2 May 2017

Pafos Zoo Cyprus Review

We spent a beautiful week in Cyprus over the Easter half term and one of the places we visited whilst there, was Pafos Zoo. I'd looked into things we could do in the area in the run-up to our holiday and Pafos Zoo kept coming up as a recommended place to visit, and so we headed there mid-week during our stay. I love animals and I think zoos can be beneficial in understanding animals as well as aiding research, conservation and breeding of rare or endangered animals. Last year we took Willow to Twycross Zoo, a great family day out and somewhere I hope to visit again this summer, but the chance to visit a zoo in Cyprus was one we couldn't miss, and I'm really glad we went!

Pafos Zoo Cyprus Review
Pafos Zoo Cyprus Review
We managed to get a direct bus transfer from our hotel, Akti Beach Village Resort, which cost €21 per person; this included the €16.50 entrance fee, making our bus journey there and back just €4.50. With Willow being under 2, she was given free entry to the zoo and didn't need to pay for the travel there and back. This worked out much cheaper than our original plan, which was to get a taxi, which we were quoted €30 - €35 each way. The transfer bus collected us from our hotel at around 10:30 and we were at the zoo by 11am, with the transfer bus leaving at 2:30pm, giving us a very leisurely 3 and a half hours to explore, more than enough time for the size of Pafos Zoo.

Pafos Zoo isn't the biggest zoo I've been too, but for the medium size it is, it's beautifully well kept and feels more like walking around in the countryside of Cyprus than a big commercial zoo. There are easy routes around the zoo which take you to all enclosures, with a couple of spots to stop for a drink or bite to eat. There's also a lovely little souvenir shop on the way out.

There are also two museums on site, one a traditional house museum and one a farming museum. For me in particular, these were really interesting to look round, as my family are from Cyprus and my mother grew up on a farm there, so it was interesting to see the type of house they might have lived in and the tools her entire family would have used to make a living. Also, a great way to get out of the heat and sunshine for a few minutes, with both museums being lovely and cool in temperature. 


Pafos Zoo Cyprus Review
Pafos Zoo Cyprus Review
Pafos Zoo Cyprus Review

The animal enclosures varied depending on the type of animal they were housing. Some of the smaller enclosures which housed birds, reptiles and monkeys featured mesh surroundings, which didn't make it easy to take photographs, but it was easy enough to see the animals with your own eyes and sometimes I definitely think it's better to take in the experience than worry over a photo.

The larger enclosures for animals such as Asian elephants, giraffes, lions and tigers were much, much easier to see and we even got to spot some giraffes being fed and an elephant having a bath! A couple of the larger animals were hiding, but that was to be expected at midday, which is the hottest part of the day and when like most humans in Cyprus, it's time for a lunchtime nap!

As you walk around the enclosures there are lots of handy benches placed around, so you can always sit down for a rest or just to animal- (and people) watch. This was incredibly handy for us with Willow as it allowed us to make sure she got into the shade often, to cool down and rehydrate.


Pafos Zoo Cyprus Review
Pafos Zoo Cyprus Review
Pafos Zoo Cyprus Review
Pafos Zoo Cyprus Review

The highlight of our visit was the parrot show. We were introduced to owls, parrots and other birds, got to learn more about them from the incredibly passionate team at Pafos Zoo and also got to see them perform some little tricks they had mastered over the years, as well as seeing the birds in flight, which flew around the room with their trainers; some of the larger owls created such a cooling breeze, it left us a little awestruck at their wingspan! One of the owls, in particular, was very special indeed; it was the owl from the very first Harry Potter film, which sat on the Privet Drive sign at the beginning of the film!

At the end of the parrot show we were truly spoiled with the appearance of a 10-week old Siberian tiger cub, who had unfortunately been rejected by its mother, and so was being lovingly hand-reared by the dedicated team at Pafos Zoo. Getting to see a tiger cub this close up was amazing and I wish I'd taken the chance to have a photo taken with it. It was amazing to think at just 10 weeks old, it already weighed more than Willow at 15 months old, and thinking about just how big and heavy it would get was just astounding. Sometimes it's so easy to forget, especially when babies, how truly remarkable these animals are and what huge natural predators they are.

For a family of three, this was the perfect day out for us. It was relaxing, the zoo itself is just absolutely beautiful with grounds that are so well kept and beautiful plants and flowers everywhere you look. All of the team at Pafos Zoo are happy to help, answer any questions and are friendly, welcoming and great to be around. The animals who were out and about in their enclosures were lovely to see and there were also a lot of animals roaming free, which was fab for Willow to get really up close and personal with. We also got to hand-feed some parrots, which cost a couple of euros each, which was so much fun! I'd love to go back to Pafos Zoo next time we're in Cyprus and it's somewhere I'd wholeheartedly recommend for families holidaying in Cyprus.

You can find out more about Pafos Zoo on the official website, www.pafoszoo.com.

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