It’s been 2 years since I’ve been to Dublin Zoo or as I like to call it…The Zoo. I honestly could not believe the number of improvements they have made in that time. Dublin Zoo is a not-for-profit organisation and any profits they make go straight back into the zoo. It’s is Ireland leading attraction with over 1 million visitors passing through their gates every year. The Zoo is huge, with over 400 animals across 100 species, it will keep ya going for hours.
For a change, my day was beautiful for Irish weather, it was hot but not too hot that it made it uncomfortable. All the animals were out in their habitats enjoying the sunshine. The Tigers and Lions were out lazing in the sunshine close to the viewing windows, the monkeys were all chasing each other around the trees and sea lions were having a great time splashing about in their new fancy pool. The zoo has made some great changes to their walking trails, they have gotten rid of most of the hilly climbs and have flattened the terrain making life a lot easier for those with prams to push or folks who have a hard time getting around. They have also added more shaded/seated areas and an extra restaurant. One thing that caught my eye this year was the beautiful variety of flowers they had growing on the grounds after the two of years since my last visit the grounds have matured and it was a pleasure to look at.
The best part of the zoo by far for me, the zoo have created an amazing habitat five times bigger than the old Orangutan habitat. Here you can see Sibu (37), his mate Leonie (35), their daughter Riona (10) and niece Mujur, born in Dublin Zoo in 2005 all hanging out high up in the trees.The spectacular new design has two separate spaces for the Orangutans to relaxing in both connected by big ropes that pass just above your head giving visitors an experience to remember. Because it is an open view, you are not thinking you have to give someone else a look in the window and you can actually relax and take your time watching the Orangutans here.
Sea Lion Cove
What once was a pool with a water fountain has now turned into a state of the art exhibit design to encourage the California Sea lions to breed. Here you will find, Nico, Cassie, Florence (born in the zoo in 2009) and Seanna. Before there was a metal barrier in place to watch the sea lions getting fed and if you weren’t tall enough to look over someone shoulder to have a look you.. missed out, but now they have a really nice elevated seating area and now everyone can see. The best part of the new cove is the underwater viewing area, children were going crazy here everytime a sea lion passed by the window.
African Painted Dogs
I recently reported the birth of seven African Painted dogs born at Dublin zoo and was hoping that when I got there they would be out and about and I could get a picture or two but I wasn’t keeping my hopes up. So when I got there and seen seven pups and not five all running around fighting for food I was delighted, to say the least. They are the most adorable little creatures you have ever seen. In the wild, these dogs litters can average around 10 – 19 pups.
This is a very impressive giant walk-in aviary filled with smelly Flamingos. I’m sorry to say but if this aviary was filled with exotic birds instead of smelly Flamingos I would be much happier. Flamingos are beautiful birds to look at but they give off some stench. They be Stanky!
Take money out: There is no ATM in Dublin Zoo, in fact, there is no ATM in the whole of the Phoenix Park. Apparently, you can get cash back (if you have a card that allows this) on purchased items in the Meerkat cafe but on the day I went it would only allow me to purchase items and not give cash back. You can use your bank card in other places around the park to purchase items but you cannot buy the likes of a bottle of water or ice-cream of the small vendors, they are cash only.
Arrive early/leave early: I went at 11 o’clock on a Friday and left at 4 o’clock. Phoenix park has changed their parking rules and has put double yellow lines everywhere. I had to park twenty minutes away from the front gate and after a long day walking this hurt (nothing a bottle of wine didn’t look after). When I left I was travelling on the N4 home, this was jammed with cars from everyone leaving work early on a Friday, bear this is mind if visiting on a Friday.
Bring a picnic: There are so many places around the zoo you can sit down with your family and have a picnic. I visited the zoo on a warm day and really didn’t want to sit in a restaurant to eat food. I was actually a little jealous looking at everyone under the shade of a tree relaxing and having a small bite to eat.
Pre-book: You can book online through Dublin Zoo website or even better buy an annual ticket and skip the queue. Check out our review below to buy tickets.
So there ya have it, a huge amount has changed and if you haven’t been to Dublin Zoo in a while like me I highly recommend it for a family outing.
Hope you liked my post and if you have anything to add please leave a comment below.