Shenzhen Zoo pandas in shenzhen
The zoo is a popular family attraction all across the world, and in China this is also the case. Now going to the zoo can be seen as a controversial; activity, and many people think that it is in bad taste and should not be supported, however I’m not advocating an opinion one way or another, merely giving a guide should you wish to go.
Shenzhen Safari Park or zoo is located in the Xili area conveniently near the metro station, in fact there are many murals of animals on the metro wall to greet you upon arrival. After a short walk to the entrance you’ll reach the ticket office. You can pay with cash or WeChat at the booth or use the self-service machine. The tickets are certainly not cheap and if you brought a family here would cost quite a lot so try to get as much out of it as you can. The zoo is huge and there is a LOT of walking involved from place to place. It is very well sign posted with maps and markers pointing you in the right direction. You can rent some electric scooters to zip you around, these are 500 RMB deposit and are a good option if walking 10,000 steps or more is not really your thing.
Read about Shenzhen parks here Guide to the parks in SZ
Most animals you would associate with zoos are here including the popular ones like panda, elephants, giraffes, lions, bears, penguins and many more. There are even some more unusual animals such as the Liger, which is a cross between lion and tiger.
The star attraction is the panda. This is an animal that most zoos outside of China don’t’ have, so it’s a good opportunity for you to see the panda up close and personal. Especially since it’s the symbol of China and it’s your only chance to see one in Shenzhen.
The zoo is split into various ‘zones’ which groups the animals together logically. Sections such as ‘Horn of Africa’ housing the zebras, elephants, hippopotamus and more. ‘Big cats’, which has the lions, tigers etc, ‘birds section’ including egrets, peacocks, flamingos, herbivores, monkeys and reptiles, plus the aquatic sections and many more. These all have individual sign posts as you go along and they all link into each other meaning the whole area can be covered quite efficiently.
Throughout the day there are various ‘performances’ by the animals. I didn’t care to view these so there are no pictures, but the schedule of shows is below should you wish to see. They include the bird show, elephant performance and more. They are staggered throughout the day and start on time so give yourself ample time to get there.
There are several interactive activities you can do at Shenzhen Safari Park too. Feeding the animals is one of them. Some of the stations have options to buy food to feed, such as buying branches and leaves to feed the giraffes. This is a lot of fun and you’ll be surprised by both how long the giraffe tongue is and how strong they are. Children especially will like this, You can also feed other animals such as bears or peacocks too. Possibly the most unique zoo interaction is driving into the lion and tiger enclosure. You go inside a protected van, and feed them meat, causing them to jump onto the vehicle and roar loudly. Looks to be quite a scary experience but a memorable one too! Certainly an ‘only in China experience’. These come at additional cost and are not included in the ticket price. There is also a small museum, amusement park and water park too.
The zoo has many benches and rest stops, and lots of shaded areas too. Toilets are everywhere and are clean. There are some sit down restaurants serving Chinese style fast food, as well as the usual array of snack booths dotted around everywhere. As you would expect the prices here are higher with a bottle of water costing around 8 RMB, better to bring your own.
Overall while the zoo may not be to everyone’s taste, it is a popular and easy choice for a family day or out or even a solo trip, and although the conditions here are not perfect, they are not as bad as other zoos around Asia. And its short distance for SZ city centre make it a more convenient choice than Ocean Park or Chimelong for a day out with the kids. It is a bit old and dated, but surprisingly pretty clean and there are worse things you could do on the weekend in Shenzhen.
Take metro line 7 (Xili Line) to Xili Lake Station exit B, and walk northeast around 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) to the entrance of the park.
2. Take bus 36, 49, 66, 101, 104, 226, B736, B796, B797, M460, M492 to Dongwuyuan (Shenzhen Safari Park) Station.
Adult Ticket 240 RMB
Children 1.2m-1.5m 120 RMB
Children under 1.2m FREE
8.30am – 5pm
Shenzhen Safari Park, Qinyuan Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China