Pop in at Perry’s Bridge Reptile Park | iinfo TZANEEN

Pop in at Perry’s Bridge Reptile Park
By Bobbi Gerber
Really into reptiles? A visit to Perry’s Bridge Reptile Park in Hazyview will be worth your while, then. Hazyview is at a moderate speed (100km/h) only about 35 minutes’ drive from Mbombela. It is also a short drive from the Kruger National Park (roughly 15km from the Numbi and Phabeni gates).
How it started? The owners of this park used to remove snakes from people’s homes and relocate them safely. They noticed that most people have an unreasonable and unwarranted fear for snakes, which stems from a lack of knowledge and a firm belief in the many myths surrounding snakes. Hence the idea to have a reptile park, where people’s fears and phobias, fascinations and questions can be laid to rest or satisfied.
According to these benefactors of this hapless unpopular reptile, more people are killed by horses (yes, those stately, gentle and loved mammals!) than by snakes. Wrap your mind around that!
They have found that people can be divided into two camps: those intrigued by snakes and other reptiles, and then those who vehemently refuse to go anywhere near them. If you fall under the first category, pop in to Perry’s Bridge Reptile Park.
Twice a day, at 11am and 3pm, visitors can experience the reptiles up close and personal during the 45-minute demonstrations. The fearless and fascinated can have a photograph taken with a handsome constrictor. On a Sunday at 14:00 visitors can see the crocodiles and alligators being fed.
The enclosures endeavour to mimic the reptiles’ natural habitat. The park sports 42 enclosures of indigenous and exotic snakes, including the deadly and infamous green mamba, as well as less familiar specimens like the Cape file snake. Each display has information about where the snake is usually found and what its habits are.
The pythons, anacondas and constrictors are always particularly appreciated. Other cold-blooded creatures that can be seen are intriguing amphibians from around the world, including the local painted reed frogs that glow like jewels.
Apart from the frogs there are also tortoises and lizards. Here you can see the Green basilisk (a lizard that literally sprints over water, therefore also called the Jesus lizard!), the massive Nile monitor and a singular iguana called John Malkovich. (One wonders why?!...)
Hazyview cheekily confirms the expression that ‘size doesn’t count’, as it boasts its own airport. For visitors from Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the neighbouring Kingdom of Swaziland, it is a do-able and always scenic drive by car. The park is open six days a week, excluding Fridays. During school holidays, it is open every day of the week, also on Good Friday, Christmas -, Boxing - and New Year's Day from 10:00 to 17:00.
Contact number for enquiries: +27 (0)13 737 7680

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