Where are you going?
Or, let us surprise youSpin the Globe ®

San Diego Zoo

2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
| +1 619-231-1515
Plane loader
Animated dots
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
Spend a Day at the San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
Finding nature San Diego California United States
Backstage Pass at the San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
Ankole cattle San Diego California United States
The meerkats San Diego California United States
The flamingo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
Spend a Day at the San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
Finding nature San Diego California United States
Backstage Pass at the San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
San Diego Zoo San Diego California United States
Ankole cattle San Diego California United States
The meerkats San Diego California United States
The flamingo San Diego California United States

More info

Sun - Sat 9am - 9pm

San Diego Zoo

At the world-famous San Diego Zoo, you’ll essentially take a journey around the world as you explore 100 acres of habitats that resemble everything from the Australian Outback to the South African coastline. In fact, this institution cares so much about making animal enclosures authentic that it even re-creates rock formations specific to various regions, like the jagged tsingy of Madagascar. The impressive Africa Rocks exhibition debuted in 2017 and includes six enclosures, including an Ethiopian highland for baboons and an acacia woodland for leopards. The zoo is also home to more than 3,700 rare and endangered animals, like Malay tigers and both Asian and African elephants.

More Recommendations

AFAR Local Expert
over 1 year ago

San Diego Zoo

Located on 100 acres in Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo is one of the top zoos in the country. With a collection of more than 3,500 rare and endangered animals and 700,000 exotic plants, the zoo offers something for everyone. To help you navigate it—and to personalize the experience—seasoned guides are available for private tours of five or eight hours. Dubbed the Exclusive VIP Experience, both versions begin with a questionnaire before your visit so you can share your animal-viewing wish list, among other preferences. Feedback in hand, a zoo rep will design your day. Although no two private tours are the same, there are some common highlights: the new Africa Rocks exhibit, where you can wander from the Ethiopian Highlands (hello, baboons) to the South African coast (leopard sharks); the Australian Outback, land of koalas, kookaburras, and Tasmanian devils; and then, the zoo’s most popular stop, Panda Canyon, home to Bai Yun, Gao Gao, and Xiao Liwu. Your VIP status means you can also check out the animals’ sleeping quarters, meet the keepers, and participate in feedings. The Exclusive VIP Experience is popular; book reservations well in advance.
AFAR Local Expert
over 5 years ago

Spend a Day at the San Diego Zoo

If you're short on time, don't think you are going to be able to see everything. I've been here many times, for hours each time, and it wasn't until the seventh visit that I finally saw all of the exhibits. I recommend picking some points of interest from the map they give you at the front gate. Doing a quick rush to traverse the entire thing is just going to make your kids cranky and your feet tired. There are plenty of cafes, of which our favorite is Albert's because there's a huge water feature out by the patio and it's very relaxing to sit for an evening meal. During the summer, they open the zoo until 9 p.m. That's the only time I've seen the large birds of prey sitting out in the open. If you're in San Diego during the summer, that might be an interesting time to come check it out. There are a lot of events going on throughout the year, so check the website to see if anything is happening while you're here. It should be noted that I've never been a fan of zoos, but the San Diego Zoo has changed my opinion. The exhibits are large and well done. In this photo, you see a silverback gorilla holding his hands out to catch some treats that were being tossed by a keeper from above. (He gave the zoo keeper a sour look if any of the treats missed his hands.)
AFAR Local Expert
over 5 years ago

Finding nature

A trip to the San Diego Zoo is more fun with a camera. I caught this bird species peeking at me through the layers of lush greenery in its habitat-makes me realize how we are all animals with our own thoughts, instincts, and curiosities.
AFAR Local Expert
over 5 years ago

Backstage Pass at the San Diego Zoo

The Backstage Pass is a custom program allowing 90-minutes of up-close access to a wide range of animals. It is a daily event that is limited to a small group of people. I think the maximum group size is 40 (the day we went there were about 25) so it is really intimate. I learned interesting things about each of the animals and had the opportunity to take some great up-close photos.
AFAR Contributor
about 3 years ago

San Diego Zoo

The famous San Diego Zoo sits on more than 40 hectares (100 acres) in Balboa Park, and has the largest zoological membership association in the world. Founded in the early 20th century and devoted to saving threatened species, the zoo contains more than 3,500 endangered or rare animals. Visit the giant pandas, take a cart tour of its wild cats (look for jaguars, lions, tigers, leopards, ocelots and more) or stroll through a garden full of carnivorous plants.

AFAR Ambassador
almost 3 years ago

San Diego Zoo

Get in touch with your wild side at the world-famous San Diego Zoo. This sprawling wildlife showcase—which sits on 100 acres within beautiful Balboa Park—houses more than 3,700 animals in exhibits designed to replicate the animals' natural habitats, and is especially beloved for their giant pandas. Visitors can get up close and personal with exotic species from around the world including gorillas, elephants, pandas, penguins, koalas, monkeys, tigers and flamingos. Seeing the adorable baby gorilla, Joanne, joyfully play with her protective 229-pound mama was one of the best moments of my trip. I could've watched them for hours!

Founded in 1975, the San Diego Zoo is dedicated to preserving and protecting rare and endangered wildlife. If you’re an animal enthusiast or a nature lover, this incredible zoo is a must-visit San Diego attraction; fantastic for families, too.

Megan Murphy traveled on Contiki’s Western Highlights tour as part of AFAR’s partnership with the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), whose members provide travelers with unparalleled access, insider knowledge, and peace-of-mind to destinations across the globe. For more on Megan’s journey, visit the USTOA blog.
AFAR Traveler
over 5 years ago

Ankole cattle

These are the Ankole cattles at the San Diego zoo.
AFAR Traveler
over 5 years ago

The meerkats

The meerkats were looking away; something must have caught their attention at their enclosure in the San Diego zoo.
AFAR Traveler
over 5 years ago

The flamingo

Think pink or orange? Or somewhere in between? These beautiful flamingos are easily the most recognizable waterbirds at the San Diego zoo.