Best Zoos in the Philippines to Visit With Your Family

By: Crown Asia

Updated as of May 27, 2023

When was the last time you went out of your RFO house and lot to go out to the zoo with your family?

It is a well-known fact that the Philippines is known to be blessed with natural resources. Filipinos are known to be endearing animal lovers. This is evident through every dog that always seems to consist in every Filipino family, even in the most unfortunate ones.

According to a recent study conducted last 2021, Filipinos are the most interested when it comes to owning pets in the whole of Southeast Asia. This is truly a sign that people from the Philippines indeed love animals. Yet, the best zoos in our country have yet to be consistently flooded with locals. Most people would rather go out of their RFO house and lot and into the usual malls they have gone to perhaps over 20 times, rather than go to the biggest zoo in the Philippines, and other parks and wildlife centers, that would surely give them and their kids a splendid time. This is mostly because locals just do not know what they are missing.

Well, we are here to tell you that putting up a framed picture of the best zoo in the Philippines and other animal parks in your RFO house and lot will totally be worth the effort.

A Parrot 

What Is Zoo Short For?

According to National Geographic, a zoo is a facility where animals in captivity are kept and displayed for visitors to see. The term “zoo” is short for “zoological park,” which houses several species of animals that are indigenous to every region of the world.

Why Are Zoos So Important?

Zoos put a big focus on scientific study and animal protection in addition to entertaining and educating the public. Zoos conduct research, protect species and genetic variants that may be in danger of extinction in the wild, as well as give much-needed financial support to worldwide research and conservation projects. Additionally, children who frequently only get to engage with and learn about the environment and wildlife in zoos also find inspiration and fascination from them.

Here’s a List of the Best Zoos in the Philippines

1. Avilon Zoo

Sitting on the lands of Rodriguez, Rizal, specifically in GP Sitio Gulod, San Isidro, Avilon Zoo is the biggest zoo in the Philippines. Any Filipino would be astounded by the whopping number of 500 different kinds of birds, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates, and fishes there are in this zoo.

The entrance fee is 700 pesos. Children who are below 3ft are only charged 400 pesos. You can definitely bring your grandparents or parents (if they qualify) and they can enjoy a Senior Citizen discount upon showing their senior card. If you or your spouse just had birth, you absolutely can introduce your newborn child to some of the endangered animals sitting here while they still exist.

You kind of have to rush through. Unlike the Enchanted Kingdom which closes late at night, this largest zoological institution Avilon Zoo closes in the late afternoon, specifically at 5:00 pm. Animals need to rest, too! Check out the Avilon Zoo website for more details avilonzoo.ph

Lion at Avilon Zoo

Photo from flickr.com/photos/jiformales/

What is Avilon Zoo known for?

The Avilon Zoo takes pride in its conservation work, much of which visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about while they are there. What you need to know about particular species, their situation in the wild, and what Avilon Zoo is doing to protect these species and the environment will be covered in discussions conducted by knowledgeable personnel and educational displays.

2. Manila Ocean Park

Of course, we cannot forget about Manila Ocean Park.

Manila Ocean Park Underwater Aquarium

Photo from planetofhotels.com

Serving as the wildlife center for sea creatives, Manila Ocean Park takes pride in being our country’s first world-class marine theme park. It is also a grand educational facility, therefore, your children will definitely have an exercise of their brains here.

Located at Rizal Park, Roxas Blvd., Ermita, Manila, this marine park showcases numerous attractions, even an aqua-themed hotel in which you and your family can stay if ever you cannot get enough of this water adventure. Unlike the previous zoo, this aquarium shows off its freshwater fishes up until 8 PM, or 6 PM if it is a Saturday.

3. Zoobic Safari in Subic

Want to finally take part in the fun and amazing guided zoo tours? Want to see and mingle with tigers? Well, the Philippines prides itself on having a tiger safari in Subic named the Zoobic Safari.

Zoobic Safari

Photo from zoomanity.com.ph

With eleven animal attractions to enjoy in this place, Zoobic is the only tiger safari in the Philippines. Due to conservation efforts, these Bengal tigers definitely live in the parks and wildlife centers of Zoobic like they are back in their original homes in the Indian subcontinent.

You can say hi to our country’s tigers with only 695 pesos, and 595 pesos for your children.

4. Ocean Adventure in Subic

But that is not the only animal fun you can witness in Subic. Priding on another exotic waterfowl, Ocean Adventure is a provincial version of Manila Ocean Park. Located in the West Ilanin Forest Area, the zoo’s aquariums you will see here might be just as good as the bigger aquarium in Manila. After all, when it comes to the environment and natural resources, the provinces have the edge. If you want to know more about this water zoo, check out their website: oceanadventure.com.ph

5. Davao Crocodile Park

Here is another reason to visit Davao.

Wildlife crocodiles are very prominent in the land area in the Philippines. While Subic prides itself on its zoo safari, Davao is known to host the biggest crocodile in the Philippines. Although it is a crocodile park, you can definitely catch other wildlife, plants, and other animals here such as tigers, birds, butterflies, and carnivorous plants which are teased at their website crocodilepark.ph.

6. Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Bohol

A Tarsier

The Philippines prides itself on hosting tarsiers, the animal of our archipelago. Well, when it comes to these big-eyed creatures, their sanctuary is in Bohol. Make sure to visit the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary and its other animals during your next trip to the land of the Chocolate Hills.

And the great news is that its entrance fee is only 60 pesos. However, if you want a guided day trekking to get to know more of these friendly creatures, you can definitely do so by paying the staff a small sum of 500 pesos. Yes, it is cheaper than the Enchanted Kingdom.

Please help support and sustain these Filipino pride tarsiers! To know more about how you can help you can pay a visit first to their website tarsierfoundation.org.

7. Butterfly Sanctuary in Camp John Hay, Baguio City

In the Philippines, who has not been to Baguio? Not only this cozy place is known for its strawberries awesome cafes and aesthetic-looking pine trees, but it also houses a huge number of butterflies. At Camp John Hay in Baguio, you can have an anime, main character moment by running around the field literally field with butterflies. It is like a safari or a zoo but this time with daintier and more fragile creatures such as butterflies and birds. Make sure you do not step on them though! Like our tarsier sanctuary, the entrance fee costs only 60 pesos.

8. Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

Who would’ve thought that a 22.7 ha oasis full of flora and fauna could still be found inside a highly urbanized area such as Quezon City? NAPWC or the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center is a legislated protected area that envisions being a world-class ecotourism destination inside a city. More than 3,000 individual trees can be found and various species of animals also inhabit the park. There is also an artificial lagoon that houses a number of fish species. Aside from that, there’s also a tea house, fishing area, amphitheater, and picnic shed. The entrance fee for the center is Php30 for adults, Php 15 for Students, Php 100 for Foreigners, and Free for Senior citizens, PWDs, and children below seven years old.

An Eagle 

9. Baluarte Resort and Mini Zoo in Vigan City

A must-see location in the province is Baluarte Resort and Mini Zoo because of its enjoyable amenities that visitors of all ages will undoubtedly appreciate.

The former governor of the Ilocos province, Luis “Chavit” Singson, is the owner of this 100-hectare zoological park and resort complex. As the “Home of The Big Cats” in Vigan, they take pride in their collection of 8 Bengal Tigers, 6 White Lions, 2 Leopards, and other species, including those that are native to the Philippines.

Needless to say, the white lions, tigers, and leopards are the Baluarte Zoo’s top attractions. Tourists are permitted to approach them up close and take pictures to remember the experience. Since these enormous cats are trained by animal keepers, there is no need to be afraid of being bitten.

The Safari Gallery in the Baluarte Zoo, which has a large exhibition of Singson’s collection and artifacts of his interest as a hunter, is another attraction besides the animals.

You’ll witness a collection of preserved wild animals that Singson gathered while hunting abroad. You may decide not to go inside the gallery if you’re not an enthusiast of hunting animals.

This magnificent animal refuge doesn’t charge a ticket to enter and explore around. On the contrary, you can eat at Baluarte’s in-house cafeteria or take a family picnic in the surrounding greenery. However, a guided tour via electronic cab costs 50 pesos and is available for individuals who like to explore the zoo on their own.

10. Calauit Safari Park in Busuanga, Palawan

Calauit Safari Park is a 3,700-hectare island off the coast of Palawan where you may explore the game reserve and wildlife sanctuary of the Philippines. Hundreds of giraffes, elans, waterbucks, Calamian deer, monkeys, freshwater crocodiles, zebras, bear cats, bushbuck, and a variety of birds can be found there, along with other exotic African and endemic Palawan plant and animal species.

The sanctuary was founded on August 31, 1976. Since then, critically endangered animals that are native to the Calamianes series of islands off the coast of Palawan have been housed at the conservation facility, formerly known as Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary.

A Philippine Eagle

11. Cebu Safari & Adventure Park

For those who are prepared to escape into something fresh and magnificent, an adventure awaits atop the lovely and picturesque hills of Carmen, around an hour’s drive from Cebu City.

The best safari park in the nation is located in Northern Cebu at the Cebu Safari & Adventure Park. It acts as a refuge for various and a wide collection of plant and animal species. The idea for this more than 170-hectare property came from hippophile and orchid collector, Senyorito Michel Lhuillier, and his business partner, Mr. Eduard J. Loop. It houses more than a thousand animals from 120 varieties.

The park’s primary attractions at the moment are the African Savanna, Michelle’s Garden, Gardens of the World, and the White Lion Safari.

The Park also caters to adventurous individuals with its very own Adventure Park and one of the largest and longest ziplines in the nation (at 1.3 km long and 671 meters above the sea).

12. Manila Zoo

Last but not least is probably the zoo nearest to you. If you do not want to go that far, but still have a wonderful experience of the zoos in the Philippines, you can take a quick drive to Manila Zoo.

As of April 2015, the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden is home to approximately a thousand animals from 90 different species. A Bengal tiger, Malayan civet, monitor lizard, and hippopotamus, among others, give life to the modernized and upgraded Manila Zoo, and many of them were born in captivity, with three-month-old juveniles most recently born in April 2015.

Located in Malate, Manila, you can witness various collections of animals here in Manila Zoo for only a 100 pesos entrance fee. But, if you are somehow already from Manila, well, you can pay a visit to our beloved animals and birds even once a week for only 60 pesos. Just make sure to bring some kind of proof that you are indeed from Manila!

Manila Zoo

Photo from manilazoo.ph

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Manila Zoo

How much is the entrance fee to Manila Zoo?

Each person must pay between 100 and 300 pesos to enter the Manila Zoo. Senior Citizens and People with Disabilities (PWDs) may receive a 20% discount off the standard entry price. Children under 2 are admitted free of charge.

The Manila Zoo provides an online ticketing system that enables you to secure your visit to the park as well as buy your entrance ticket. The following is a list of all admission fees.

To receive a discounted ticket price, Manila residents must present a valid ID with a picture and their address. New TIN IDs, Voter IDs, Driver’s Licenses, Barangay IDs, UM IDs, and School IDs for Manila students are all acceptable forms of identification.

Are walk-ins allowed in Manila Zoo?

Yes! You can also stroll right in and buy your Manila Zoo tickets. You simply need to get to the zoo site early, then go to the information desk, which is 4 meters to the right of the main entrance. Give the person in charge a valid ID and the necessary payment. Then, wait a short while to get your tickets.

Can I cancel my booking at Manila Zoo?

After you have paid for your booking, you cannot cancel, get a refund, or change your reservation. With the exception of when natural disasters like typhoons, floods, or earthquakes strike Manila.

What are the operating hours of the zoo?

The Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden is scheduled to be open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Is the zoo open during the holidays?

Yes! The zoo is available on holidays.

Is it allowed to bring food and drinks to Manila Zoo?

Only personal tumblers are permitted inside, no food or bottled beverages are allowed. The Zoo does, however, have a food park where you can dine while taking a break.

Indeed, you and your family definitely need to catch these wild horses, Philippine deer, crab-eating macaques, Philippine crocodiles, Palawan bearded pigs, and even the Cebu Safari its exquisite botanical garden, and the indigenous plants while they are still here. With the rate at how fast our carbon footprint is growing, most of these precious lives will soon be lost if we do not take some action to take care of them.

Read more: Best Destinations and Travel Spots in CALABARZON

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