Elephants, tigers and gorillas up close: a day trip to the zoo is an unforgettable experience. Take your time to have a look at exotic animals and endangered species from close up - in spacious enclosures surrounded by lovingly designed wildlife parks. In many zoos the inhabitants’ habitats are reproduced as closely to nature as possible: discover African river landscapes, arid deserts and tropical jungles. You will find some real zoo highlights in the Rhineland. The Cologne-Riehl Zoo is one of the oldest and biggest zoos in Germany with more than 10,000 animals. Wuppertal Zoo is one of the most beautiful in terms of scenery: it is well worth taking a stroll through the park to see its spacious meadows, large ponds and old trees.
Aquariums will take you away to a fascinating underwater world: this is where reef sharks, octopuses and sea turtles are at home. Touching pools, a glass-bottomed boat and lavishly decorated pools will give you some unique insights into the world of the tropical ocean.
And of course, it doesn’t always have to be exotic animals from distant continents: the indigenous forest dwellers are also worth a visit! After all, it is rare that wild foxes, deer and rabbits cross our paths these days. Anyone who is not lucky enough to catch a glimpse of our regional biodiversity when visiting the Rhineland youth hostels and the surrounding countryside of the Eifel, Lower Rhine and Bergisches Land should definitely pay a visit to the Hellenthal Wildlife Preserve. Here, kids and teens can learn all about the different animals and their basis of existence – and even feed their favourite animals in petting enclosures and small animals' enclosures.