Don't miss owner, Paul Hart, in the very highly acclaimed & informative documentary "Blood Lions."

Drakenstein Lions was established in 1998 to provide lions in distress with sanctuary, where they could live in safety, free from abuse & persecution, & be treated with the compassion & respect they deserved.

The Park is situated in the scenic Cape Winelands & comprises of 50 acres of sprawling lion habitat.

The Park is actively involved in improving the quality of life of lions in captivity, locally as well as internationally, either by offering these animals a lifetime home or working in conjunction with other animal welfare organizations to secure a safe future for individual animals in dire need.

The Park is not involved in commercial breeding or trade & offers lifetime care to all of it's animals. All the animals brought to the Park are captive bred / hand reared & cannot be rehabilitated to the wild. The animals at the Park are assured a chance of living out their natural lives in an enriched & safe environment.

All lions brought into Drakenstein Lion Park get sterilized, so you can rest assured that there is absolutely no breeding of the lions at this park!


  • Every year thousands of people visit facilities where they can interact with lion cubs.
  • Every day, a captive bred lion is killed in a canned hunt.
  • The truth is that these lions are the product of factory farming. The cubs are taken from their mothers so that she can produce another litter in six months time, as opposed to two years time, if she had the opportunity to raise her own offspring.
  • These factory farmed cubs are often kept in unsuitable cages with little regard for their social requirements. For a fee you can play and have your photograph taken with them. What happens to these human imprinted animals when they have outgrown their usefulness?
  • Because they are human imprinted & have been deprived of growing up in a natural social group they cannot be rehabilitated or sold to game reserves.
  • every reputable animal welfare organization in the world considers the practice of using lion cubs for human play things as cruelty. Lion cubs are by their very nature not gentle animals. Lion cubs used for petting opportunities are normally trained not to scratch or bite.


Overnight in their well appointed tented camps surrounded by lions! Traditional South African cuisine & Boland hospitality.


Volunteers have the unique opportunity to become a part of our team of dedicated animal care givers & experience the day to day running of a lion sanctuary, working for the animals - not with them.

Projects where volunteers can work with lions are in most cases primarily captive breeding operations & volunteers who work in these programs hand rearing lion cubs are ultimately working for the captive breeding industry. The captive breeding industry is the primary source of victims for the canned hunting industry!


Drakenstein Lion Park is the only genuine lion sanctuary in the Western Cape, with the largest lion population, including rare white lions. Beware of facilities making false & misleading claims. Many claim to ‘rescue lions’, undertake ‘research’ & ‘rehabilitate’ lions, but nothing could be further from the truth. Genuine lion sanctuaries are not involved in captive breeding & provide lifetime care to their resident animals. Genuine lion sanctuaries do not offer ‘petting’ opportunities.

Want to adopt a lion for life, like me?

Leonidas captured my heart because he was rescued from Beirut, Lebanon. Being Lebanese myself, I felt a responsibility to make sure Leo would have everything he needed at his beautiful new home. Paul does such amazing, ethical work with these animals. I am forever grateful for the lives he saves.

Leonidas was born in approximately 2012 & arrived at the Sanctuary on 04 November 2015 after a long journey from Beirut.

Leonidas had spent his entire life in solitary confinement in a six meter shipping container. His arrival at the Sanctuary marked the first time that he was able to walk on earth, experience grass under his feet & see others of his kind. Leonidas ended up in the shipping container because of the greed of a Lebanese zoo which sold him for profit & a complete disdain for his welfare.

Leonidas’s rescue was facilitated by Animals Lebanon. Animal Travel Services & DRA Customs Clearing & Forwarding ensured a smooth arrival in South Africa.