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Johannesburg Planetarium was inaugurated on 12th October 1960, and was the first full-sized planetarium in South Africa, and the 2nd in the Southern Hemisphere. Its first instrument was originally a 1930s projector from Hamburg, that was completely rebuilt to modernise it. The planetarium programs a number of shows throughout the year for families and students, and children’s birthday parties can be organised. There are also regular astronomy courses throughout the year. On the planetarium web site, as in the planetarium souvenir shop, you’ll find maps of the moon and explanations as to how to find directions using the sun and the moon. Also there is a selection of telescopes and accessories to choose from.
Johannesburg Zoo dates from 1904 and occupies an area of land that covers approximately 54 hectares (130 acres). This land was originally donated to the city by a company called H. Eckstein & Co and for many years the zoo was operated by the Town Council on behalf of the people of the city. Today it is operated as a non profit making organisation. Johannesburg Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of animals and contains over 2,000 different animals from around 365 species. Amongst its most notable animals are White Lions and Siberian Tigers and it is one of only a handful of zoos in the world that has successfully bred both of these endangered cats. Perhaps its most famous resident however is “Max the Gorilla”. Facilities available include 4 food kiosks and 6 separate toilet blocks. Zoo buggies can be hired to transport visitors with reduced mobility around the park. The zoo is open daily from 8:30am to 5:30pm with extended opening hours during certain periods. Full details of the operating hours and admission prices are available on the website.