If you haven’t been to Dublin Zoo lately, or ever, do yourself a favour and go. Despite being practically on my doorstep, within 10 kilometres, I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t been in years, until last weekend. We were regular visitors when my daughter Ella was little. Back then it was good, now, it’s phenomenal.
There’s a daily schedule of activities so it’s a good idea to plan your day around it. That way you can enjoy the Sea Lion feeding time and talk, which is really fun and interesting, followed by the Penguins, Giraffes, Rhinos and so on. The speakers and keepers are really informed, passionate about the animals and delighted to answer any questions, especially those from the children; probably because the little ones ask all the brilliant questions…
Speaking of little ones, now is a really good time to visit if you like babies. There’s a new baby Asian elephant, a female, born on September 19. She’s the fourth elephant calf to be born at Dublin Zoo in two years. She needs a name and you can suggest one (bear in mind the Asian origin, so maybe not Nora) on their website here
There’s also a baby rhinoceros, a male, born in August 2016. He’s closely guarded by his mother at all times, who chases him around the African Savannah. Gorgeous!
A baby Gorilla was born to Lena in July and there’s a tiny Giraffe too, who is either a baby or just small. I missed the talk for this one. Either way, it’s very cute.
The facilities have come a long way both for animals and visitors. There are lots of eating places to buy from or to have your own picnic and plenty of toilet facilities dotted all around.
Orangutan Forest, as the name suggests, is the new home for the orangutans. It’s five times bigger than their old space and features eleven trees, between 7 and 12 metres high, which encourages their natural climbing behaviour. High ropes enable them to cross from one side of the pedestrian path to the other, overhead. The African Savannah is vast and home to Giraffes, Zebra, Gazelle, Rhinos and Ostriches, where they have lots of space to roam freely.
Other attractions include The Farm, Gorilla Rainforest, Reptile House and Forest Trail to name but a few. The great thing about it being so vast is that we didn’t get to see everything, so we’ll definitely have to visit again and soon.
The big lesson for me was that you don’t need to have a child or to be one to visit The Zoo. Myself, Himself and my dad had a really lovely day. Obviously it’s very child friendly and caters very well for them, but they’re not essential 🙂
You’ll find all the information you need to plan your visit on the Dublin Zoo website.
- Come early and make a day of it. It opens at 9.30am.
- Check out the feeding and talk times in advance.
- Bring rainwear, it is Ireland after all.
- Pack a picnic, there are lots of picnic tables available.
- Don’t feed the herons.
- Bring a buggy for in-betweenies, it’s a big space and a long walk for little legs (I should know at 5ft 4)
- If you have a family and visit regularly, get yourself an annual pass.
As always, enjoy.
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