For over 100 years, the San Diego Zoo has been a must-see attraction in Southern California. As a leader in animal care and conservation, the Zoo excels at creating environments and habitats where animals don’t just live—they thrive. As a result, it’s one of the best zoos in the nation.
One of the many reasons the zoo is so popular is their emphasis revamping and revitalizing exhibits. As such, there is always something new at San Diego Zoo for guests to explore.
As part of the San Diego Zoos centennial celebration, the park opened the long-awaited Africa Rocks. This area features six new habitats. Below are the names of each and the animals you can find in each habitat.
- Cape Fynbos: African Penguins, Leopard Sharks
- Madagascar Forest: Lemurs, Fossa, Honey Badger
- Ethiopian Highlands: Baboons, Gelada, Nubian Ibex
- West African Forest: Dwarf Crocodiles
- Acacia Woodland: Leopards, Vervet Monkeys
- Kopje: Meerkats, Dwarf Mongoose, Klipspringer, Rock Hyrax
All of these animals are a unique addition to the zoo. However, the penguin habitat is at the center of African Rocks. It was designed to mimic Boulders Beach in South Africa. As a result, it features large granite boulders, a cobblestone beach surface, and penguin nesting areas. Along with 20 African penguins, visitors will see about a dozen leopard sharks swimming in the exhibit’s 200,000-gallon seawater pool.
Africa Rocks may be new at San Diego Zoo but it follows a decades-old motto of connecting people to wildlife thereby enhancing conversation efforts. This is certainly the case with the feature of African penguins and lemurs, both of which are endangered.
Africa Rocks replaces the 1930s-era Dog and Cat Canyon. It was made possible by donations from local philanthropists: $11 million from Conrad Prebys; Ernest Rady, who contributed $10 million; and $5 million from Dan and Vi McKinney. More than 4,700 donors contributed as well.
What else is new at San Diego Zoo?
Oh, baby! You might catch yourself saying that when you visit the San Diego Zoo in 2018. The Balboa Park-located attraction has a rather successful breeding program. As such, there are always new babies to see at the zoo. In 2018, visitors can expect to see hippo calves, leopard cubs, okapi calves, and baboon babies, among others.
Make the Most of Your Visit
At the San Diego Zoo, which spans 100 acres and houses over 3,700 animals, there is a lot to see. With that in mind, it's important to have a game plan in order to make the most of your visit. Be sure to follow our expert tips on visiting the zoo as well as our advice on how to spend the day at the zoo. Reserve your San Diego Zoo tickets online, too, in order to save $5 per ticket.