I've heard people say "you've seen one zoo, you've seen them all". Well that is just not true. What a beautiful, clean, well designed zoo. The habitats have great information about the animals, their native country..., some habitats have zoo keepers nearby to answer questions and the staff in all places (from entrance to eateries) were very friendly and helpful. A word of advice, try to see the pandas first thing in the morning as the line may not be so long.
We only spent about 3 hours here, but we could have spent much more. Sadly, the giraffes and some of our favorite animals were inside due to the cold, rainy weather. However, we LOVED the aviaries, and the elephants played around for us. We also got to see the koalas, pandas (one had the hiccups!), zebras, hairy pigs, and orangutans. Check out my photos in the journal below.
This is definitely worth a visit. We didn't take the bus/deluxe, but I think most people would like it. You can get a $2 per person coupon off the deluxe package in most guide books.
Don't neglect the bird areas. They are really fantastic.
When in San Diego don't miss spending a few hours at the zoo. Due to its size one can easily spend an afternoon at this zoo. Since it is mostly all outside it is not recommended to visit on rainy days
If you have kids, it would take a full day at the zoo, I'm sure...But for me, I only spent a half day at the zoo and it was enough.
Definately take plenty of film incase like me, you get carried away.
My favourite would have to be the Polar Bears, it felt like I stood watching them for hours.
Food and drinks can be pricey. I found it best to buy the refilable animal drink cups from the store at the front of the zoo the best option. They were pricey themselves, but seeing as though you get refills all day and a souvenir to keep, I think it worked out a better deal then if you were to buy the cheaper drinks all day long.
Dont forget sunscreen and insect repellant.
imust admit that the zoo is one of the best i have ever seen. the wild animal park is definetly better but for those of you that want structure...go to the zoo. and the pandas are only at the zoo. I will definetly go back there when i return to san diego...love it there...
this is a zoo not to miss.
there are so much animals. who almost doesnot exist anymore.
one group of animals (i forgot the name) are the last in the world.
you need a day or more to visite this zoo.
gates open daily at 9 am (can change)
closes vary by season
The San Diego zoo is probably the premier zoo in the United States. Famous for it's Giant Panda Program, the Zoo has just about any type of animal you would want to see. No trip to San Diego would be complete without a visit to the Zoo.
There are two ways to see the Zoo: Walk or take a tram. I recommend the Tram as a good overview then go back and hit your favorites by walking. The zoo is hilly and so large that you will easily be tired out if you walk the whole exhibit. I speak from experience.
They have a fantastic Hippo Exhibit also. There is also a special "Kids Zoo" section as well though I would steer clear if you don't like screaming kids swarming around you!
Because it's such a popular tourist site, get there early to avoid the crowds. Buy a two park ticket that includes a visit to the Wild Animal Park. It'll save you some money versus individually purchased tickets.
O.k, with our annual passes, me and the kids I nanny for have been to the zoo a fair amount since my first tip about the zoo. Today we went, for the first time, on the GUIDED BUS TOUR. We had a buy one, get one ticket free and decided to use it. So it cost $8.50 for me and one child, with our memberships ($10 I think without membership, per person, for a guided tour and day's use of the Express Bus, which you can get on and off at atcertain stops throughout the park).
Anywho, we went to get to bus tour at 1pm, and it was CROWDED!! We waited for 40 minutes, which may not sound like a lot, but with 2 kids it felt like 2 hours. And as the zoo is huge, 40 minutes is a waste of time if you only have a day there. SO, I would recommend taking the tour at the BEGINNING of your day, assuming you get there when the park opens. They show you on the tour where the shows will be held, so you can work out which ones you want to or can see. Or, take the tour at the END of your day when, especially in summer, it will be cooler and less crowded also.
REMEMBER: this is a double decker bus, and the line for sitting on the top deck was 5 times that of the line for sitting on the lower deck. If you have small children, and it's a hot day or crowded, take the lower deck. You'll be all the more saner for it. And go potty before you board, as they don't stop!
Tours run from opening to last tour at 4pm.
Located in the gorgeous Balboa Park in central SD, I had high expectations for the zoo, having heard that it was one of the best in the world. I spent the day with Charlie, 2 1/2, who was initially excited about seeing the tigers, but ended up liking the hogs the most! Spending around 4 hours here, we saw 70% of the park, which isn't bad going considering it's spacious. There's a lot of walking involved and a decent amount of that up hills, but there is a guided bus tour you can take for $10, which will drop you off and pick up up at certain points throughout the entire day).
What I like the most about the park is that you've got a very decent selection of animals here; elephants, polar bears, tigers, rhinos, zebra, hogs!, koala, kangeroos and gorillas. There's also a baby panda, born August 2003, which you can see at certain times of the day. CAUTION: We waited in line for 30 minutes and didn't get to see the baby (only the sleeping mama). The baby was hiding in a tree! You can see the daddy panda without queing up, so if you're got a limited amount of time, and the line to see the baby is long, go and see the daddy next door instead.
Another favourite of the day was the SKYFARI, which is a cable car ride above the park, lasting 5 minutes. I nearly peed my pants the first ride, the 2 yr old stuck his head over the bars to get a better look. But we did go again! It costs $3 each way, but if you're a member, it's free (hence our second trip).
I have to say that I enjoyed the Wild Animal Park more than I did the zoo, for the amount of space the animals got (decent at the zoo, generous at the WAP) and for the feeling that you weren't in a zoo or a park, but in the animal's natural habitats. However, if you're in SD, it's very accessible and definitely worth a trip. We took the number 7 bus from Broadway, (outside the train depot) for $2.25 one-way, which took us straight to the zoo. Plenty of free parking also.
CAUTION: Food's fairly expensive, so take your own if possible.
Zoo Transportation (additional charge, not included in General Admission price; included in Best Value Admission):
- GUIDED BUS TOUR ($10 adults, $5.50 children 3-11) is a 40-minute tour on a double-decked bus covering about 75 percent of the Zoo;
- additionally, bus tour riders will have access to the EXPRESS BUS. These Express Buses are double- or single-decked buses with green signs on the sides, allowing guests to hop on and off at five different stops throughout the Zoo. They will go by the stops every 20 minutes or less. The Express Bus is mainly for quick transportation around the Zoo.
Spanish tours are available at other times for groups of 20 or more with advanced notice.Tours in French are also available with advanced notice.
What about Polish (haha) or German?
Tough, alert and wary, these antelope survive without water in some of the driest regions of Africa.
Oryx have been known to kill lions. Their horn tips are so sharp they have been used as spear tips by human hunters.
East African Bongo (Tragelaphus euryceros isaaci) is the largest of the forest antelope and one of Africa's most spectacular mammals. They live in Kenya.
Despite living in a very dense habitat, the bongo manages to move quickly when startled by tilting its head back, preventing the hornsfrom tangling in vegetation. Older animals may sometimes be identified by the resulting bare patches on the back.
You can see South American cousins of the camel in San Diego ZOO:
Do you know how do they look? I met 1 llama in Poland long time ago (import from South America :-), she was working - carrying water from a well up to a mountain cottage. It was hard work just for food!
A two humped camel is called a BACTRIAN camel. These are Asian camels, which come form the deserts of China and Mongolia. These camels have thick, warm, long, shaggy coats in winter and are equipped for very extreme temperatures. They can withstand cold down to 40 degrees F (- 40 C) below zero. In summer they shed and can take heat up to 120 degrees farenheit (+ 49 C).
DROMEDARY camels have one hump. These camels come from North and East Africa. They have a shorter fiber coat, even in winter, and they are typically taller than Bactrians at the humps. Dromedaries are not equipped for the degree of cold which Bactrians can withstand, and I always make sure that my Dromedary has a solid shelter from the wind, cold and rain.
When you walk around the San Diego ZOO look for a mark "ENDANGERED SPECIES" (there are many :-) next to info on exhibited animals - probably you will never have a chance to see these animals in their wildlife.
The status of "ENDANGERED SPECIES" is a legal designation conferred by the U.S. Department of Interior - Fish and Wildlife Service. Only species whose population in the wild are in immediate threat of becoming extinct are given this status. Rare species whose populations are not in immediate jeopardy, are designated "THREATENED" or "VULNERABLE".