Dublin Zoo, Co Dublin
One of the oldest zoos in the world, the Dublin Zoo was founded in 1830. It’s located on the north bank of the River Liffey, occupying nearly 60 acres of Phoenix Park. With more than a million visitors passing through each year, the zoo is one of the biggest attractions in Dublin, and it makes for a great day out for families with children.
The zoo is a registered charity and has a particularly strong reputation for its lion-breeding programme, which has been underway for nearly a century and a half. The grounds are divided into the following habitats:
A visit to the African Savannah is like a mini-safari in the least likely of places. Giraffe and zebras roam plains, rhinos ramble along and wild dogs prowl the perimeter. Chimpanzees are a crowd favourite, and you’ll see them foraging for honey and other hidden treats.
This is a more traditional view of animal life in Ireland. Sheep, pigs, chickens, rabbits and ducks are in the mix, and children have ample opportunity to get some up-close look at life on the farm.
Kaziranga Forest Trail
The quintessential Asian rainforest, the Kaziranga Forest Trail centres on an expanding family of Asian elephants. Waterfalls, rock formations and bamboo stands round out the experience.
A whopping 12,000 square metres is set aside for this recreation of the West African rainforest. Western lowland gorillas forage through the low-lying vegetation and perch on high, rocky outcroppings.
This is an historic exhibit, built at the end of the 19th century by prominent architect L.M. McDonnell. It’s a free-flying aviary today, housing rare birds and endangered bats.
House of Reptiles
Home to all that creeps, crawls and slithers, this exhibition pays tribute to venom, teeth and cold blood. Snakes, tarantulas, crocodiles, Gila monsters and chameleons are all in the mix.
South American House
The main attractions here are brightly coloured tropical birds and New World monkeys.
This biosphere was inspired by the jungles of Sumatra and India. Critically endangered Asian lions join Sumatran tigers and Sulawesi macaques in what is likely the zoo’s most highly acclaimed project.
Catch live video of elephants, penguins, wolves and the African Savannah exhibition on the Dublin Zoo’s live cams.