Westcliff in Johannesburg gets families behind the scenes, at the zoo


Road Travel can highly recommend the Westcliff in Johannesburg, and this is a really nice add on to a family stay there.  Families staying at The Westcliff hotel can view the Johannesburg Zoo from the hotel’s lofty, cliff-side location or just “cross the road” to the zoo itself for specialized tours where visitors can learn about the history of the zoo, how it was donated to the people of Johannesburg in 1904 and why its animal collection is so unique.


The Behind the Scenes tour allows guests to get up close and personal with the animals, visiting the zoo kitchens and accompanying staff to feed the animals.  It also includes visits to the zoo hospital and the animal “night rooms”- areas protected from the elements where the animals can relax, sleep or hide.  Guests can also bring a picnic basket and a torch and embark on a Night Tour, where they will learn about the lives of nocturnal animals while encountering a variety of interesting creatures from crocodiles to civets, honey badgers to hippos and many more.  Afterwards, guests can enjoy a picnic, toasting marshmallows around a roaring bonfire.


Situated in the tranquil surrounds of historic Westcliff, The Westcliff Hotel’s cliff-side setting makes for a unique resort-style layout with spectacular views over Johannesburg’s leafy northern suburbs.  The hotel is a short drive from the many shopping malls Johannesburg is renowned for and just 22 km from O.R. Tambo International Airport.  The magnificent manicured gardens of The Westcliff cascade down the rocky hillside and are testament to its award-winning landscaping and maintenance by a team of resident gardeners.  Gorgeous roses, flower beds and lush greenery abound, making their home amidst charming cobbled pathways, courtyards and soothing water features.  Because the estate is built into a steep cliff-side, microbuses and club cars transport guests around the property.  However, foot links are available for guests who enjoy walking.


Guests can cool off in two large, heated swimming pools and two plunge pools, and within the grounds there is also a floodlit tennis court with a resident coach and an executive gym.  Golfers can enjoy the facilities of a nearby club, which offers guest membership benefits.  Guests have a choice of dining in The La Belle Terrasse and Loggia fine dining restaurants, or in the more casual Polo Lounge and Bar.  Alternatively relax on the Pool Deck with its glorious heated pool and spectacular views of the city and the Zoological Gardens.  The Westcliff’s Botanica Spa Suites is an oasis of indulgence, pleasure, relaxation and radiant transformation in Johannesburg.

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