Basel Zoo, Basel - 2020 (Photos & Reviews)

About Basel Zoo

The most visited tourist attraction of Switzerland, Basel Zoo is situated in the northwest of the country. Sharing its borders with foreign nations, the zoo receives a great footfall from France and Germany. Although renowned by the name Basel Zoo, the official name of the zoo is Zoologischer Garten Basel, which means Basel Zoological Garden in German. 

Located on the banks of the Rhine River in the city of Basel, the zoo is counted among the largest and the oldest Zoos in Switzerland. With organised layouts and segregated categories, the zoo promises to be one of the most educative and fun experiences not only for kids but even for young grown ups. 

Beside these, the zoo also has a reputation for being one of the best breeders in the world along with having one of the perfect botanical gardens inside it. All these factors make this place rank way higher than even the snow-covered Alps.

You can find over a hundred different species of exotic animals and birds from various different corners of the world. These species include Amazon Tree Boa, Bar-headed Goose, Cuckoo Catfish, Flamingo, Four-eyed Fish, Guinea Pig, Harvester Ant and many more. Around 1.8 million visitors per year visit the zoo to witness these species in their natural habitat.

How to Reach Basel Zoo

Basel Zoo can be easily reached via public bus or a private taxi from the airport. The buses operate at a frequency of ten minutes from Basel EuroAirport takes approximately thirteen minutes to reach the Basel Zoo.

But if you are looking for a faster way, you can simply rent a car from Basel Airport to the Zoo and drive for 8.3 kilometers for approximately nine minutes. The fare is a little pricey, however the trip across the lively township is worth it.

Best Time to Visit Basel Zoo

The Zoo is open throughout the year, and every single day is an excellent time to stroll into this place, as long as you are in a mood to interact with animals. However, the summer months are the best if you want to take a nice walk around the Zoo, instead of enjoying the animals.

But in winter, these animals nest up close to the glass or enclosure to seek warmth. During these times, you can have a profoundly intimate and personal experience with them. As far as the best time to visit during a day is considered, you must visit as soon as the zoo opens to avoid the crowded hours. Plus this time is peaceful and cool which suggests that all the animals would be fresh and in a good mood.

What Not to Miss at Basel Zoo

There are eight major types of wildlife in the Basel Zoo which are as follows:

1. Mammals
In the predator category, there are slender tailed meerkats, Cheetahs, lions, snow leopards, sea lions, wild dogs, dwarf mongooses and oriental small-clawed otters. You can also find twelve different primates and seven kinds of rodents. Explore seventeen even-toed ungulates like pigs, boars, hippopotamus, etc., and six types of perissodactyls. Kangaroos, elephants and other related animals add to the attraction.

2. Birds
The parrots and penguins here will definitely steal your heart away. There are twenty-five species of the aviary, which will provide a significant visual treat for your eyes. With pond birds and other rare species, explore a paradise here, in Basel Zoo.

3. Fish
There are forty-five rare and exotic fish species here. You can spend your time gazing at these beauties from the glass wall.

4. Amphibians
Giant toad and Poison dart frogs are the two amphibians in this Zoo. Check the water-land zombies out when you are at the Zoo.

5. Reptiles
With over nineteen different exotic reptile species, enjoy the scaly creatures crawling in their cages. Horned Viper and Nile Crocodile will mesmerise you with their sheer beauty.

6. Invertebrates
Head over to the Invertebrates section to check out the eleven species on display there. Spend a few moments showing gratitude for being blessed with the Almighty.

7. Insects
Harvester ant, Phasmid, Locust, Honey bee colony, Rose-chafer and termite colony are the important parts of the insect kingdom that you must check out. Although they are unremarkable, they can capture your imagination with their unity.

8. Spiders
Ever been fascinated by the Aragog from the Harry Potter scenes? Here is your chance to check out the spiders with your own eyes. Acramantula isn’t here, however, there are Tarantula, Black widow and Orb-weaver spider which will help you relieve the Harry Potter moments.

Other Essential Information About Basel Zoo

Official Address: Binningerstrasse 40, 4054 Basel, Switzerland
The main entrance is in front of the downtown strip of Steinen in Basel. The Zoo is spread over a land of thirty-two acres.

The Zoo is open on all days from Monday to Sunday. It opens at 8 AM and closes by 5.30 PM.

Price (Include all the variants)
Admission fees for single tickets are listed below.
- Adults, aged 25-61: CHF 21.-*
- Young people, aged 16-24: CHF 15.-*
- Children, aged 6-15: CHF 10.-*
- Senior citizens (aged 62 and over) / Disabled persons: CHF 19.-*
- Families (parents/partners with their children aged up to 20 and living at the same address): CHF 43.-*

If you are a wildlife or animal enthusiast who loves visiting the Zoo often, season tickets are the best choice for you.
- Single season ticket for an adult from 25 years: CHF 90.-*
- Family season ticket: CHF 160.-*
- One parent season ticket: CHF 110.-*
- Grandparent season ticket: CHF 160.-*
- Senior tickets for women from 64 years/men from 65 years/disability insurance holders: CHF 70.-*
- School pupils, apprentices and students (up to their 25th birthday): CHF 50.-*
- *CHF 1.50 from every season ticket goes to a special fund for conservation projects.
- The family season ticket is valid for all the children belonging to the family who hasn’t yet reached the age of majority. Season tickets, vouchers and tickets can only be bought at the ticket counters up to half an hour before the Zoo closes.

History of Basel Zoo

The Zoo was first opened on 3rd July 1874 and had a footfall of sixty-two thousand visitors in the first year. The visitors demanded exotic species, which prompted the zoo expansion. In 1884, they introduced The Festmatte, which meant the festival meadow and encouraged native shows along with the animals. In 1937, the Zoo faced its worst crisis when foot and mouth disease broke out. It led to the death of many valuable animals. 

In 1954, when the effect of the disease faded, a landscape architect named Kurt Brägge started working on redesigning the Zoo. He converted it into a landscaped park within thirty-five years. Currently, the lush greenery provides the charm to the Zoo and helps it stay different from the typical zoos.

This Zoo has a variety of records to its credit by having the first captive birth of Rhinoceros, flamingo, Gorilla and Cheetah. These births were sensational across the world, as it was the first time humans succeeded in breeding these species inside a zoo. 

A major expansion was done in 1961 after the Zoo received Nightingale Woods. This helped the Zoo get its own children’s Zoo, a vivarium, main entrance gate construction, a larger administrative building, among many other significant changes. With the changing times, they invested in new enclosures during 1979-1989.

About the Tembea Elephant Enclosure

With the increased number of elephants, Basel Zoo opened a new elephant enclosure named ‘Tembea’ in March 2017. This vast land covers around five thousand square meters and houses the animals comfortably. The public can observe the elephants through the open enclosure and enjoy the recreated savannah landscape. 

In addition to African elephants, the elephant enclosure provides home to brown rats harvester ants and some fish species. The enclosure outdoors has guinea fowl along with nesting facilities for the white storks.

The Restaurant at Basel Zoo

A spacious restaurant with its menu changing on a daily basis, the restaurant at Basel Zoo is a classic indoor setting. You have to help yourself at the restaurant as it is a self-service restaurant. You can enjoy a variety of fresh, seasonal and regional cuisines in the proximity of wildlife. The restaurant is located centrally in the zoo so it could be accessible from each and every part of the zoo.

Please note that the restaurant opens at 09:00 AM and closes by 05:30 PM in the months of March, April, September and October whereas it closes by 06:00 PM in the months from March to August and at 05:00 PM in the months from November to February.

Traveller’s Tips for Basel Zoo

Carry a bottle of water to keep you hydrated.

Wear comfortable shoes as you will have to walk a lot.

Prepare yourself for a long day here, because it is an extensive collection of animals. 

Do not skim by the enclosures, and get a notepad if you want to collect facts about the animals.
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People Also Ask About Basel Zoo

  1. Is it permitted to take photographs in Basel Zoo?

    Unlike other zoos, you are allowed to take your camera inside and click photos. Photography for personal or non-commercial uses is permitted. However, if you want to publish it on web pages or use it for commercial purposes, you will be required to take the written permission of the Basel Zoo management, and include an acknowledgement of the source in any place that you intend to display.
  2. Why are visitors not allowed to feed the animals in Basel Zoo?

    Making sure that over six hundred species of animals are all correctly fed is a difficult task. If visitors feed the animals, it would interfere with the monitored feeding of each species with appropriate food and lead to endangering the health of the animals. That is why it is not allowed to feed the animals in Basel Zoo.