With over 2000 animals and countless amazing plants across 80 acres of beautiful, spacious grounds, you are in for a fantastic day out at Paignton Zoo! Located in South Devon, it is one of the South West’s most exciting visitor attractions and one of Britain’s top zoos. It’s a place to roam, discover, learn and get in touch with nature.
Discover your favourite species, big and small, including gorillas, orang-utans, giraffes, tigers, crocodiles, red pandas and rhinos, and be ready for a few surprises along the way. As well as being an inspiring day out come rain or shine, Paignton Zoo is part of Wild Planet Trust, a conservation charity dedicated to helping halt species decline.
Get up close to some of the animal wonders of the world across their specially designed habitats – from the savannah to the wetlands to the tropical forest. Walk through the Tropical Trails exhibit, home to an amazing array of reptiles, amphibians, birds and exotic plants, before going into Arid Lands to spot even more unique species. Head up the hill to Crocodile Swamp to see a real-life dragon: the ever-popular Komodo dragon, Khaleesi. Keep an eye out for crocodiles and alligators on your walk through this wetland exhibit – these prehistoric creatures are always looking for a spot of lunch!
Stroll over to Lemur Wood to meet the three species of lemur before braving the wobbly bridge. If you’re looking to spot some bigger primates, walk down to the Ape Centre to hang out with some Critically Endangered apes – the group of Western lowland gorillas and Bornean orang-utans. Get to know the troop of Hamadryas baboons at Baboon Rock and watch the Diana monkeys, macaques and many more on your way through Monkey Heights.
The fun isn’t over yet – meet our tallest residents at the Giraffe enclosure and watch our zebras enjoy a spot of lunch. Don’t miss the two Critically Endangered rhinos along the way! Sniff out some snouted friends like the tapirs, red river hogs and peccaries, watch the meerkats play and keep an eye in the treetops for the red pandas. Listen out for the lion’s roar, which you can hear across the entire site, and catch the cheetahs and tigers prowling their territory!
If you haven’t done enough steps for the day, explore some of the plants around the site – Paignton Zoo is also a botanical garden! Some highlights include the titan arum, also known as the corpse flower, and the Japanese maple, which has leaves that turn bright red in the autumn. You can explore the Nature Trail and Wild at Home Garden to see a variety of native trees and plants.
Feeling peckish? Grab a spot of lunch at the Island Restaurant. Whether you’re in the mood for a sandwich, wrap, salad or want to choose from a range of hot meals, there’s a variety of options on the menu. There are food outlets around the site to grab a drink or snack if you need to refuel on the go.
Keep an eye out for peacocks on your way back through Paignton Zoo towards the Living World gift shop. Full of unique gifts, cuddly toys, souvenirs and an eco-friendly range, take something special home to remember your day.
Paignton Zoo is a registered charity, so not only do you get a good day out, you know your money is going to a good cause: supporting education, scientific research and practical conservation. Part of Wild Planet Trust, Paignton Zoo supports a number of projects in the UK and overseas that aim to conserve wildlife in the wild, as well as playing a key role in breeding programmes for rare and endangered species.
Paignton Zoo is open from 10am every day (except Christmas Day). Closing times and last entry varies throughout the year so follow the www.paigntonzoo.org.uk website to confirm or call them on 01803 697500.