The Kuwait Zoo is a major attraction for both, the locals and tourists alike. The zoo is a very entertaining place and it is often visited by families. Kuwait Zoo is one of those places that will keep the visitors spell-bounded every time they see the animals and it’s a whole lot bigger and better experience.
Located in Omariya, this sprawling animal kingdom covers an area of around 1, 80,000 sq meters. In 1990, the premises of this park were extensively damaged and animals were killed during the Iraqi invasion. Animals were also used for target practice and reports of injured animals, hobbling and bleeding, being left to slowly die of their injuries or starvation made news around the world. After the invaders were repelled, Kuwait’s Zoo was rebuilt, restoration was done and many more new animals were brought in and the zoo was opened in February 1993.
The Kuwait zoo is divided into four main areas, including animal section, cultural center, services and maintenance sector, life sciences division and veterinary clinic. Overall the quality of sampling at zoo is exceptional and the maintenance of the zoo premises is splendid. As per official records, the park has almost 1800 species ranging from wild beasts, birds and reptiles. It contains 1606 rare animals and birds divided into five units, with every unit containing 12 species, adapted to the cage environment.
Most of the guests are packed around the popular areas like the lion and bear enclosures, and the chimpanzee, monkey and deer areas. Visitors will certainly be awestruck by the gargantuan vultures that occupy the huge aviary cages and also the reptile holdouts.
The zoo plays a huge role in raising awareness and educating children on how to preserve animals and plants, and contribute towards a greener environment.
History of the Zoo
First opened in 1968, the Kuwait Zoo was established from the remains of Salwa Private Garden, owned by Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Since that time, the garden evolved until August 1990, when the brutal Iraqi invasion killed and looted a group of zoo animals and destroyed what was built through several years of development and creativity. However, with the efforts of people of Kuwait, who contributed to the development of the remaining animal group during the occupation period, with the support by the state and some private companies and institutions in the country, the park was later liberated and restored as one of the vital facilities in Kuwait.
How to go?
Kuwait Zoo is located in Omariya on Route 55 just after the 5th Ring Road, towards Farwaniya.
Inside the Zoo
The total area of the zoo is around 180,000 m2 in area. It is divided into four major sections:
- Animal Section
- Cultural Center and Life Sciences Division
- Services and Maintenance section
- Veterinary clinic.
The animal zone is the most popular part of the zoo. The enclosed spaces are well maintained, animal cages are installed with A/C’s and the animals are seem to be taken good care of the park administration. Several species ranging from the perilous carnivores, like tigers, lions, cheetah, leopards, European gray wolves, and striped hyenas to mischievous chimpanzees, monkeys, olive baboons and ring-tailed lemurs are housed here. Crested porcupines, Tortoises, gazelles, elephants, giraffes, ostriches, emus, Himalayan bears, impalas, hippopotamus, crocodile, zebra, wolves and deer are some other occupants of the zoo. The aviary comprises of exotic birds, such as flamingos, black necked swans, vultures, white eared bulbul, steppe eagle, Indian mynah, variety of parrots and white pelican to name a few. The reptile section is full of creepy crawlies, including diadem snake, boa constrictor, sand viper, green iguana and ball python. Desert animals like the camel, desert rattle snakes, desert tortoise, white-throated wood rat, Karla (the kangaroo cat), desert cobra, Gila monsters, fennec fox, elf owl, ringtail and mule deer are also seen here.
Interesting things at animal section
- In one of the few grassed exhibits in the zoo, Nile crocodile, about 3 meters long, is safely housed.
- There is a big Reptile House at the zoo. In a large glass-fronted tank there is a large Boa Constrictor and the other cages were all small glass-fronted affairs, which included the Black Cobra, Diadem Snake, Rat Snake (Kuwaiti version, not the N.American snake of the same name), Hissing Sand Snake, Desert Horned Viper, Sand Viper, Angolan Python and a young Green Iguana.
- There are several large bird atriums around the zoo and also a Victorian style round cage for Asiatic Black Bear (S.thibetanus).
- There is a large-sized grassed cage for Reeve’s Muntjac and another decent-sized exhibit with grasses for Korean Water Deer which attracts most visitors.
- the most popular are the cheetah, tiger and lion enclosures. Cheetahs have a bigger enclosure, but the tiger enclosure was a bit small and desolate. The lion enclosure is in full sun and a bit barren, but has some shrubs to provide shade.
There is also a toy train. Visitors will relish the experience as it takes them on a tour of the zoo. Ticket prices are reasonable, and the place is very enjoyable for little ones as they get a chance to see almost the whole zoo. Food is also allowed inside and there are also restaurants within the premises, so guests can pass time accordingly and needn’t worry about food.
Things to Remember
- Visitors are allowed to take food [for them not for animals] inside the zoo as there is a huge garden right after the entrance dedicated for family picnics.
- There is a cafeteria inside the zoo and Food and drinks are also available at the gate as well.
- Parking can be a hassle especially over the weekends as the zoo gets lots of visitors.
- Please do understand that what might seem like a childish play by throwing food, can cause serious health problems for these animals as they have different and controlled dietary patterns that keep them healthy for the viewers’ pleasure.
- As per the zoo instructions, you are not allowed to bring in bicycles, balls, and pets inside the zoo.
- When you are visiting the zoo in a hurry and have little time, keep a map of the zoo with you handy. The map will be issued at the ticket counter, and is meant specifically for visitors, so that they get to see the places of their favourite animals through the map, and visit them accordingly within their short time.
- Check the weather before visiting the zoo, as some animals such as turtles, African elephants, lion etc., may be indoors, and hence it is better to work out the ideal time to visit the zoo.
- Try to keep away from congestion, as the visitors may be at their peak during holidays, weekends, and religious events.
500 Fils per person
Winter: 8am to 8pm
Summer: 8am to 12noon and from 4pm to 8pm
Ramadan: midday until half an hour before sunset.
Zoo is open to visitors on holidays too, but Sundays are weekly day off.
Telephone: +965 24733389, 24730824, 24711256