You don’t go to Africa to visit a zoo, right? But then again, you may not get so lucky with your safari drives so…… consider this a “preview” of what’s good to see. This is Cango Wildlife Ranch just outside Oudtshoorn, the principal town of the Little Karoo.




Cango Wildlife Ranch in the outskirts of Oudtshoorn. South Africa


The leopard we missed in the safari.



As it turned out, we missed 1 out of the Big 5. The LEOPARD was very elusive. We saw the lions, cape buffaloes, elephants and the rhinos. Four out of 5 ain’t bad for a first safari adventure. More so if one has seen more antelopes that one can name, plus the cheetahs, hippos, baboons, wildebeest, warthogs, crocs (or were they alligators?) and many bird species.





Simba’s Dad?


In the animal kingdom, I’ve got to admit the male lion with his lovely mane is so much lovelier than the lioness.



It was a cold, rainy day when we reached the Wildlife Ranch. Protected by disposable raincoats, we passed the hanging bridge and boardwalks to view the many animals, crocs and birds. I was reminded of “Residence Inn” in Tagaytay, only better. At least the lions, tigers and leopards freely roam around a rather limited but adequate space rather than put in cages too small to drive them crazy over time.




The wildlife ranch (zoo to many) is well-kept, clean and nearly odorless. And the guides are very very good.


No tigers in Africa. But there’s one here in Cango Wildlife Ranch.



Some visitors came for photo ops with the beasts. There was a man looking a tad tentative for his pictorial with a cheetah. The beast must be fed well to be so unmindful of visitors and obedient to its trainers or zookeepers. We had a very playful guide touring us around. Twice, on a bend, she hid to surprise me with a tap on my shoulder or a “bite” on my leg. Each time, it earned a mild scream from moí. She was good!




Cold and rainy day.


To this day, I wonder what he’d do if that cheetah so much as roared.



Small and manageable, the ranch must be a hit with children too young for safaris. The flamingos, bats, vultures and other birds look happy residents. The ranch is well kept, clean and nearly odorless. The visit is best combined with a visit to the Cango caves some distance from the town, if you have time to spare. But don’t forget to leave some time for wine tasting in this wine region. There are a number of wine estates here with superb dining outlets. Now, wouldn’t that complete your day!




Now, that’s a real vulture!