Sri Lanka’s bustling capital, once known as the Garden City of the East, still has some beautiful tree-lined boulevards reminiscent of those days. With its charming seaside location, metropolitan Colombo is a mix of sightseeing, Sounds and Experiences – From the fort area with its rich colonial heritage and architecture to the luxurious hotels, hip cafes and busy markets. As you uncover the city’s many secrets on an exciting tuk-tuk ride, you can enjoy the city’s street food and shop for some amazing handicrafts, silks and aromatic teas. Those traveling with children must include Dehiwala Zoo In their Colombo itinerary.
About Dehiwala Zoo
Located just a short distance from the city centre, the National Zoological Park of Sri Lanka, known as Dehiwala Zoo, is a vast green oasis and home to various species of fascinating animals, birds and butterflies. Established in 1936, it is one of the oldest zoos in Asia which also pioneered the concept of open zoo. With over 2500 animals, Dehiwala Zoo hosts many exotic and indigenous species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Along with the amazing diversity of flora, it is also popular for its lush landscaped gardens and dense tree cover.
This beautiful expanse of flora and fauna is one of the best places to spend some quiet moments amidst nature, admiring the innumerable animal species and enjoying the fresh clean air. As well as being a great place for great entertainment for children, this magnificent zoo has made great strides in animal conservation by breeding rare and endangered species.
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Top places to visit in Dehiwala Zoo
While the acres of soothing green vegetation with colorful flower beds and patches of forest is what everyone who visits this place loves, it is the amazing variety of animals of Dehiwala Zoo that attracts both children and adults alike. Does it. Dehiwala Zoo map guides you to different parts of the vast zoological park, including:
1. Walk-in Aviary
As you enter this amazing section, you are welcomed by an amazing group of flamingos, giving you a glimpse into the colorful world of the myriad bird species that inhabit the island of Sri Lanka. Children will love the bird section of Dehiwala Zoo, which houses innumerable parrots, flightless birds including emus and beautiful aquatic birds. While the variety of birds at Dehiwala Zoo is an absolute visual delight, seeing the largest and fastest flightless bird, the ostrich, never fails to amaze little ones.
Two beautifully landscaped walk-in aviaries allow visitors to see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. Swan Pond and Waterfall are other major attractions to see the beautiful bird species when you visit this section. Another pond in the zoo is surrounded by nesting grounds of pelicans, night herons, egrets and cormorants. Along with brightly colored macaws, lovebirds and pheasants, you can also spot painted storks during the migration season (November to February). Last but not least, there are also birds of prey like kites, owls and majestic eagles.
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Divided into three major sections of freshwater, marine and saltwater, this aquarium is very popular among children and is the center of attraction at Dehiwala Zoo. A large variety of the country’s endemic fish species are painstakingly maintained in the zoo’s ponds and 22 tanks spread across the area. Children can marvel at the various aquatic animals and observe their breeding patterns and other symbiotic behavior from close up, making it not only a fun experience but also an educational trip.
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3. Butterfly Garden
For young inquisitive eyes what could be more beautiful than seeing colorful butterflies fluttering about in a beautifully landscaped garden with a stream flowing in the middle – a stroll through the small but lovely butterfly garden at Dehiwala Zoo A world of surprises opens up for them. Your children. Rich with flowers and plants host to butterflies, this section also displays the lifecycle of these lovely feathered friends. In addition to natural flower nectar, butterflies are also fed artificially provided bee honey and fruit juices!
4. Elephant Show
Dehiwala Zoo is home to not only Asian but also African elephants so that children get a chance to understand the difference between the two species. Of all the exciting activities and shows organized at the zoo, Dehiwala Zoo’s show called Elephant Dance and Hello to Elephants is the most popular among children of all ages.
Dehiwala Zoo Elephant Show Timings: Daily at 4:30 pm; Prime Minister (Special Occasion)
For more information about the timetable of other shows and various activities of Dehiwala Zoo, please visit their official website.
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5. Reptile Section
The Galapagos Giant Tortoise and Crocodile welcome visitors to the Reptilia section of the Dehiwala Zoo, which displays about 32 endemic and exotic species of reptiles. You can spot snakes, lizards and various species of crocodiles including the dwarf crocodile which is a major attraction. The snake section is home to giant pythons as well as fearsome species like the hump nosed viper and the Sri Lankan cobra. This interesting section also allows you to see turtles, iguanas and terrapins living in harmony with each other.
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About Dehiwala Zoo Night Safari
Since last year the zoo also opens at night on weekends so that visitors can watch the night activities of various animals. This thrilling and unique experience makes a great family trip and is very popular among the locals too.
Time: 7 – 10 pm (Fri-Sun)
Dehiwala Zoo Entry Fee: Considering the experience provided by this animal paradise, the price of Dehiwala Zoo tickets for SAARC visitors (including Indians) is quite reasonable.
ticket price: LKR 700/adult; LKR 350/child
Dehiwala Zoo Timings: Daily 8:30 am to 6 pm
This fascinating world of animals and birds has also introduced the unique concept of birthday parties at the zoo to instill an appreciation for nature among children. For more information about Dehiwala Zoo’s open days and special activities for children, you can visit their official website.
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Are you already excited to visit Dehiwala Zoo? Make sure you include this in your Sri Lanka itinerary for a fun-filled holiday with your loved ones! Happy Holidays!
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