Zoo Atlanta is a prominent zoological park in Atlanta’s Grant Park neighbourhood. It dates back to the late-1800s, making it one of the oldest zoos in the United States. You can find an extensive collection of animals from around the world here, including giant pandas.

Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the zoo is part of many global conservation initiatives for endangered animals like Sumatran tigers, African elephants, gorillas, and eastern indigo snakes.

Zoo Atlanta - one of the highlights of 10 Best Family Things to Do in Atlanta and 10 Best Things to Do in Atlanta (Read all about Atlanta here)

What are the highlights and features of Zoo Atlanta?

Zoo Atlanta has over 1,000 animals from over 200 world species, promising something to interest even the youngest of animal lovers. Habitats at Zoo Atlanta focus on Australian wildlife, reptiles, Asian forests, the African savanna and rainforests, and species that are specifically impacted by the international wildlife trade.

The main highlight of Zoo Atlanta is its giant pandas – it’s 1 of only 3 wildlife sanctuaries in the USA housing these endangered mammals. A pair, named Lun Lun and Yang Yang, came to Atlanta in 1999 on loan from China. Over 5 cubs were born at the zoo since then, all of which returned to China when fully weaned and grown.

You can take part in Zoo Atlanta’s Giant Panda Wild Encounter to enjoy perks like meeting and feeding its adult giant pandas. Note that this activity is not included in the zoo admission and it’s a good idea to book in advance since it's a very popular experience.

The Scaly Slimy Spectacular exhibit complex is home to around 100 amphibians and reptiles representing 70 species. You can see exotic animals like softshell turtles and African slender-snouted crocodiles in the aquatic animal habitats, as well as a variety of lizards, snakes, and frogs in large tanks. Zoo Atlanta is known for breeding Arakan forest turtles, a nearly extinct species native to western Myanmar.

African Savanna accurately replicates the continent’s most famous landscape, complete with grasslands, waterfalls, and a massive pond. It’s home to zebras, meerkats, and ostriches, as well as African bush elephants, giraffes, and lions. A separate exhibit houses Mumbles, a male Southern white rhinoceros that came from Houston Zoo.

What are the best things to do for families in Zoo Atlanta?

Outback Station is Zoo Atlanta's dedicated Australian exhibit, where you can see red kangaroos, cockatoos, and kookaburras. There’s an adjoining petting zoo for kids to get close to domestic animals like sheep, goats, and Kunekune pigs.

Treetop Trail is a great way to see Atlanta Zoo from an elevated perspective. You wear a full-body harness and lanyard while navigating a series of rope ladders, bridges, nets, tightrope lines that wind around the zoo. It’s safe for visitors of all ages, though kids need to be over 48 inches tall to participate without an adult chaperone.

Zoo Yoga is a fun option if you prefer to stay grounded. A certified yoga instructor will guide you through an hour-long session at the African Savanna (locations vary, depending on weather).

Your little ones can enjoy a ride at the Endangered Species Carousel, which features hand-carved wooden animal figures and handpainted murals under a colourful pavilion.

Good to know about Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta is in Grant Park, one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods. It’s in the middle of a 319-acre park of the same name. After visiting the zoo, you can explore many historic landmarks and museums within this recreational area.

Zoo Atlanta

Location: 800 Cherokee Avenue Southeast, Atlanta, GA 30315, USA

Phone: +1 404-624-5600

Penny Wong | Compulsive Traveller