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Monday, March 26, 2007

Doha zoo

Drive up Salwa road to the large roundabout by the Industrialgiraffe in Doha zoo area (it’s called fort roundabout, but the fort has disappeared), turn right onto Al Furousiya Street, follow the road along and you’ll find Doha Zoo to your left. (Be careful of the enormous pothole by the entrance.) According to the zoo’s brochure it has over 800 specimens, but as the brochure looks like it was made in the 1970’s, we can’t guarantee the accuracy of that.

Still, the zoo, while not matching the quality of large Western equivalents, makes for a pleasant day out. Many of the animals have large enclosures; the gazelles, deer and antelope looking the happiest while the big cats seemed bored in their cages. There are some native Qatari species, including ostriches and Oryx. Information about the animals is provided in Landscaping in Doha zooEnglish, although rather spasmodically.

There’s no indoor section for the creepy crawlies you’d expect in Europe, but the landscaping, pools and flowers are very welcome in this dry country. The water and greenery attracted so many birds that the bird song was almost deafening! Our children also appreciated the play area.

Being Qatar, there is no reason to use your legs in the zoo, a train (pulled by a tractor) is available to take you on a tour of the zoo. The trip starts and ends at the gates, staggering distance from the waiting land cruiser.

Opening hours:
Saturday – Sunday 9 a.m – 6.30 p.m.
Tuesdays – women only
Wednesday - families
Fridays – 1.20 6.30

Also see: Doha Guide

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