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Honolulu Zoo, which covers some 16 hectares in the grounds of Kapiolani Park, has grown in status and scope since it started life as the island king’s private collection of exotic birds. Although birds naturally still form one of its most cherished attractions, visitors today can admire over 1,200 animals, from popular favourites to endangered and rare species.
The zoo is divided into three main areas featuring mammals, birds and reptiles in their natural habitats. Catch flashes of neon colour as the Tropical Forests area comes alive with tiny birds, spot prehistoric-looking Komodo dragons, crocodiles and iguanas undercover in the dense undergrowth of the Pacific Islands section, and marvel at the graceful giraffes and streamlined cheetahs as they prowl the African Savannah. Exotic visitors from far-flung corners of the world include Asian elephants, tigers and aardvarks, while the zoo is also home to the endangered local goose known as the nene, and the rare Galápagos tortoise.
Over in the “Keiki” (children’s) zoo, the little ones can make friends with pot-bellied pigs and llamas before letting off steam in the nearby playground, giving the grown-ups a chance to enjoy some much-needed refreshment. Visitors are welcome to bring their own food and non-alcoholic drinks, or treat yourself to a delicious snack from the Kapahulu Market on site, which offers unlimited free refills on drinks purchased from any of its outlets. Between June and August there are regular evening concerts given by local and international musicians, so check the zoo website for details and enjoy some cool sounds as the sun goes down.
Kapiolani Park is located between Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head. The zoo is open daily except for Christmas Day, and there is a small charge for admission. Parking at the zoo is charged per hour, or take advantage of the free parking at nearby Waikiki Shell stadium.
We know you really want to make the most out of your visit to Honolulu Zoo. So, we've rounded up a list of some fun things you can do on your visit:
Take a look at our Honolulu things to do page to find more activities while you're here.
With direct access to the beach, this Waikiki resort is in the entertainment district and within a 10-minute walk of Kuhio Beach Park, International Market Place and Honolulu Zoo.
Located in Waikiki, this beachfront resort is in the entertainment district and within 1 mi (2 km) of Royal Hawaiian Center and Waikiki Beach. Honolulu Zoo and University of Hawaii at Manoa are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in Waikiki, this hotel is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Queen Kapiʻolani Regional Park and 2.5 mi (4 km) from Diamond Head.
Offering direct access to the beach, this Waikiki hotel is in the entertainment district and within a 10-minute walk of Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium. Ala Wai Golf Course and Ala Moana Center are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Located in Waikiki, this beachfront resort is connected to a shopping centre and within a 5-minute walk of Kuhio Beach Park and International Market Place. Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium are also within 15 minutes.
Located in Waikiki, this beachfront hotel is on the boardwalk, just steps away from Royal-Moana Beach and Waikiki Beach Walk. Royal Hawaiian Center and Waikiki Beach are also within 10 minutes.
Located in Waikiki, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Honolulu Zoo, Royal Hawaiian Center and Waikiki Beach. Ala Wai Golf Course and Hawaii Convention Center are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Located in Waikiki, this hotel is steps away from Royal-Moana Beach and Honolulu Zoo. Waikiki Beach and Waikiki Aquarium are also within 10 minutes.