One of the must-do things in Oudtshroom (one of the popular stops on the Garden Route) is Cango Ranch. Cango Ranch is less of a ranch (no horses or cowboys here), and more of a mid-sized immersive zoo and conservation center. Immersive meaning that you can get up close the the animals via paid “encounters” — like petting a cheetah or cage dive with crocodiles if you have a death wish.
You can expect to spend about 2 hours here checking out the 90+ animals. Free guided tours run around the clock and you can add an encounter too, which we highly recommend since it’s relatively cheap (210 Rand / $16 USD) and super fun. Here is Cango Ranch’s rate chart as of 2017.
Alrighty, now for a preview. Here are a few of the awesome animals you’ll see at Cango Ranch.
1. Baby Cheetahs
For our encounter, we went to go hang out with baby cheetahs (so viciously cute). After checking in, you are briefed by your guide and a team of other workers on what to do and how to do it.
You get to pet one or two of them for a good 5-10 minutes per person. Like all cats, these baby cheetahs were napping during the afternoon heat.
Throughout the experience, we were closely monitored by the staff, and they take careful precautions to ensure every human’s and cheetah’s safety.
Story here is that the dude lion didn’t want to boink the girl lion so they neutered her (so sad). But now he likes her but they can’t make baby lions.
Feel free to get your Lion King on over here. You have access to the lions through an elevated walkway.
There seems to be a billion crocodiles at Cango Ranch. If crocodiles are your jams, then you’ll love it at Cango Ranch.
One of the fun things to watch is the Jumping Jaws show. Your guide dangles a piece of meat above the water and an alligators swims up and snatches it out of her hand. I’m sure this is the least favorite part of their job. I wonder if they have Worker’s Comp…
If you’re so interested, you can also dip into the water in a cage with the crocodiles. Looks pretty amazing if that’s your thing.
Cango Ranch also has a small aviary with birds flying around and chirping really loudly. They poop everywhere, so watch out for where you stand.
There’s also a section for snakes. Who knew they look so amazing in real life.
Cango Ranch is a win. I’d definitely recommend checking out. Looking to ride an ostrich? You can also check out Safari Ostrich Show Farm and ride a bird. We didn’t do it, but the interwbs has said good things.
Cango Wildlife Ranch
Baron Van Reede St
Oudtshoorn, 6620, South Africa
R 160 – 300 per person