Fota Wildlife Park
Save money on family admissions as well as receiving lots of extra benefits including free admission to Dublin Zoo.
Fota Wildlife Park is a great fun day out in Cork, in the south of Ireland.
It is a zoo but the enclosures are much larger giving the animals more space to roam.
The park caters to school groups educating children about the threats to the world's habitats and has camps during the school holidays.
Parking is available for at €3 per day but you can also access the Park by train with a stop right outside the entrance from the Cork-Cobh commuter train.
There are good hot/cold food options on site and plenty to keep the kids entertained spotting the various animals including giraffes, monkeys and kangaroos or just having fun in one of the playgrounds.
ANIMALS & PLANTS
Home to thousands of animals since it first opened its gates, Fota Wildlife Park’s primary objective is to provide the highest possible standard of care, housing and quality of life for all of its species, both native and exotic.
Wildlife Parks and Zoos have a vital role to fulfill when it comes to Conservation because without preserving real life habitats around the world, it is almost meaningless to maintain animals in captivity.
Fota Wildlife Park cares for several different animal species in danger of extinction. Through long-established Breeding programmes, which are run cooperatively with other institutions around the world, the Park is helping restore populations of some species while protecting the very survival of others.
Conservation is something everyone can contribute to by re-telling our animals’ stories and making as many people aware of just how critical our efforts here in Ireland and further afield are.
FAMILY DAYS OUT
For a fun Family Day Out in Cork, there is no better place to visit than Fota Wildlife Park.
Whether you’re seeking outdoor activities for children in the summer, holiday camps for Easter or you simply want to take advantage of some sunny weekend weather, the Park has a variety of Things to Do for children and parents alike.
All of us (big and small!) have our own favourite animal actors so be sure to keep an eye out for some of the stars from Dreamworks Animations’ Madagascar film series, including Marty and Melman’s cousins, who can be found on our African Savannah.
Meanwhile, spot King Julien’s relatives in and around Monkey Island and don’t miss our Penguin group, who are always up to mischief.
Visitors to Fota have two options when it comes to eating on site. Our Savannah Café is located by the main entrance - within view of the Grey-cheeked Mangabey and Meerkat exhibit as well as the Park’s largest play area - and serves a variety of snacks, sandwiches and hot meals throughout the day. The Café also has a hot drinks menu and a selection of treats available for anyone looking to take a well-deserved rest. Seating is available both inside and outside the main service area.
The Oasis Café is situated at the opposite end of the Park (near the Irish Rail station) and has a range of hot food options including burgers, pizza, chips and nuggets. There is a large Picnic & Rest area nearby with plenty of benches and trees for shade when the sun shines.
A new shop selling Ice Cream, Cold Drinks and snacks has also opened in the Asian Sanctuary.
The Serengeti Gift Store stocks water, soft drinks and ice-cream and there is a HB Swirls stand for anyone looking for something a little more special. Ice-cream is also available from a stand next to the Oasis Café. Apart from duck food, which can be purchased on the walk down to the lake area, we ask visitors not to feed any of their own food to the animals as it may make them ill or even cause their death.
Fota Wildlife Park tries to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable day when they visit, so if there’s anything extra we can do (heating baby food or special food requests), please ask a member of staff and we will do everything we can to help. Toilets, disabled toilets and baby-changing facilities are also available.
Looking for a takeaway treasure or a gift to surprise someone? Then venture no further than the Serengeti Gift Store, which is located by the main entrance to the Park. Decorated with trees from the island itself, the shop has items to suit every budget and stocks a huge range of soft toys, carved statues, Fota-branded merchandise, books, jewellery and educational puzzles.
The shop has an exclusive range of souvenirs produced by small-scale, family businesses from the Ubud Monkey Forest region of Bali and the income from these items is helping the community there thrive. For something made much closer to home, nibble on some locally-made Fota chocolate or pick up some traditional boiled sweets, made in Cork city, or even a traditional rock.
Digital camera memory cards and batteries are also available and the shop takes payment via Visa, Mastercard, Laser and Eurocard.
Though animals are central to everything that happens at Fota, there is plenty more to see and do once you arrive. Children are free to enjoy the play areas dotted around the Park and are invited to take part in the activities organised right throughout the year, including arts & crafts and face painting.
Visitors can see animals feeding and foraging for food while they enjoy a walk around the beautiful surrounds of Fota Island itself. Our specially constructed Cheetah Run is proving to be particularly popular as crowds can witness the speed and power that makes the Cheetah such an incredible predator in the wild.
For those seeking a range of activities for kids, the Park offers a number of Camps during the year, in particular around school mid-terms and the summer holidays. For more details, see our Group Tours and Events sections or check us out on Facebook or Twitter. Fota also offers an extensive list of primary, secondary and third-level courses through our award-winning Education Complex. Two First Aid stations are located within the Park - one as part of the Main Entrance complex and a second near the Oasis Café.
Arriving at the Park has never been easier and you can now reach us by either car or train. Fota is the only tourist attraction in Ireland that has its own dedicated Irish Rail train station and there is also excellent road access via the N25.
Parking is available adjacent to Fota Wildlife Park’smain entrance and costs €3, with funds raised helping to maintain the nearby Fota House & Gardens. While inside, our Fota Wildlife Park TourTrain can bring visitors around the Park (seasonal schedule) and wheelchairs are also available on loan.
4 reviews for Fota Wildlife Park
Loved it here, we've been twice in last 2 years, lots of animals and lovely areas to walk around, we ate in their restaurant and food was lovely as were the staff, recommend visiting fota house and gardens too they are really lovely, we had coffee and cake in the house and it was fab, gardens are great too
Fota is a fantastic way to get to see lots of wild animals living in as close to their natural environment as possible without the glass enclosures of a zoo. It's also great for a walk around/ exercise. There's lots of picnic areas and little cabin style shoos/ coffee stops on the way round. A fab family day out. Great new additions include lions, rhinos and the tropical house
Fota is a brilliant day trip and not too expensive in comparison to other less active days out like the cinema for example. The new additions to fota wild life park are amazing. Highly recommend.
We bring the children aged 6 & 9 every year to Fota; and we absolutely love it. I have been to both Belfast and Dublin Zoo and Fota is miles ahead of them for a fun day out. Fota improves every time we go with new animals and fun parks. It's a fantastic day out. There is a little cafe or you can bring a picnic.
The weather is starting to become a little warmer again and within the coming weeks, one of Ireland’s most distinctive mammals, the hedgehog, will awaken from its winter slumber. The hedgehog was named because of its peculiar foraging methods while rummaging in the undergrowth, it emits pig-like grunts—thus, the name hedgehog!
Photo credit - Gearoid O'Sullivan
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