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Meet the menagerie at the Rand Show's animal farm

It just wouldn't be a show without the animals, which is why the Rand Show is bringing together a whole cast of flying, flapping, trotting, waddling, scurrying and slithering entertainers to delight families this year, at the Rand Show's animal farm.

City slickers can experience farm life with Bekker Agricultural High School when it brings a host of farmyard friends eager for a pat and a snack. There’ll be sheep, goats, cows, chickens, geese, ducks and rabbits, with the horses trotting in to join the fun on the closing weekend.

In the Milking Barn, kids can learn how milk gets from the farm to their breakfast tables, watching as the pupils from Bekker High demonstrate their milking skills on some docile dairy cows, and hand out small bottles of milk.

The Rand Show’s favourite bird man, Bryan Vorster, will then delight young and old with the antics of his fabulous flock of feathered aviators in the Free-Flight Bird Show. Cape vultures, Harris hawks, owls and parrots will spread their wings in a display of aerial acrobatics and tricks, as Bryan teaches the audience a bit about each of his winged friends.

Several rescued birds, including a king vulture, Cape eagle owl and a marabou stork will also be watching from the sidelines, waiting to meet visitors after the show.

You're getting colder

But enough about mammals... what cold-blooded animals are heading for the Rand Show this year?

Visitors can take in an interactive snake and reptile show with creepy-crawly expert, Snake Bite Jones, and his collection of puff adders, boa constrictors, Cape cobras, black mambas, monitor lizards, spiders and scorpions. Snake Bite Jones will also have a number of cold-blooded beasties on display for Rand Show visitors.

Pose with a boa

Pay a visit to Magalies Reptiles and take a selfie with a difference. The reptile protection agency is bringing the ultimate selfie prop for Rand Show visitors ... four heavyweights of the snake world that like nothing better than ‘posssssssing’ for photos with their fans. There’ll be two red-tailed boas, the longest measuring 2.5 m, a 1.6-m-long Dumeril’s boa, and a 1.7-m-long Brazilian rainbow boa, all eager to get likes on Instagram.

Less fun to pose with are the Cantil viper, copperhead viper, and the Christmas tree viper: all venomous and best viewed safely from behind glass.

Rand Show visitors can also see a number of morph corn snakes, Sinaloan milksnakes, and small ball and carpet pythons, as well as a Russian rat snake, anaconda, and Kenyan sand boas. And don’t forget the black Mexican king snake, an albino Californian king snake, and a hognose snake with its upturned snout.

It’s not just about snakes though at the Magalies Reptiles display. Come and meet the four-legged reptiles – leopard geckos, savannah or Bosc monitors and bearded dragons – and find out how all these cold-blooded creatures should be handled and cared for.

All this animal action is just part of the lineup of top-class entertainment at this year’s Rand Show. South Africa’s biggest consumer expo is the only show to offer attractions covering everything from sport, motoring, military, and science and technology, to design, gardening, health and beauty, and variety shows ... there’s an entire day out for the whole family packed into each Rand Show ticket.

Visit to find out about what’s on this year at the Rand Show.

When, where, how much?

The Rand Show runs from Friday, 14 April to Sunday, 23 April 2017, from 9 am to 7 pm (last entry at 6 pm), at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec (GPS – S26°14.484’ E27°58.510). There is ample secure paid parking at the venue, with visible policing.

Rand Show tickets at the gate cost R150 for adults, R50 for pensioners, R50 for 13-16 years, R20 for 6-12 years, and under six enter free. Midweek specials for Tuesday 18, Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 April only are R75 for adults, and R20 for 13-16 year olds. Open-air parking is R20 per car. Tickets are available at the gate or through Computicket. Tickets give access to a wide variety of entertainment attractions, but exclude rides on the helicopter and monorail, drifting, bagjumping, the fun fair, and refreshments and food.

5 Apr 2017 14:21