If you’re looking for a day trip where you’ll have just as much fun as your kids will, make your way to the Ramat Gan Safari.
Only 15 minutes from the center of Tel Aviv, you can have as close to an authentic African safari experience as it gets. It’s no wonder why the zoo is nicknamed “Africa in the heart of Israel”
Just like in their natural habitats, the animals roam freely in large herds. As a visitor, you will be able to observe the natural behavior of the animals such as their feeding habits, social behavior, activities and resting patterns.
The Zoological Center Tel Aviv - Ramat Gan
The Ramat Gan Safari is located on 250 acres of nature in the city of Ramat Gan, ironically in the middle of a densely populated urban area in Israel.
It is home to the largest animal collection in the entire Middle East and boasts unique large herds of mixed species of African animals. This includes 1,600 animals of different species, comprised of:
● 68 species of mammals ● 130 species of fowl ● 25 species of reptile
Most notable of the safari’s breeding herds are the African and Asian elephants, the gorilla, chimpanzee and orangutan families, the hippopotamus herd, and of course, the pride of lions.
If you’re lucky, you may even be able to witness mating rituals and power struggles, and see how females raise their offspring. The safari is known for its success rate in breeding its animals, particularly the endangered species.
The Ramat Gan Safari Attractions:
The Ramat Gan Safari is divided into three sections:
The Safari Park At the Safari Park, you can enjoy a 30-45 minute drive along a winding road that passes through the territory of a variety of wild animals such as rhinos, gnus, zebras, oryx, pink flamingos and more. Some of the animals may even come straight up to your car to check you out. In this case, remember to follow the important safety rule of never exiting your vehicle.
The Lion Safari The Lion Safari provides you with a glimpse of the more dangerous species of animals—lions and tigers, oh my! The car ride takes approximately 20-30 minutes where you can enjoy observing these majestic animals in their natural habitat. But remember, they’re not kidding when they tell you to keep your windows closed.
The Zoo The Zoo portion of the safari features elephants, gorillas, polar bears, and more animals, divided by continent with detailed explanations along the way. The entire walk can take between 1-3 hours, with plenty to see.
If you’re visiting in the summer you may want to consider renting a small buggy to get around quicker. There are also many places to stop and rest along the way, including benches, picnic areas and food stands.
What’s more, the entire park is very kid friendly with a variety of fun activities such as musical plays, animal face painting, and games. You can also find a petting zoo and farm pony rides open all year round.
The Night Safari: In addition to the fun activities during the day, the Ramat Gan Safari offers guided nighttime tours of the park as well!
The Safari Layla or Night Safari begins when the stars go up and is approximately two hours long. The fun night time tour is geared towards families and visitors of all ages (5 and up)
As you ride the safari train at night, you will get a rare opportunity to discover what the animals do at night. What do the deer do at night? What animals only leave the lake when it's dark? And, why do zebras wear pajamas?
Want to see for yourself?
Location: 1 Tzvi Street, Ramat-Gan. A fifteen-minute taxi ride car from central Tel Aviv.
Price: 69 shekels, Free entrance for children under 2 years old
Opening Hours: The park is open all year except for 4 days: Yom Kippur, Yom Kippur Eve, Holocaust Remembrance Day and Israel Memorial Day.