Are vaccine passes required for entry?
Vaccine passes are not required for entry. If you test positive for covid or have any flu like symptoms, please stay home as we have immunocompromised staff and the big cats can get covid.
How many big cats does the Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary have?
We have 17 big cats with us at present – 13 adult Lions, 1 Cheetah, 2 Bengal tigers, and 1 Leopard
Are any of your big cats tame?
Some are a little bit tame, but we’re much happier when a lion is a lion. Natural behaviour is much better. For certain, you could never trust one enough to turn your back on it.
Can we walk around Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary or do we have to drive through and see the cats outside of cages?
Yes, Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary keeps all its cats in much larger than required enclosures so you can walk along paths to each enclosure and observe these magnificent animals going about their daily lives. We also cater for the disabled, and can organise tours in a limousine golf cart up which seats up to 6 people or our regular golf cart which seats up to 4 people.
How do we book to visit Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary?
You can book online at book.bigcats.co.nz, or by clicking the ‘buy tickets’ button at the top of the page. We cannot accept bookings for unaccompanied children (15 years and under).
Is there plenty of parking within walking distance?
Yes, there is parking within walking distance, and we have extra parking capacity within walking distance when necessary.
How long would it take a young family to walk around all the enclosures?
Allow two hours for a young family to watch and enjoy the cats. Some people take three hours. The Big Cats really are fascinating to observe.
Do you cater for school groups?
Yes we do cater for school groups. Please organise this with our office.
What do the big cats eat?
They eat meat – usually beef or horse, and very occasionally pork. None of them will eat sheep meat. All of them love chicken, and a couple of them like fish when they can get it. Thabo our cheetah loves chicken, but only if it comes to her as a frozen supermarket chook that’s been thawed. The big cats also get milk treats from time to time and eggs, as well as vitamins and supplements. Most are fed five days out of seven, although their diet and the amount they get varies through the seasons.
How much food does one cat eat each day?
Each cat gets the amount of food they require for their size and body weight. A male lion weighting almost 250kg gets 6kg of meat a day during winter, while others get four kilos of fresh meat per day. Smaller cats get 2.5-3kg per day.
Are we able to feed the cats?
It is illegal for anyone, including us, to go in with the cats except for cheetah, Thabo. This is an MPI rule. We can hand feed them treats with tongs, and you can organise a tour where you will be able to do this too. Buy Tickets Here
Is there wheelchair access to see the cats?
Wheelchair access is not ideal but it is certainly possible. We are working on improving this as soon as we can. In the meantime we have a golf cart as part of our guided tours.
Are you going to get more big cats?
That is the plan. We’d like to see a jaguar, caracal, another leopard, more cheetahs, and more tigers. Watch our news page to see how we’re getting on towards this goal. Latest News
What is the best time of day to see the cats being active?
There are always some cats active even when others are not but in general the cats are active most of the time, and there aren’t often big gaps between somebody talking. They’ll tend to be quieter on a nice sunny day at midday but otherwise quite vocal.
Does the weather affect their behavior?
On a long wet day, some of our big cats won’t leave their dens. Mandla, our leopard detests wet feet so he tends to stay inside on really wet days. In general, wind and thunder don’t bother the cats, but a few don’t like puddles. On a colder day they’ll find a nice warm rock to lie on and stay there, while on a hot day, they’ll seek out a nice shady spot.
Is there a café or somewhere to buy food at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary?
We have drinks for sale via the office. We are going to get a café on site, but until then we try to have a food truck on our busier days.
Do you do guided tours of the Sanctuary?
Yes, we certainly do offer guided tours. Choose from three different tours. Buy Tickets
Are we able to get someone from Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary to come out to our school and give us a talk about conserving the big cats and why they are in danger?
Yes we can come to your school and give a talk. We usually bring one of our fabulous keepers with us and we can tailor for age group. Please enquire through the website or contact our office. We’ll be happy to speak with you.
I would like to work at Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary. Do you have volunteer positions, or any jobs available?
We will have jobs for volunteers available soon, and we are on the lookout for an experienced keeper.
How much does a big cat weigh?
Our male lions range from 230- 270kgs. The female lions are around 135-215 kg, and the tigers are approx. 130kg. Mandla the leopard weighs about 58kg, and Thabo the Cheetah is 35kg.
How long do the big cats live for?
In captivity big cats live into their mid-to-late twenties, but it varies considerably. In the wild, the same cats live into their mid-teens.
Is Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary a petting zoo where we can experience handling cubs?
Unfortunately, No. We do not allow, and it is illegal for us as well, to directly handle the animals in our care or permit anyone else to.