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Rio Safari Elche - zoo for the whole family

A few kilometers from Alicante on the Costa del Sol in Spain is a zoo where you can see Africa's exotic animals - and some of our common domestic animals.

At the entrance there are shops where you can buy souvenirs from the zoo.

There you also meet the first animals - some cute lemurs - who look at you curiously from the other side of the glass wall.

It is easy to find. There are roads criss-crossing and signs showing where you must go to find the various animals.

There is also a cafe where you can buy some food and drink.

The animals have relatively good space and many of them have been given an environment that resembles their natural habitat.

There is a good balance between the animals' need for space and activity and the spectators' need to see the animals up close.

The first animals you meet are kangaroos and emus.

Then come dromedaries, giraffes and zebras.

You get to meet the beautiful Jaguar.

And several types of primates, such as the Black-Crested Mangabey which is only found in the Congo.

It is a separate small section for the American alligator.

And of course African lion and Bengal tiger sections.

There are two departments that are only open at special times. One is for ring-tailed lemurs and the other for sea lions. The department for ring-tailed lemurs opens at 12.

In the area of ring-tailed lemurs, you are only allowed to enter limited groups together with a guide who looks after you.

You get close to the animals, but it is important that you do not make contact with them, and that you do the right thing if a curious lemur jumps onto your shoulder.

You will receive training in this before entering. Ring-tailed lemurs are only found in Madagascar. They are endangered due to illegal smuggling of individuals for sale as pets.

What is tragic is that these lemurs depend on being in a herd to survive. If they are taken out of their herd and placed alone with humans, they will die of depression within a few weeks.

The zoo has a program to help the species survive.

The department for sea lions opens at 13. Then there is a show where a male animal and a female animal are displayed in an area with a pool of water surrounded by stands.

A zookeeper talks about how they train the animals to be able to take care of them in a good way.

Using fish as a reward, the zookeeper can get the sea lion to show off its right or left paw, gape open to have its mouth inspected, or perform acrobatic tricks in the pool.

There are also common farm animals there, such as sheep and goats.

At certain times there is a free train that you can join which gives you a tour of the area with some explanation along the way.

The Bornean orangutan is an endangered species that lives mainly in Borneo. Orangutans are the world's largest arboreal apes.

One of the tasks of the zoos is to take care of endangered species, take care of genetic variation and in some cases also contribute to releasing individuals back into the wild.

The red flamingos are a beautiful sight as they march in a row.

Here are some of the other animals you can see at the zoo.

More excursions:

Excursion of the week: Rio Safari Elche near Alicante and Sata Pola

Suitable for: Everyone, including disabled people.

Get there: Plot Rio Safari Elche in Google Maps. It is located close to the coast within Santa Pola a little south of Alicante.

Opening hours and prices, see:

In April 2023, the zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Adults 13-64 years: 22.5 Euro, children 3-12 years and seniors 65+, 17 Euro, children 0-2 years free.

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