South Africa 2008 - Johannesburg Zoo
We drove to the Joburg Zoo today. I had VERY low expectations for a couple of reasons, most of which were not rational in retrospect. My mom was a zookeeper at the Washington Park Zoo for years, working with elephants and birds of prey. We are members to the zoo and we go all the time. We also visit zoos when we go to other cities.
We've also been to Chipangali in Zimbabwe and it was really run down. One of the mistakes I've made on this trip is assuming that things in Zim relate in any way to things in South Africa. Zim as I know it is gone, and South Africa is more developed every time I visit. I won't underestimate this country again.
This is a REALLY cool zoo. I'd say even the best zoo I've ever visited, including the San Diego zoo. It's massive beyond reason for a city zoo. You can even rent a little cart and drive around as walking will take all day. We spent 5 hours there and didn't scratch the surface. The size of the fences are really small, which is a treat as you can get REALLY close to the animals. We were all of ten feet from a giraffe.
I'd really recommend you not miss it if you are in Joburg.