The Ramat Gan Safari Park is the main zoo in the Tel Aviv area and contains a drive-through safari. It is a great way to spend a day with the family!
I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent with my family at the Ramat Gan Safari Park, driving through the safari and walking through the zoo.
My brother has loved animals since he was little and I don’t think a year has gone by where we did not go to the zoo.
In New York, it was the Bronx Zoo. In Israel, it is the Jerusalem Zoo and the Ramat Gan Safari Park.
On one of my visits back to New York, I couldn’t believe how much better the Ramat Gan Safari Park is compared to the Bronx Zoo!
On our next visit to the Park, I couldn’t stop talking about all the ways it was better – no offense, Bronx Zoo.
For one thing, there are so many more animals! For another, you can actually see the animals, which is not something I had all that much success with in New York, unless through the zoom on my camera counts.
Not to mention, you can’t even see the one type of elephants the Bronx Zoo has unless you take the monorail. Since elephants are my favorite zoo animals, this particularly irritated me.
Really, the main thing I noticed they have in common is that they both have peacocks walking around.
This is actually much to my brother’s dismay because a peacock once chased him for his sandwich in the Bronx Zoo when he was little.
The Park also has chickens walking around – which I really enjoy because I have an unusual fondness for chickens.
Pro Tip: on your visit, keep an eye out for them hanging out up high in the trees! I saw some by the kangaroos.
Once I realized how great this zoo actually is, I wasn’t surprised to learn that it is home to the largest collection of animals in the Middle East!
The drive-through safari section has large herds that roam the grounds and some of the animals will even come up to your window.
I’ve mostly experienced this with zebras (see the picture below) and ostriches, which never fails to thrill me.
What my family likes to do is drive through the safari first, next walk around the zoo, and then go back to the safari before leaving.
The safari/zoo is on 250 acres and has 1,600 species of animals, including 68 species of mammals, 130 species of fowl, and 25 species of reptiles.
To name a few, it is home to African and Asian elephants, giraffes, orangutans, Sumatran tigers, gorillas, a Komodo dragon, a hippo herd, white rhinos, and a pride of lions.
If you care about animal welfare the way I do, you will be happy to know that this zoo is pretty active in helping the animal kingdom.
The Safari is a member of international and European zoo associations and is closely tied to wildlife conservation organizations throughout the world.
It has also participated in 60 international and local endangered species breeding programs and runs breeding programs for endangered species.
In fact, it plays an important role in the vultures breeding program. Thanks to the Safari’s vultures, many vultures were released to the wild in Israel.
In case you were wondering…
The Safari began as a small children’s zoo in the National Park of Ramat Gan in 1958.
In the late 1960s, the founding director was inspired by the novel concept of Safari Parks which were developing around the world. So, he convinced the first mayor of Ramat Gan that a drive-through Safari Park in Israel was a good idea.
The drive-through African park opened to the public in 1974. To this day, the drive-through African Safari section with its mixed herds is the signature area for the visitor experience.
In 1981, the zoo section was established to replace the Tel Aviv Zoo and house its animals when it was closed down.
A ‘Training & Enrichment’ department was established in 2008 to improve the quality of the animals’ lives.
Animals are now trained to voluntarily participate in their own care. This technique is known to reduce stress caused by medical and husbandry procedures.
Behavioral enrichment is incorporated into daily animal care routine and encourages natural behaviors, which provides interesting experiences for both animals and zoo visitors.
Plan Your Visit
For information on visiting hours and ticket prices, check out the Ramat Gan Safari Park website for the most up-to-date information.
Early morning private safari tours are offered by the zoo. The tour takes about 3 hours and is deal for 2 to 5 visitors at a time.
If you are like so many who enjoy watching animals being fed, feeding times are on a regular schedule and different times for different animals, so you don’t have to choose between them.
The Ramat Gan Safari offers a shuttle service between the hours of 10:00-15:00, which takes visitors from the ticket booth at the entrance through the African Savannah and into the zoo.
The shuttle is not wheelchair accessible. However, folded wheelchairs can be loaded onto the shuttle.
They recommend that visitors who require wheelchairs and arrive by taxi continue with the taxi until the beginning of the walking tour of the zoo. If this isn’t possible, you can contact them in advance to coordinate proper entrance.
Getting to Safari by public transport:
About a 10-minute walk from the safari gate:
33 (Dan Company) from Tel Aviv through Ayalon Mall – to a square near Safari
31 (Dan Company) from Carmel Tel Aviv, through a new Tel Aviv Central Station – to the square near Safari
67,57 (Dan Company) from Ayalon Mall – to the square near Safari
34 (Dan Company) from the new Central Station – to champion Sade Rabin Road corner, from there to switch line 33 towards Winter Stadium
About 20 minutes walk from the safari gate:
63 (Dan Company) from the Carmelit in Tel Aviv through Dizengoff Center, Azrieli – to a field champion
65 (Dan Company) from Ayalon Mall – to field champion
55 (Kavim Company) from Tel Aviv Reading, through Central Railway Station (Arlozorov) – to champion field
56 (Kavim Company) From Tel Aviv Reading, Azrieli Road – to champion field
- Public transport cannot be reached until the safari gate
- Traveling by electric bike throughout the garden is prohibited