Doha is an attractive place with a number of interesting things to do. There are umpteen sources of recreation at your disposal. You could take a walk along the Corniche Bay which is one of the beautiful spots in Doha or you could enjoy a family picnic there. There is nothing like having a fun day at the seaside beach – swimming, surfing, snorkeling, or just lazing. But, one thing can be said without any doubt – the best option for your entire family especially children is the Doha zoo. This zoo represents a miniature animal kingdom and gives you an opportunity to see some of the desert animals as well as other animals.
The Doha zoo is situated on the outskirts of Doha and which is about 30 minutes drive from the city centre. It is located on the Salwa Road and it is one of the few attractions that can sustain the attention and interest of kids. It is spread over an area of 42 acres of natural environment and allows you to see the animals in their natural habitat and environment. The landscaping, pools and flowers are a welcome attraction here. The water and the greenery attract many birds here and you can listen to the songs of the birds.
The Doha zoo has a collection of more than 1500 animals of more than 150 different species. Some of the animals included in the collection are baboons, elephants, giraffes, gazelles, deer, and zebras. You can also see a collection of some exotic and rare species such as the Oryx which is now an endangered species. Moreover, the Oryx is the national animal of Qatar. Many of the animals have large enclosures. The first things that you see when you enter the zoo are a couple of chimpanzees and a few waterfowl. Have a look at the birds like the rose-ringed parakeets and common mynahs. Do not miss to see the active baboons and capuchins going about in large groups.
You can also find a mini amusement park here which attracts youngsters and adults alike. It is an ideal place for holding a family picnic here. If you do not like the idea of walking in the Doha zoo, you can take a tour of the zoo in a mini train. The trip starts and ends at the gates. The zoo is quite well maintained and divided into sections for each mammal species. They have a fairly decent collection of birds.
The Doha Municipal Authorities have plans to extend the present zoo and the total zoo area will cover an area of 72 hectares. The Doha zoo authorities have planned to get in some more rare and new species of animals. In the long run, the zoo is destined to become an educational and entertainment centre for families. The renovated zoo will have special parks for children and families, a mosque, a craft village, Arab and African pre-historic exhibits, and ecology exhibits. The envisaged zoo will have a ‘son et lumiere’ which is a sound and light show with special sound and light effects based on a tropical rain forest theme. Work is under progress for construction of an electronic museum for natural history, and a marine world.
The Doha zoo is open from 8.00 am to 12.00 noon and again from 2.30 pm to 7.30 pm. The zoo is closed on Fridays and school groups are encouraged to come in the mornings. Tuesday afternoons are reserved for ladies and children while Wednesday afternoons are reserved for families.