The National Zoological Gardens of Sri Lanka, commonly known as the Dehiwala Zoo, is the main zoo in Sri Lanka and one of the most famous things to do in Colombo. Founded in 1936, the Colombo Zoo attracts thousands of visitors from all ages on a weekly basis. The zoo is home to animals of all types, with over 300 species and over 3000 animals.
Attractions at Dehiwala Zoo
The Colombo Zoological Gardens has separate sections for fish, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Specialty attractions include the elephant captivities and arenas, animal hospital, souvenir shop, and education centre. In addition, there are also other facilities such as dining, restaurants, and snack bars, children’s play area, Wi-fi zone, volunteer programmes, communication centres and toilets.
Each day, there are also special performances by elephants, chimpanzees, and sea lions. The patrons are able to view these performances by heading over to the special land and water arenas located at the zoo. Apart from the animal lover, the nature lover too can enter a space of learning, as the zoo is home to a wide coverage of trees, lawns and landscaped gardens, which include medicinal and rare plants as well.
The zoo is open everyday from 8.30am to 6.00pm. Ticket prices vary from local, to SAARC member country persons and to overseas visitors. Educational and training sessions could be organized by speaking to the zoological gardens staff, who are ever prepared to facilitate and educate the patrons. Visitors also have the opportunity in engaging in adoption, sponsorship and donation drives.
The Colombo Zoo falls under the Dehiwala – Mount Lavinia area, which is the adjoining suburb to the south of Colombo city. The premises can be accessed from any part of Colombo with just a one-hour ride. If you are located close by, a tuk tuk can be taken from Galle Road, Nugegoda, Kohuwala, Kalubowila, Pepiliyana, Boralesgamuwa, or Moratuwa. If travelling by bus, 176 is the route to take, as Hettiyawatte – Karagampitiya is the only service that covers this route.
The Colombo Zoological Gardens is an ideal escapade for a one-day outing, and makes for a relaxed and enjoyable time with your family and loved ones. The fact that it is located within one hour’s distance from Colombo city is a huge advantage, and the officials and staff at the zoo continue to work hard to ensure that all visitors have a learning and fun experience during their visit.