Lagos Zoo is a fantastic fun family day out from Lagos in the Algarve and I totally recommend it. The animals are kept in good conditions and it is well laid out. Lagos Zoo is a reasonable size and there are cafes and an artificial beach area to relax and so the Zoo is a full day out.
I know that the ethics of zoos can be a concern for travellers, but the good news is that we saw the animals in good condition – they were happy and well fed with ampke space. Today’s blog will tell you how to get to Lagos Zoo, what to take and when to go.
How to get to Lagos Zoo
The main downside if you want to go to Lagos Zoo is that it is a bit far out from the centre of Lagos. The best way to get there is to drive and so if you have hired a car for your time in the Algarve then that’s fantastic. If you want a taxi it will cost you around €10-20 depending on the time of day and demand. However, we did have problems getting an Uber between 9-10am because of high demand. It could be the case that you have a long wait for a cab especially in high season, so factor that in.
If you plan to take public transport then it’s bus number 6 from the city centre to Medronhal (the stop outside the Zoo). Get on it in front of the main square (Plaza Infante Dom Henrique) – look for the lemur signs at the bus stop for the zoo bus! It only costs a couple of Euros – make sure you have change available.
Also take your phone and charger with you incase you miss the last bus back! Check the times of the buses on the way there and back because sometimes there are only two or three a day.
Zoo entrance Tickets – Book Online
It’s a good idea to book your tickets online in advance on the Zoo website here. You save €2 so it works out at €16 instead of €18 if you book online. It’s €12 for children and €14 for seniors (online booking). In high season you are particularly recommended to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
How long to spend at Lagos Zoo
It is advisable to spend 3-4 hours at the zoo and time your visit with the monkey feeding (around 3pm!) The summer opening hours are 10-7pm and the winter opening hours are 10-5pm, but check with the Zoo directly for easy closures and holidays.
What to pack for Lagos Zoo
For your trip to the zoo pack (or wear) the following:
- Wear comfortabke trainers or walking boots as there will be a fair bit of walking.
- Wear comfortable casual clothes such as jeans and T-shirts or leggings.
- Take snacks or picnic – it’s nice to have something to eat walking round but be aware that you will get told off for eating your own food at the restaurant picnic tables!
- Bottle of water – it can be hot especially in the summer months
- Sun hats and sun cream – you don’t want to burn!
- Rain jacket – particularly in winter months
- Change – have some coins available (especially €1 coins) because there are animal food dispensers around the zoo so that you can feed animals (particularly the turtles, farm animals and flamingos)
- Pack towels and bathing suits because there is an artificial beach for the children to play and the adults to swim and relax
Lagos Zoo has an excellent bird house, reptile house and farmyard. But the most impressive and enjoyable parts of the zoo in my opinion are the Flamingoes, the Penguin Parade and the Monkeys. A good tip is to plan your day and route around the feeding times and Penguin Parade because these are great opportunities to see the animals in action.
Feed the Terrapins!
The first lot of animals that you come to is a bunch of hungry terrapins – and the great thing is that you can feed some of the animals because there is animal friendly food for you to buy dotted around the park – so take lots of quarters!
Birds and Parrots
The birds are an impressive part of the zoo – you will be pleased to know that they have large cages with plenty of space to fly. Lagos Zoo has one of the most impressive collections of horned-bills I’ve ever seen. Children should avoid putting their fingers in the bird cages!
The Flamingoes were my favourite part of the zoo – their enclosure is massive and beautiful. The flamingoes were often used to being fed by park guards and tourists because as soon as they saw us coming they flocked towards us spreading their wings – it was amazing! You can see the video on my Instagram here.
Possibly the best part of Lagos Zoo is monkey Island. The island is well designed with high tree houses and rope swings for the monkeys to enjoy themselves, which replicates their natural habitat. They have many different species including spider monkeys, gibbons, capuchin monkeys and chimpanzees.
You can actually walk through the bat enclosure and see them hanging up above! Be warned – it can be a little….smelly!
The petting zoo is one of the only areas of the zoo that you can touch the animals. There are goats and donkeys that enjoy being petted. You can also see chickens, guinea pigs and rabbits.
Many animals roam freely in the zoo such as peacocks and wallabies. You can also see meerkats, lemurs, a pigmy hippo and prairie dogs. There is also a reptile house with snakes and lizards.
This is an artificial beach that is built to replicate boulders beach in Cape Town, South Africa. The highlight is the south African penguins who you can see swimming! You can even swim with the penguins (side by side although separate). They come out for the penguin parade some remember to check the time for that.
The gift shop is a lovely place for souvenirs including post cards, books and lots of fluffy animals that you may have seen at the zoo! It’s a little pricier than usual, but in a zoo gift shop that is to be expected.
Where to eat
There is a nice cafe in the zoo where you can get pizzas and salads for around €5-10. The cafe has a children’s playground. Remember to get your ice creams last or they might melt while you are in the queue! There is also a nice restaurant outside the front of the zoo – Restaurant Cangalho – if you are looking for something a bit more upmarket. Check out their menu here.
If you are looking for other places to visit in and around Lagos, try these recommendations….