What is a Reptile?
There are over 8000 reptile species in total, they belong to the class Reptilia, and are devided into four groups or orders.
The meaning of "Kinyonga"
"Kinyonga" is a Swahili word meaning Chameleon which essentially means little lion. These completely harmless reptiles are feared by many inhabitants of Africa. This unreasonable fear also exists with snakes yet most snakes are, also themselves, totally harmless. Kinyonga Reptile Centre has a dedicated team that works toward conserving and saving reptiles. We believe that education is a powerful tool that should play a major role in conservation.
The Kinyonga Reptile Centre is situated in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, 15km outside of the nearest town "Hoedspruit" (Click "MAP" button below) and is located in one of the most pristine parts of the country in terms of natural heritage. This area has a particularly high concentration of snakes and therefore there is a high frequency of interaction between snakes and people, making this a prime destination for reptile-related research and public education.
Hoedspruit is situated in unspoiled "Big 5" country (Click "MAP" button below) with lodges and accommodation that suit all budgets and comfort preferences. Hoedspruit is well known for its nature trails and adventure activities such as river rafting, mountain climbing, hot air ballooning, cycling, camping and more. The lifestyle is clean and looked after by the friendly people who welcome tourists with a smile.
Lodges, farmers and local communities within the region often call upon Kinyonga Reptile Centre to help with reptile, amphibian and arachnid related problems. We will always come out to relocate animals back into the wild.
We are open every day of the year, including all holidays from 8:00am to 5:00pm and are on call 24/7 for any reptile related emergencies.
Baboon spiders are ground-dwelling that live in self-made burrows. They are usually never far from their homes but habitat destruction is a major threat.
The Old and the New
Kinyonga Reptile Centre originally opened in 1984 and has since developed into a well-organised institute. Upgrades to the centre take place routinely and the centre aims to be at the forefront of reptile husbandry and conservation always.
This old photograph of our front entrance in 1984 shows how far the park has come already.