Extending across 55 acres, the Riyadh Zoo is Saudi Arabia’s largest zoo and makes for an enjoyable visit as it is a pleasure to see the animals enjoying freedom and luxury of space in a roomy enclosure, especially maintained to suit their native terrain and climate.
The attraction is home to over 40 different species of birds and animals, amounting to over 1,500 different animals. As much as possible, the arrangement within the zoo has been done in a way so as to group together animals from the same geographical area. For instance kangaroos, emus and other Australian animal species are found in the same region. This method also helps to maintain a similar terrain and atmosphere for the animals.
All the animals are clean, well fed, well maintained and are in excellent condition. Initially established in 1957, the Riyadh Zoo was finally open to the public in 1987. The ruling Royal Family initially donated the animals, but later on the zoo was enlarged in order to cater for the wider spectrum of animal species that needed to be included.
The site itself is a vast and sprawling area through which visitors can take a leisurely stroll. There is also a train service that travels through the site taking approximately 20 minutes that covers a vast section. Visitors can also avail themselves of the café’s, prayer rooms and other facilities available here.
However, the Riyadh Zoo has some restrictions concerning visiting times, as men are allowed on Sunday and Tuesday morning, whilst Women are allowed on Monday and Wednesday morning. Family times are Tuesday and Wednesday evening as well as the whole of Thursday and Friday. The site is closed on Saturday for maintenance purposes. As the zoo officers are very strict on these protocols, visitors are cautioned to make note of these restrictions well ahead of time and plan accordingly.
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