Zoos and Aquariums in Israel‎ – Overview of 30+ places

Zoos and Aquariums in Israel‎

This review will review zoos and aquariums, list the top ten, explore wildlife, and suggest where to see it.

Zoos in Israel

Let’s start with a comparison table of the biggest zoos in Israel.


  • I visited most of the sites in this guide more than once, and the links are to my reviews. Thus, if you want to discover additional details about a place, check the relevant guide.
  • Some places offer coupons. You can find additional details in the linked guides.
Hippopotamus in the open area at Ramat Gan Safari
Hippopotamus in the open area at Ramat Gan Safari
NameLocationEntrance FeeEstimated Visit DurationRating on Google
Jerusalem Biblical ZooJerusalem58 NIS per adult and 44 NIS per child2 – 5 hours4.6 based on 10,453 reviews
Ramat Gan SafariRamat Gan74 NIS per person2 – 5 hours4.4 based on 13,684 reviews
Haifa Educational ZooHaifa38 NIS per person2 – 4 hours4.4 based on 2,548 reviews
Hay ParkKiryat Motzkin55 NIS per adult and 50 NIS per child2 – 4 hours4.2 based on 206 reviews
Hai Kef ZooRishon LeTsiyon39 during weekdays and 55 on Saturdays NIS per person1 – 3 hours3.8 based on 2,004 reviews
Negev ZooBeersheba35 NIS per person1 – 3 hours4.5 based on 1,926 reviews

As you can see, most places have similar ratings. And my own experience is pretty much aligned with these scores. So which one should you visit?

I would suggest considering one of the first three options for most people.

Among the first three, if you are looking for a big zoo or an attraction in Jerusalem (open on Saturday), go with Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. If you are in Tel Aviv or want to drive through the African zone, consider Ramat Gan Safari. Lastly, if you are visiting Haifa, or looking for a more budget option, check out Haifa Educational Zoo.

At Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
At Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

After visiting a big zoo, visiting another one might feel like more of the same. But attending an animal attraction specializing in a species, such as crocodiles, can be an exciting experience. Thus, in the next section, we will go over animal attractions.

Animal Attractions

So far, we have covered the largest zoos in Israel. But there are also many smaller places. And in this section, we will go over the most popular ones.

At Dolphin Reef in Eilat
At Dolphin Reef in Eilat

Note: the table is ordered by the number of reviews.

NameLocationEntrance FeeEstimated Visit DurationRating on Google
Dolphin ReefEilat69 NIS per adult and 48 NIS per childone hour to a full day4.6 based on 7,601 reviews
Monkey ForestYodfat44 during weekdays and 48 on weekends NIS per person2 – 4 hours4.5 based on 2,080 reviews
Gan Garoo – Australian-themed parkNir David59 NIS per person2 – 3 hours4.5 based on 1,983 reviews
Lachish Park – mostly deer, Nubian ibex, and zebrasAshdodfree1 – 2 hours4.4 based on 1,406 reviews
Deer forestOdem25 NIS per adult and 50 NIS per child2 – 3 hours4.4 based on 1,378 reviews
Monkey Park (Israeli Primate Sanctuary Foundation)Kfar Daniel48 NIS per person1 – 2 hours3.8 based on 1,318 reviews
The Rabbit VillageBethlehem of Galilee60 NIS per person1 – 3 hoursat least 65 NIS per person
Gan Hai – a small zoo with a petting cornerPetah Tikva30 NIS per adult and 24 NIS per child2 – 3 hours4.2 based on 912 reviews
Parrot FarmKfar Hess35 NIS per adult and 45 NIS per child1 – 2 hours3.9 based on 746 reviews
Crocoloco Crocodile FarmIr Ovot30 NIS per person1 hour4.4 based on 542 reviews
Hamat Gader – hot springs with an animal worldHamat Gaderat least 89 NIS per personone hour to a full day4 based on 486 reviews (Tripadvisor)
Camel Ride – one of the places for camel ridesMamshit Camel Ranchat least 65 NIS per peson1 – 4 hours4.6 based on 464 reviews
Alpaca FarmMitzpe Ramon30 NIS per person1 – 2 hours4.6 based on 210 reviews
Antelope RanchMahane Zofar30 NIS per person1 – 2 hours4.7 based on 360 reviews
Ostrich FarmMerhavim Regional Council30 NIS per person1 hour4.3 based on 270 reviews

I agree with most of the ratings. And I would draw the line at around 4. This means I would probably not visit places with a rating below 4. But remember that some of these places might get a low rating because of a restaurant or a hotel on their premises. On the other hand, a site can get a high score due to its attractions for young kids, which might not be relevant to you. Thus, in any case, I would suggest checking the guides to the desired animal attractions before visiting them.

Crocoloco Crocodile Farm
At Crocoloco Crocodile Farm

Aquariums in Israel

There are two big aquariums in Israel. One in Eilat and the second in Jerusalem.

We enjoyed visiting both of them. And according to the rating, we were not the only ones.

NameLocationEntrance FeeEstimated Visit DurationRating on Google
Israel AquariumJerusalem54 NIS per adult and 45 NIS per child1.5 – 2.5 hours4.6 based on 6,461 reviews
Underwater Observatory Marine ParkEilatat least 79 NIS per peson2 – 5 hours4.5 based on 10,808 reviews
Israel Aquarium in Jerusalem
At Israel Aquarium in Jerusalem

Top Ten

We get the top ten list if we take the ten places with the highest ratings from the tables above.

NameRating on Google
Antelope Ranch4.7 based on 360 reviews
Jerusalem Biblical Zoo4.6 based on 10,453 reviews
Dolphin Reef4.6 based on 7,601 reviews
Camel Ride4.6 based on 464 reviews
Alpaca Farm4.6 based on 210 reviews
Israel Aquarium4.6 based on 6,461 reviews
Negev Zoo4.5 based on 1,926 reviews
Monkey Forest4.5 based on 2,080 reviews
Gan Garoo4.5 based on 1,983 reviews
Underwater Observatory Marine Park4.5 based on 10,808 reviews

And here are the top 10 according to Tripadvisor:

  1. Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
  2. Underwater Observatory Marine Park
  3. Gan Garoo
  4. Ramat Gan Safari
  5. Israel Aquarium
  6. Haifa Educational Zoo
  7. Hay Park
  8. Monkey Forest
  9. Antelope Ranch
  10. The Biblical Museum of Natural History

As you can see, both these ratings are pretty similar. However, as I mentioned above, rating is not the only factor. If a site has other points of interest beyond animals, the scores can be less representative. Moreover, some places are aimed at families with young kids, while others are suitable for various ages. Therefore, check my reviews before visiting a site.

Camel ride in the Negev
Camel ride in the Negev


Till now, we have covered animal attractions, Zoos, and Aquariums. And in this section, we will talk about wildlife.

Nubian ibex

We will start our overview with the Nubian ibex. This desert-dwelling goat is a threatened species worldwide. And the reason we begin with it is Artzi. You probably met him if you visited any of the National Parks And Nature Reserves in Israel. Artzi is the Nubian ibex on the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority emblem.

In Israel, the historically dense ibex population, described in the Bible (Psalm 104:18), was decimated in the wake of the First World War when the sudden availability of rifles enabled Bedouin to hunt them to near extinction. After the establishment of the state, when hunting was outlawed, and nature reserves were created in which they were protected, the ibex population rebounded. Three ibex populations have been discovered in Israel: in the Judean Desert, the Negev mountains, and Eilat.

Source: Wikipedia

Following the 1955 nature protection law and the explanation activity, the population of the Nubian ibexes has grown over the years. This success story is one of the reasons for integrating the Nubian ibex into the symbol of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

Nubian ibex at Mitzpe Ramon
Nubian ibex at Mitzpe Ramon

The best way to find wildlife, especially Nubian ibex, is to look for food or water. So, here are the best places to see Nubian ibexes in Israel:

  • Ein Gedi Nature Reserve is the largest oasis in Israel. Many different species visit it all year round. You can find Nubian ibexes, rock hyraxes, foxes, wolves, birds of prey, reptiles, and many other species at this nature reserve. And since I mentioned rock hyraxes, you can also see them at Rosh HaNikra and Banias Nature Reserve.
  • There is a population of Nubian ibex at Makhtesh Ramon, and they are coming to Mitzpe Ramon in search of food.
  • Ein Avdat National Park, like Ein Gedi, is also a water source in the middle of the desert. And the water attracts songbirds, rock doves, birds of prey, and ibexes.


As I told you in Bird Ringing at Ein Afek Nature Reserve, there are two routes for migrating birds to Africa. One goes through Spain, and the second through Israel. Thus, Israel is one of the best places to see migrating birds.

Bird Migration routes
Bird migration routes

Around 500 million birds fly above Israel twice a year, and the numbers are growing yearly. The best places to see migrating birds are:

  • Agamon Hula is the most popular site. It is like a bed and breakfast for birds. There are ponds where birds can spend the night and receive food. During the peak of the migration season, more than 50,000 cranes can stay for a night. And, of course, there are other species as well.
  • Near Agamon Hula you can find Hula Nature Reserve. Since many people confuse those two places, see Agamon Hula versus Hula Nature Reserve – Which one is Better? for a comparison of the two places.
  • Pelican Migration At Emek Hefer is my favorite place to see the biggest migrating bird, the pelican. In the pelican guide, I will take you to the Viker lookout and Agamon Hefer.
  • Did you know that there are Nile softshell turtles in Israel? See Turtle Bridge at Alexander River for additional details.
  • Eilat Ornithological Park is also one of the more popular spots for birdwatching. It is especially impressive that thousands of flamingos stay there. See Flamingo Migration.

In general, the best time to see bird migration is either fall or spring (usually March – April and October -November).

Pelican migration at Emek Hefer, Israel
Pelican migration at Emek Hefer

Other Places

And finally, I will list several honorable mentions:

  • At Taninim Stream Nature Reserve, you will not find crocodiles, and you will see many birds.
  • Ein Afek Nature Reserve is a wetland in northern Israel. It is home to a wide variety of animals, including buffalos, mongooses, Nutrias, and many birds and fish.
  • Hai-Bar Yotvata Nature Reserve is a safari with a small zoo near Eilat.


This guide covered the most popular places to see wildlife, the best animal attractions, zoos, and aquariums. And I hope it will be helpful and give you ideas about where to go next.

What are your favorite Zoos and Aquariums in Israel? Tell us in the comments below.

That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!


Additional Resources

Here are several resources that I created to help travelers: And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.  
Did not find what you were looking for? Leave a comment below, and I will do my best to answer your questions.

Lev Tsimbler

Lev from israel-in-photos.com. You can contact me at hi@israel-in-photos.com

2 thoughts on “Zoos and Aquariums in Israel‎ – Overview of 30+ places

  1. Is there a certain time when it is better to come to the Ein Gedi reserve in order to meet goats or are they there all day?
    same as”Where exactly in the Ein Gedi Reserve can you see goats?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Avi,
      Animals are always more active in the morning or evening (when it is less hot). During our last visit we saw them at the beginning of the David waterfall trail (near the entry). They came to drink water. Thus there is a good chance seeing them at 8:00 by the water or in the nearby shade.

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