The Haifa Educational Zoo is an ideal place for families to visit while in Haifa. Originally built in 1949 by Pinchas Cohen as an education center for a neighboring school. After renovations in 2002 the zoo now hosts more than 100 species of wildlife, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and plantlife. Built on a beautiful nature reserve on Mount Carmel with views of the Mediterranean Sea, the zoo covers 35 dunams (8.6 acres) making it perfect for everyone, especially families with small children.
Haifa Educational Zoo
A member of EAZA and WAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria and World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, respectively) the Haifa Educational Zoo is located at the Carmel Center within walking distance of several hotels in Haifa including the Dan Panorama, the Dan Carmel and the Nof Hotel. Just outside the zoo is Gan Ha’Em (Park of the Mother) celebrating mothers the world over with sculptures, cafés and play area for kids and mothers of all ages. The zoo is accessible to the disabled having a path that has no steps, suitable for motorized and manual wheelchairs.
Haifa Educational Zoo
Some of the zoo’s mammal features include; Lemurs, brown capuchin monkeys, meerkats, Bengal tigers, leopards, alpaca, honey badgers, lions, Syrian brown bears, baboons, and caracals. The zoo also has a special climate-controlled reptile house containing pythons, vipers, cobras, anacondas, racers, boas and various lizards. Birdlife in the zoo ranges from the nocturnal owls to the free- roaming peacocks which swarm the entrance to the path. Many of the zoo’s animals are natives of Israel including the Israeli wolf (also known as the Arabian wolf), ibex, porcupine (an orphan found in the area), camels, wild boars, jackals, foxes, black cobra, Palestinian viper, Griffon vultures and the rare Persian fallow deer who lives almost exclusively in the Upper Galilee on the small nature preserve of Nachal Kziv. Visitors can view the animals in their specially designed habitats and the lemur enclosure is opened for several hours in the day for one-on-one contact with human visitors – a “must have” for many kids. Also, a botanical garden and Prehistory Museum in on-site.
Within the gates of the Haifa Educational Zoo is the Prehistory Museum, a special exhibition of the development of mankind with findings from prehistoric sites. Children and adults alike can browse through the displays of modern-day excavations finding prehistoric ruins of ancient villages and burial grounds. The excavations were done on the ridge of Mount Carmel as well as unique underwater excavations that revealed sunken villages. One site, off the coast of Atlit just south of Haifa, divers entered an ancient freshwater well now submerged in the salty sea. In essence, this museum serves to show visitors the life of man who lived in the area thousands of years ago, the homo Carmelitis.
Visiting the Haifa Educational Zoo
Sun – Thurs: 9am-6pm
Sat and Holidays: 9am-6pm
Fri and Holiday eve: 9am-3pm
Sun – Thurs: 9am-4pm
Sat and Holidays: 9am-4pm
Fri and Holiday eve: 9am-1:30pm
Adult and Child: NIS 35
Seniors and Disabled: NIS 25
Group of 15 or more: NIS 25 per person
The zoo is served by bus routes 21,22,23,28,37 and the Carmelit’s Gan Ha’Em stop
By: Shem Tov Sasson. A Contributing Journalist for Tourist Israel, Shem Tov lives in the small Israeli city of Ma’alot. His personal blog about his experiences and adventures in the Holy Land can be found at Israel’s Good Name.