Hai Kef is a small zoo in Rishon LeTsiyon. In 2020 it was closed for renovation. Thus we returned in 2021 to see what changed.
Note: if you want additional info about animals and wildlife, check out Zoos and Aquariums in Israel.
Hai Kef is located at Golda Meir avenue in Rishon LeTsiyon. Not far from Rishon LeTsiyon interchange (road #4 vs #441). And near the entrance to Hai Kef, you can find free parking.
Interactive map of the area:
- Hotels, hostels, and appartments in this area:
April – September
Sunday – Thursday and Saturday: 9:00 – 18:30.
Friday and holiday eve: 9:00 – 15:00.
October – March
Sunday – Thursday and Saturday: 9:00 – 17:00.
Friday and holiday eve: 9:00 – 15:00.
Regular price – 50 NIS
If you buy more than three tickets – 40 NIS per person
Pensioner, disabled, student, or soldier – 30 NIS per person.
Note: if you are a Rishon LeTsiyon resident, you can purchase a ticket for 28 NIS. And if you are a resident of the city and a pensioner, disabled, student, or soldier, you can buy a ticket for 20 NIS.
Note: opening hours and ticket prices were updated in July 2021. In any case, recheck the official site before visiting. Sometimes they can close the whole compound for a private event. Also, the mentioned prices are not valid during holidays.
This is what I wrote after my previous visit in 2014:
I think that 55 NIS is a high price for Hai Kef at Rishon zoo (low value for money). At almost the same price you can visit Jerusalem zoo and at a little higher price you can visit Safari. Thus, only when I saw a coupon offer (25 NIS per person) I decided to purchase tickets.
After upgrading the zoo, they started offering coupons, which is when we visited. And here are the available coupons for 2021:
At Hai Kef
And now let’s visit Hai Kef.
Hai Kef was closed for renovations (there were many complaints about maintenance). And in March 2021, we returned to see what had changed.
Our visit did not start smoothly since the restrooms near the entrance were flooded. And the cleaner lady pointed us to another restroom.
Now there is a Lemur area. And the intention is that you will be able to enter the pavilion and stand within several meters from the lemurs. But due to Coronavirus, you cannot enter the cages.
When we entered Hai Kef, we received a small bag to feed the animals. As far as I remember, one small bag per child. And you can purchase extra three bags for 10 NIS.
Thus the first thing we did upon entrance was feeding the animals. First, we started with ibexes. And then we headed to kangaroos.
But not all animals were hungry. Thus if you want to feed them, I suggest arriving early.
And if you love feeding kangaroos, then check out Gan Garoo.
When we ran out of animal food, we continued to the area of the monkeys.
And after seeing some birds, we headed to the petting area.
In the petting area, you can find two complexes. In the open area, you can find different farm animals like goats and sheep. And in the nearby building, you can find small animals like bunnies and guinea pigs.
There was a line to the building in the petting area. And each group received about five minutes inside.
Note: we visited on a Saturday, and the petting area was opened. Before the renovation, the petting area was open only on Saturdays. Now the official site does not mention it. Thus, not sure if the petting area is open during weekdays.
On our previous visits, we saw a lioness. Today there are no big cats in Hai Kef.
We spent almost three hours at Hai Kef. And we enjoyed our visit. After the renovation, Hai Kef is aimed at families with young kids. And though it was improved, they still lack some basics (like working restrooms and a map of the place). Nonetheless, if you are looking for a place to spend a half-day with your children, Hai Kef is a good alternative.
Have you ever visited Hai Kef? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
For additional similar attractions, see Zoos and Aquariums in Israel.
Additional ResourcesHere are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea Of Galilee, and Makhtesh Ramon.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.