This politics helped Basel Zoo to become a number one in breeding endangered species like okapi, cheetahs and Indian rhinos, which are, together with flamingos and apes, the most popular animals there. The zoo is undergoing a reconstruction, more specifically it is in the process of big expansion, since it is planned to open Switzerland’s largest aquarium in 2019.
Known as ‘ Poll among Basel’s inhabitants, the zoo keeps welcoming more and more exotic animals since 1874, and it’s always a good idea to make a short excursion there because it is not that big that you will lose your entire day there. One more evidence of fame of this zoo is the state-of-the-art chimpanzee enclosure that has been endorsed by experts like Jane Goodall.
It is also one of the most beautiful zoos in the world since it is located on the grounds of Vienna’s most popular attraction, the Schönbrunn Palace. Visitors have the chance to enjoy watching giant pandas, penguins, monkeys, elephants and many other species.
Working hours: January: 09:00 – 16:30, February: 09:00 – 17:00, March: 09:00 – 17:30, April – September: 09:00 – 18:30, October: 09:00 – 17:30, November – December: 09:00 – 16:30 Apart from orangutans, carnivores, polar bears, visitors can introduce themselves with some less known species, such as rare deer and pigs.
Once you go there, make sure to check out the ‘ Don’t miss section ’, with a timetable of the most important happenings in the zoo during the day. However, the most appreciated pavilions of the zoo are the Monkey Island, where you can see the fantastic flora and fauna and play with cute lemurs, and the Indonesian Jungle.
At any time of the year a trip to the zoo with the family is an enjoyable day out, visiting in the warmer seasons is certainly more pleasant. We have selected five European zoos in five different cities, all full of history and culture with unique attractions, ideal for a quick ‘city-break’ with the whole family: Vienna, Berlin, London, Dublin and Valencia.
Vienna The antique Menagerie of the emperor known today as the Schönbrunn Zoo is ultramodern and famous worldwide. Part of the renowned Schönbrunn imperial palace and park, the zoo is one of the cultural and recreational attractions most visited not just in the Austrian capital, once the center of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but also in the whole of Austria.
In a well-preserved area dating back to the baroque era, you can meet giant pandas, koala bears, rhinoceros, lions, Amazonian monkeys, elephants, seals, giraffes and the orangutans’ dwelling in the Orangery. The zoo is open 365 days a year including holidays, so it can be visited at any time and in any season.
It is possible to visit the zoo on a yellow and green panorama train which allows you to comfortably reach all the main attractions in the Schönbrunn palace gardens and zoo (April – October every day from 10 -18, November – March on demand). In the center of the park you can visit the amazing Imperial Pavilion built in baroque style dating back to the 18th century which houses a café-restaurant.
There is another restaurant in the grounds called ‘Tirolergarten’ where you can enjoy the local alpine food specializing in traditional Austrian dishes. There are 7,500 animals and approximately 1,000 different species, ranging from the Malaysian bear to the giant flying Indian fox, all living in areas similar to their natural habitats.
Among the areas to highlight there are the hummingbird and crocodile houses, the tropical pavilion, l’ Afrikaner, the snake farm and the Varietal where you can stroll through a forest inhabited by curiously cheeky white, black and red lemurs. Today it houses a collection of 760 species making it one of the largest wildlife parks in the United Kingdom.
Among the many attractions there are some rare specimens of tigers and the first Philippine crocodile babies to be bred in the UK. A natural captivating enclosure that contains many species from the Central African rainforest that are in risk of extinction.
In the birdhouse called the Blackburn Pavilion you can observe beautiful exotic colorful birds as they soar freely in a wonderful tropical habitat. Situated in the heart of the city, it is the fourth largest zoo in the world and one of the oldest in Europe.
It has a river and lake where the tigers can move freely and where you can catch a glimpse of lions and Sulawesi crested macaques. It is an innovative zoo conception which the animals are completely freeing a replicated natural habitat covering an area of 100,000 square meters inside the Cabrera Park, situated on the bed of the Turin river.
Leopards, lemurs, lions, giraffes, gorillas, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, porcupines, ostriches, elephants, … all coexist in this zoological world, which offers memorable experiences and even if you are in Europe it gives the impression of being ‘in Africa’ thanks to the surrounding flora and fauna. Safari parks allow you to take a break from the daily hustle and bustle of the modern life and enable you to refresh and enjoy the exciting trip to wildlife.
Photo by Marie Hale Located in Canterbury, Kent, U.K., it was established on 1957 by John Spinal. The park is home to several wild animals that includes African elephant, honey badger, Eastern black rhino, Sumatran tiger, Eastern bongo, Clouded leopards, Giant anteater, European gray wolves, Nevada baboons, Sulawesi macaque, Western lowland gorilla and much more.
There are also various refreshment points in the park which include the Pavilion Restaurant, the Coffee House café and various kiosks that sell cold drinks, ice-cream, hot dogs etc. It is an Arctic wildlife center where various animals are bred which includes bears, wolves, lynx, wolverines and foxes, along with their prey such as deer, elk, reindeer and musk ox.
Photo by Charlie Marshall Previously known as Broxbourne Zoo, the name as changed after it was bought by the Sampson Family in 1986. A team of members at the park have been continuously researching on different animals, expanding the population and improving the habitat.
The park provides one of the best wildlife experiences where you can meet various animals that include markets, Brazilian tapirs, otters, European gray wolves, red pandas and much more. The park also includes an animal resource center, food, and refreshments for the visitors, and also allows you to book the place for weddings and other occasions.
Photo by Spencer Wright It is a wildlife safari park located in Bussolengo, Vent in the northern Italy. You can enjoy the amazing wildlife from all over the world which includes hippopotamus, Vast Maggie, Marmoset, Ayala, Chimpanzees from Africa; Red panda, black buck, pelican, Snow leopard, Siberian tiger from Asia; Canadian goose, Algebra giant tortoise, Southern Amanda, parakeet Monaco from America and various reptiles such as Boa constrictor, Milk snake, Rhinoceros Iguana, Python of Indian Rocks and much more.
Photo by Marie Hale The largest privately owned zoological park in the United Kingdom, it is home to more than 260 different species. Walled Garden includes aviaries, penguin enclosure, sloths and various tropical birds.
The Woodland Walk is home various species from South America such as Brazilian tapir, capybara, Visayans warty pigs, Patagonian marks and giant anteaters. It has various exhibits which includes White Tiger Ridge, Realms of the Lions, African Wild Dog Reserve, Penguin Cove, Land of the Living Dinosaurs, Lorient Landing, Reptile World, Aquarium, Elephant Valley, Cheetah Plains and much more.
You can also visit the Amusement Theme park which includes more than a dozen rides, from roller coasters to pirate ship. Prague ZOO is said to be one of the best in Europe and could easily keep your kids busy for one entire day.
The ZOO does its best to be a pleasant and interesting place for everybody and if you take a few minutes and organize your trip it can really be an unforgettable experience. Another place that your kinds will definitely love is the Children Area and the Children ZOO, a special built farm, where kids are allowed to enter some enclosures and play with different domesticated animals (rabbits, sheep, pigs, ponies, hens, ducks, geese).
It goes every 10 minutes, every weekend, at the same trace as the bus 112, which means from Nazi Holesovice (Metro C) to Trojan, and back, without changing or unnecessary stopping. Take also in mind that during high season periods you might not find a parking place in front of the ZOO.
Anyway, if you manage to find one, be sure not to leave any valuables at sea, as it might attract thieves’ attention. Take a boat ride to “Pristaviste Trojan”, cross the bridge over Lava, go around the Trojan Castle (“Trotsky Game”) and then walk to the ZOO.
Gorillas In November 2005 a very interesting multimedia project started, the Prague Zoo prepared it together with the Czech Television and the Czech Radio, it is called The Revealed, and it had three main aims: to show to the wide public successes which the Zoo has made with breeding gorillas, to help to raise some money for protecting highly endangered gorillas who live in the free nature and to offer more meaningful alternative to reality shows as Big Brother, which emerged in the commercial TV that time. The project was very successful and popular among the wide public, it even won a Panda Award at Wild Screen Festival in Bristol, which is the most prestigious award for films about nature.
The Monkey and Giraffe pavilion appeared, construction of African jungle started. “Despite its modest area of 111 acres, Prague Zoo has 4600 animals of 630 kinds.
Just last year, a few young of Como do Saran, Rothschild giraffe or Panther turtle were born there.” Peter Few, the manager of Prague Zoo was surprised: “I still don’t get it, this is a really prestigious company we were put in.