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The Budapest ZOO and Botanical Garden as Hungary’s first ZOO was opened in 1866. It offers an amazing tour in the world of animals through the following areas: the Bonsai Collections, the Big Lake with its waterfowls, the Pheasants’ House. Next to the Climate-Maze visitors can wander through the Citrus Grove and here they can admire the wonderfully colored creatures of the Butterfly Garden. The Small Rock includes the Cave Cinema, the pools of penguins, sea lions and polar bears whereas the Big Rock gives home for the gorillas, orangutans and bears.
Near the South-America House there is the South-East Asia House surrounded by the Alpine Garden. The House of Riparian Life presents playful raccoons and otters. The West-Africa House is the area where big carnivores like lions, leopards and tigers live. In the Nocturnalia bats, owls and smaller carnivores can be seen. The Savanna enclosure gives an insight into the life of African species like giraffes, antilopes and rhinoceroses with Lisimba, the young southern white rhinoceros as one of the main attractions of the ZOO.
The Palm House and Aquarium
The tropical plant-area is situated on 1650 m2. It contains more than 6000 plants, whereas the number of species is about 500. The Palm House offers a real jungle-tour where visitors can admire various plants in their original-like environment built in a high-tech background. It tells a fabulous story about the tropical rainforests and represents the flora and fauna of the world’s most important regions according to the following geographical areas: Africa, South-Eastern Asia, Middle- and South-America. In the hall under the Palm House several aquariums fascinate the visitors where they can observe colorful fish characteristics to the world’s oceans. Those who are brave enough have the opportunity to touch a couple of friendly rays in the uncovered pool.
The Budapest ZOO offers a wide range of programs: falconry, sea lion-show (seals fulfilling funny tasks with footballs and ringlets), etc. Children can feed and caress several domesticated animals like goats, donkeys and ponies in the Petting ZOO and two playgrounds were developed for them where they can play with their mates while the parents are having a rest. Those who are willing to help animal carers in their everyday job and learn more about the ZOO’s inhabitants can do it in the form of volunteer-work. It is also possible to virtually adopt an animal of your choice by contributing to the animal’s feeding and care with a small sum.
Buffers and restaurants
Buffets and restaurants invite guests to take a break and refreshment in various parts of the ZOO’s area. After wandering through these amazing places the traveler can have a cup of coffee, tea or a cake in the Art Nouveau-style café furnished in the small separated hall.
The ZOO’s institute puts great emphasis on conservation therefore it has declared collaboration with state and non-governmental organizations, such as National Parks, WWF Hungary, BirdLife Hungary and universities of science and research institutes. The most important projects demonstrate and propagate nature conservation, like: seasonal exhibits, visitor information systems, posters, public awareness actions. Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden takes part in the breeding programs of European Association of Zoos and Aquaria and it is also dedicated partner in the rescue of endangered animals.
Activities for children
During the summer ZOO camps are organized for children. They participate in caring for animals and interesting workshops enrichen their knowledge about biodiversity, species and nature conservation.
Getting to the ZOO
The Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden (in Hungarian: Fővárosi Állat- és Növénykert) can be reached by an easy 10 minute walk from the Hősök tere (Heroes’ Square) or by bus: red-colored trolley bus No. 72, 75, 79 until stop “Állatkert” (ZOO), blue-colored bus No. 4, 30, 20 until stop “Hősök tere” (Heroes’ Square), or the yellow underground (M1) until stop “Széchenyi Fürdő” (Széchenyi Thermal Bath).
The Budapest ZOO homepage contains a detailed description of the garden ’s opening hours and ticket prices, also practical information about the animals and plants of the ZOO.