Members Lara Mostert and Vijver Jonck are proud to be part of the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance. SAASA Sanctuaries have won the Skål Sustainable Tourism Award for Major Tourist Attraction in 2014, 2019 and 2023. SAASA Sanctuaries include Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, The Hidden Forest Wildlife Sanctuary.
SETTING A STANDARD FOR THE FUTURE OF ALL SANCTUARIES Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Garden Route are four uniquely different and award-winning Sanctuaries, each falling under the umbrella of the South Africa Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA): Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, Birds of Eden, Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, and the newest addition, The Hidden Forest Wildlife Sanctuary. SAASA takes the welfare of the animals and birds in their care very seriously and without exception. Therefore, Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, Jukani, and The Hidden Forest Wildlife Sanctuary all abide by very exacting standards, ensuring the utmost quality of care together with promoting responsible tourism. In recognition of their high standards, SAASA has been the proud recipient of numerous awards, solidifying their commitment to sustainable and responsible practices. In 2014, SAASA, as a collective entity, secured the Skål International Sustainable Tourism Award for Major Tourist Attraction, setting the tone for their dedication to sustainable practices. This recognition was further reinforced in 2019, after the opening of The Hidden Forest Wildlife Sanctuary, as SAASA once again clinched the prestigious Skål International Sustainable Tourism Award for Major Tourist Attraction. Notably, in 2023, SAASA entered The Hidden Forest Wildlife Sanctuary independently for the Skål International Sustainable Tourism Award, and the sanctuary emerged victorious, reiterating SAASA’s ongoing commitment to sustainable tourism practices. SAASA’s dedication to responsible tourism is underscored by their 2014 triumph as the Overall Winner of the World Responsible Tourism Award. This global acknowledgment highlights SAASA’s leadership and commitment to ethical and responsible practices within the wildlife sanctuary landscape. All SAASA-controlled sanctuaries adhere to strict ‘no-touch’ policies, emphasizing their focus on providing sanctuaries that prioritize the well-being of the animals and birds in their care. These are not petting zoos; rather, they serve as havens for previously abused animals and birds to experience a freedom that was once denied to them. MONKEYLAND PRIMATE SANCTUARY Monkeyland, the world’s first multi-species, free-roaming primate sanctuary, opened its gates to the public in 1998 amidst much skepticism. Covering twelve hectares of indigenous forest, Monkeyland is home to over 500 primates of 11 different species, including Squirrel, Capuchin, Howler, Vervet, and Spider monkeys, among others. Previously abused animals, ex-pets, laboratory animals, and surpluses from zoos now have the opportunity to behave in a way that is natural to them. Guided tours led by experienced rangers provide visitors with insights into each species, their ecology, and conservation efforts. BIRDS OF EDEN Birds of Eden, the largest single-dome free-flight aviary in the world, spans 2.3 hectares of natural forests, streams, and dams. With over a kilometer of walkways, visitors can witness almost 3500 previously captive birds of over 200 different species flying free and living natural lives. The self-guided tours allow visitors to explore at their own pace, enjoying the scenery and encountering diverse plant and tree species, giant fruit bats, golden-handed tamarins, and Blue duikers. Guided tours for group bookings can also be arranged upon request. JUKANI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY Jukani, the latest addition to the SAASA family, provides an opportunity to experience big cats and other apex predators in a natural setting. Lions (white and tawny), tigers, jaguars, leopards, cheetahs, cougars, caracals, African painted dogs, hyenas, jackals, and the notoriously fearless honey badger are among the rescued animals living in large, natural enclosures. Expert-led tours at Jukani focus primarily on conservation education. For safety reasons, Jukani is the only sanctuary where visitors view the wildlife from behind a fence, ensuring an uninterrupted view of the animals. THE HIDDEN FOREST WILDLIFE SANCTUARY Opened in April 2019, The Hidden Forest Wildlife Sanctuary is SAASA’s much-loved sister sanctuary situated near Ballito along the Dolphin Coast in KwaZulu-Natal. The sanctuary offers immersive wildlife tours, starting with a short drive on a safari vehicle to the expansive 23-hectare hidden forest. Guided walking tours allow visitors to encounter free-roaming primates and other wildlife in their natural habitat. Additional amenities at the reception area include a large secure parking lot, a gift shop, children’s jungle gym, toilet facilities, a prayer room, a cinema, and a licensed pizza restaurant. The Hidden Forest Wildlife Sanctuary, a 100% family-friendly eco-attraction, is open every day from 8.30 am to 4 pm, welcoming visitors in any weather (subject to the right clothing). A visit to any of our sanctuaries—Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, and The Hidden Forest Wildlife Sanctuary—is more than just entertaining; it is an educational and enlightening experience. SAASA continues to set a standard for the future of all sanctuaries, providing a platform for responsible tourism and the well-being of animals in their care.