Lions experience at Monarto Zoo – the only 360 degree lion experience in Australia
Are you brave enough to enter the lion’s den and get right up close to these amazing majestic predators?
Just like the popular Great White Shark diving experience, visitors to Monarto Zoo can now enter the lion’s den and be surrounded by the amazing lions.
READ OUR REVIEW BELOW
Travel by bus to the lions’ enclosure, enter through a tunnel and emerge within an arm’s length of the largest pride of lions in Australasia.
The project is all about reversing the traditional zoo experience and effectively puts visitors in a cage, with the lions roaming their ten hectare enclosure.
During your Lions 360 visit you will see the lions being fed a little snack (they eat about 7kg of meat a day). You can add a lion feeding experience if you would like to feed them yourself. Children need to be 10 years or older to feed the lions.
There is a van parked into an entrance with seats that you can enter, where you may experience the lions climbing on top of the vehicle, like we did below.
The lions have been very interested in young children – especially the squealing ones, so be aware they may get a bit of attention.
The big question everyone wants to know is, Do they wee on people in the den? Well, it hasn’t happened yet, but since the cage is open to liquid, it could happen. You may have to watch out for drooling though if feeding them while they are above you. Also sand and mud may fall from their claws too. We did not experience anything falling on our heads during our visit (apart from a bit of rain).
The lions may not be overhead for some of the time. While we were there they spent a lot of time around the cage on the ground. Please note that the cage does have quite a large sheltered roof area to protect visitors from sun and rain. If you are worried about anything falling through to you, staying under the shelter will protect you.
As mentioned, this is the largest pride of lions in any zoo in Australasia, with 11 lions in total. There are 3 male lions – we got to meet Mlinzi and Jelani pictured here during our visit – and 8 female lions. You will either get to see two of the boys, or the eight girls – they are not brought out together at the same time. Some of the lions are brothers and sisters so they need to avoid inbreeding within families. Mlinzi and Jelani are absolutely amazing creatures to watch up close. Being able to hear them purr and roar and seeing them so close up is just such a thrill.
As the largest pay-to-enter tourist attraction in regional South Australia, Monarto Zoo attracts over 130,000 visitors a year and it’s expected the Lions 360 Experience will increase that number by an extra 3,000 people annually. The unique experience will help Monarto Zoo continue their wonderful work as a conservation charity, raising awareness for this amazing species. Keep in mind that Monarto Zoo does not receive the government funding that many other zoos around Australia do. Your ticket price, and visits to Monarto Zoo and Zoo membership all go towards helping this effort.
MONARTO ZOO LIONS 360 EXPERIENCE NOTES
- Lions 360 Experience operates twice daily at 11.15am and 1.15pm (weather permitting).
- Duration: approximately 60 minutes
- Standard Lions 360 experience is for all ages – there is no minimum age
- Minimum age for feeding the lions is 10 years old.
- Children under 16 years old must be accompanied by a paying adult.
- Each session has a maximum of 30 people so it’s not crowded in the cage.
- The entry price for Monarto Zoo does not include the Lions 360 Experience. These sessions need to be booked separately and are an additional fee. Feeding the lions is also an additional fee.
- Make sure you keep your hands away from the outer cage wall, and stay within the barrier. Those lions have sharp claws.
- Do not hold your camera up high in the cage – the lions have been a bit agitated by this.
- Don’t forget this is a two way experience – the lions are also curious about the close human interaction as much as we are interested in them. Don’t purposely annoy them.
- The experience is wheelchair friendly – there is a ramp to get onto the bus; the bus is designed to accommodate a wheelchair and the tunnel and enclosure are all wheel friendly.
- Book in advance to avoid disappointment.
We had a wonderful time at the Lions 360 Experience – it’s an amazing outing that you will not get anywhere else in Australia. It’s a must-do memorable experience, totally safe and family-friendly. Lions 360 would make a great experience gift for those who have everything, and those that do not need toys or other things. We can’t wait to go back there again.
For more information and all enquiries please visit the Monarto Zoo website here
What: Lions 360 Experience Monarto Zoo
When: Open Every Day – session times 11.15am and 1.15pm
Where: Old Princess Highway, Monarto – Take the Monarto exit off the South Eastern Freeway to the Princes Highway and follow the signs. Approximate travelling time 60 minutes – distance approximately 65km from Adelaide CBD to Monarto Zoo. See map here
Who: Animal lovers
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
Images Source: All photos & videos by Play & Go
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