The Gauteng winter has been pleasantly mild this year compared to previous years, but even still, the family didn’t need much of an excuse to go on a short Tiggo Road Trip to warmer climates.
Mystic Monkeys and Feathers, is a wildlife park just an hour north of Pretoria and it gave us a great opportunity to drive through the recently proclaimed Dinokeng Game Reserve to get there.
Dinokeng is the first free roaming Big 5 Game Residential Reserve in Gauteng and is right next door to an urban area. Five minutes outside of Hammanskraal, you enter the Reserve gates and are travelling through bushveld. Without even having to leave the tar road, we immediately saw wildlife – impala, warthog and a magnificent kudu bull near the road.
It is amazing that despite there being a nip in the air when we left Johannesburg, the weather was really balmy by Dinokeng and we had to peel off layers of jackets and jerseys. You are allowed to travel through the reserve for the first hour for free, so after a sedate drive, we exited the top boom gate and then travelled the short remaining distance to the Mystic Monkey and Feathers Wildlife Park.
Mystic Monkeys is an excellent family outing and the zoo hosts one of South Africa’s largest private primate collections. There are some 44 species on display including some really rare specimens.
Monkeys are a real favourite amongst kids and adults alike as they are so comical and playful. They very quickly had everyone smiling at their antics. You had to be on your toes however – a couple of the primates relished throwing food at their admirers if they were not paying attention. The primate collection is impressive and included Chimpanzees, white handed Gibbons and the ever mischievous Capuchin Monkeys made famous by certain cider ads and Hollywood movies.
There are also beautiful exotic birds on show as well as predators including white lions, bengal tigers, ocelots and cheetahs.A real highlight for the kids was the opportunity to play with a tiger cub. Only a baby, but it still had an impressive set of teeth and claws which my daughter quickly discovered. Its a real privilege for our younger generation to still be able to have contact with these beautiful animals.
After the zoo tour we enjoyed a cup of coffee at the kiosk and then bundled ourselves back in the Tiggo for leisurely drive back to Johannesburg.
With a family of five and the open road, it must be said that the Tiggo is a fantastic tourer. High seating position gives good visibility and the ride is smooth and stable.
In my opinion the Tiggo rates as the best value family vehicle available on the SA market.
Chery – more car more life