Explore the animal kingdom at these worldwide attractions

05 December 2016

An elephant! A koala! Penguins! Remember the excitement of spotting these cute and cuddly creatures for the first time? (And seeing snakes and creepy crawlies!)

Delight animal-lovers with a day trip to seek out their favourite wildlife. Perfect for combining with your holiday plans, these four animal attractions will help all the family to learn about animal habitats, conservation and research.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Australia

Koala eating eucalyptus leaves

Located near Brisbane, Queensland, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is home to over 130 of one of Australia’s most cute and cuddly marsupials, the koala.

Founded in 1927, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary. Housed in a leafy park nestled by the river (you can arrive by boat) the Sanctuary has interactive experiences to help visitors learn more about Australian wildlife. As well as watching the adorable koalas snooze in trees and eat eucalyptus leaves, you can also hold a koala!

You won’t just find koalas here, though. Keep an eye out for other wildlife, including kangaroos, wombats, gang-gang cockatoos, platypus and echidnas.

San Diego Zoo, USA

Giant Panda in San Diego Zoo

Often cited as the world’s best zoo due to its expertise in conservation and research, more than 3,500 rare and endangered animals call San Diego Zoo home.

Covering a huge 100 acres (40 hectares), San Diego Zoo was founded in 1916 and its vision is to lead the fight against extinction. Today, there are more than 650 species and subspecies in the zoo but it’s not just wildlife you’ll find here. The incredible botanical collection features more than 700,000 exotic plants!

Elephant Hills, Thailand

Asian elephant

Nestled in the breathtaking Khao Sok National Park in Southern Thailand is Elephant Hills, a jungle camp of 35 sumptuous, luxury tents – and elephants.

Part African safari, part Thai tropical rainforest, Elephant Hills is an award-winning concept, with a focus on animal welfare and sustainability. Thailand has lots of domestic elephants - they were used in the logging industry and to plough rice fields - and Elephant Hills offers a way to help sustain these gentle giants.   

As well as watching the elephants play, bathe in a mud pool and gorge on food, visitors can scrub elephants with coconut fibres to help clean them after a mud bath and help to prepare their food.

ZSL London Zoo, England

Penguins in ZSL London Zoo

London’s famous skyline buildings might be some of its most famous attractions but there’s another spot that delights visitors - the zoo.

Founded in 1826 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, ZSL London Zoo opened to the public in 1828, making it the world’s oldest scientific zoo.

The world’s first reptile house opened at ZSL London Zoo in 1849 and the zoo is now home to more than 650 species. Delight little ones (and big kids!) with waddling penguins at Penguin’s Beach, England’s largest penguin pool. And make everyone squeal at the new In With The Spiders section – it’s Europe’s only walk-through spider enclosure!

Did you know that your Travel Counsellor can book day trips and attractions as well as your holiday? Get in touch today to find out the exciting places you could visit while you’re away!

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