Crocodiles in Joburg? Yes, and big ones too. These prehistoric creatures are literally living in our backyard.
Croc City Crocodile Farm is in Nietgedacht, 5 minutes drive from the Fourways area. The farm is situated north of Johannesburg, close to the Lanseria International Airport, the Cradle of Humankind and is en-route to the Hartbeespoort Dam. The entrance to Croc City leads one into the curio shop. Here a variety of things are sold, from beverages and snacks to crocodile healing cream and crocodile meat. There are also a large number of reptiles such as snakes, spiders and dragons on display that can also be held by the brave.
The lecture area situated to the left of the curio shop, is used for school tours whereby students will watch a DVD, have a “touch and feel” session where crocodile skulls, eggs and skins are inspected and then taken on a visual tour of the farm.
Meet living dinosaurs
The first enclosure holds some two year old crocodiles that, on a hot day, lay basking in the sun. Be entertained as the crocodiles submerging their entire bodies into the water, with the exception of their eyes, and swimming very elegantly to the other side of the enclosure. The peeping eyes out of the water are an absolute must see.
The second enclosure will allow you to enjoy the exquisitely well kept and colour filled gardens. The lush grass, the tiny pebbles that seem to be perfectly placed and the flowers contrast against the green of the grass to give the impression of absolute perfection. The garden even looks phenomenal in winter.
The second enclosure houses crocodiles that are ‘teenagers’. These crocs were much bigger, measuring around 2.5 meters. Three of these crocs were actually in a bit of a battle to find a mate! As the sex of a crocodile can only be determined by means of an internal examination of the croc, one can never tell quite sure as to whom chases whom, but when it comes to the female crocodile looking for a mate, age has nothing to do with the ideal partner, but rather how big the partner is.
The last enclosure houses the crocs that averages 60 years. These crocodile are massive. When these 60 year old crocodiles have their mouths wide open, you can notice that these creatures have no tongue. Hopefully they can taste their food because these creatures have a 4 ton per square centimeter bite force, which would mean that if one were standing at the water’s edge, there would be little hope for the victim.
The final enclosure has an extra area known as the nesting area. The nesting area comprises of a couple of wooden cubicles that are filled with sand. When the females are ready to lay their eggs, they will pick out what they feel is the most comfortable nesting area, this is usually decided on by means of a little ‘ladies argument’. Once resolved, the females proceed with laying their eggs.
As Croc City is also a commercial breeding facility, all the eggs are removed and incubated, and when they hatch they have a much larger chance of survival than compared to a natural birth in the wild surrounded by larger crocs. Croc City believes in preservation of crocodiles by, not only having them reared but also using them for educational purposes.
Make a mental note that the feedings take place every Saturday and Sunday at 14h00 and this is an incredible experience. Currently Croc City has over 3000 crocodiles in various stages of development.
Croc City Crocodile Farm is literally a stone’s throw from the Fourways area and includes a tea garden that provides light refreshments. They are open 7 days a week, from 09h00 till 16h30, including public holidays with guided tours in either English or Afrikaans. It also makes for a refreshing new birthday party venue, where you leave with fond memories of the amazing creatures, however dangerous, are majestic in stature.
For more information on birthday parties, school outings or corporate team building activities, Croc City Crocodile Farm can be contacted on the details alongside, or visit their website.