Newlands Zoo, also known as the Groote Schuur Zoo, was once a popular zoo on the slopes of Devil’s Peak which contained a smattering of animals including lion, crocodile and emu for the enjoyment of curious onlookers.

The work of none other than Cecil John Rhodes, this zoo was perhaps most famous for its lion enclosure – residents dwelling further down the mountain’s slopes in Rondebosch used to recall the occasional booming roar of a lion on still nights.

Adam Spires, our favourite vlogger, recently visited the remains of the now-defunct zoo which ceased operation over 40 years ago. An old, eerie shell remains, a reminder of a time when beautiful animals kept in captivity was more widely accepted.

A living reminder of the zoo would be the Himalayan Mountain Goats, of which two escaped many years ago and now a flourishing population has become established all over Table Mountain.

Let’s follow Adam into the abandoned enclosures.

Article written by

Justin Williams

Justin Williams is a born-and-bred Capetonian with a flair for writing. His icons include the late South African authors Lawrence Green, Eric Rosenthal and T.V. Bulpin, literary figures who continuously inspire him to cover the avenues of lifestyle, travel and nature in a local context. When Justin's not covering a story, he can be found in the mountains - he's a renowned wild food forager and is currently learning herbalism.