I absolutely love animals, of all kinds. Seeing animals in the wild or in well-maintained artificial habitats, is always a highlight of any trip we make as a family.
With that in mind, I figured I’d make a list of my favorite Animal Attractions in Israel. I’ll be added sub-pages for the various pages (that’s where you’ll see a wikipedia-like question mark), or you can visit the official websites instead.
[[Hula Nature Reserve]]
Where: in the Galilee
What: international birdwatching center. The local swamps and lakes host tens of thousands of large birds during migration season, including storks, cranes and pelicans. You also get to see large catfish and many water turtles.
See pictures and more in my review: [[Hula Nature Reserve]]
[[Safari Zoological Park]]
Where: near Tel Aviv
What: a combination of a traditional zoo area and a short safari drive with free-to-roam zebras, rhinos, hippos and even (separated from the other animals!) lions.
[[Gan Guru Australian Park]]
Where: near Beit She’an in the north-east of Israel.
What: Australian animals, some fenced in and others which you can get up and close to (and that includes the kangaroos!
What: Several aquariums with fish and sharks as well as an underwater observation point right into the Red Sea reef.
What: Dolphins, of course! Come swim and dive with dolphins.
[[Hai Bar Carmel]]
Where: on top of Mt. Carmel near Haifa.
What: a collection of biblical animals and birds, most in the process of being bred and released into the wild.
Where: half an hour away from the city of Eilat.
What: a nice safari tour of the grounds (self-guided with a CD for your car to listen to). You get to see a variety of unique African and Middle Eastern antelopes as well as ostriches. All are free to roam (that also means ostriches are free to peck at you so don’t provide anything too tempting).
[[The Biblical Zoo]]
Where: in Jerusalem
What: a relatively new zoo with a nice collection of animals, not all of them mentioned in the Bible.