been renovated. The Dukuduku Restaurant, gorilla enclosure, and hippo enclosure have all been overhauled and improved,” Mr Munzhedzi said.

HVAC Installation

Enclosures housing the Southern ground hornbills, ducks, chicken and cranes have been refurbished. Restoration and renovation are imminent at the raptor aviaries, parrot enclosures, reptile enclosures and in the aquarium. Also planned are major renovations to Stormy Bay, where seals are kept; the white rhino night rooms and the owl exhibits.

Numerous paths, thoroughfares, walkways and shelters have been overhauled, renovated and refurbished, he added.

Reptile park roof and aquarium tanks

NZG is celebrated globally for its work in breeding and helping to ensure the continuation of vulnerable and endangered animals. In August last year, for example, the zoo received the Pan-African Association of Zoos and Aquaria Conservation Award for successfully breeding in captivity the critically endangered African pancake tortoise.

NZG has achieved remarkable success in breeding sungazer lizards. These reptiles, endemic to African grasslands, have found a safe haven at NZG. All breeding stock was either confiscated from wildlife traffickers or had to be recovered from the wild due to habitat destruction through mining, construction or farming operations.

Picnic Kiosk Roof replacement

“Our zoo is an accredited member the Pan African Association of Zoos and Aquaria and a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It’s part of the global community of highly esteemed zoos and aquariums committed to the care and protection of wildlife and wild spaces,” Mr Munzhedzi said.

The NZG is also home to a world class research centre and biobank which contribute to SANBI’s mandate to establish, maintain, protect and preserve collections of animals and micro-organisms in appropriate enclosures as well as collect, generate, process, coordinate and disseminate information about biodiversity and the sustainable use of indigenous biological resources and establish and maintain databases in this regard.


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