In addition to the main zoo in town, there is also a wildlife zoo in Phoenix. It is called Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park and it is actually just west of Phoenix in a community called Litchfield Park. The Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park boasts Arizona's largest collection of exotic animals. Most of them are from Africa. Actually, you'll find very few Arizona species here. What you will find is wild cats, monkeys, lots of exotic birds and more, in an open natural environment.
Walking Around Wildlife World Zoo
There's plenty of strolling space at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park. It is an easy zoo to navigate; you can't really get lost. Take the map provided at the entrance, start in one direction or another, and you can methodically work your way around the park. Or throw the map away, and run back and forth!
Many of the animals here are in spacious habitats, especially the large animals, like tigers, lions, antelope and zebras. Some of the monkey habitats were islands in the lakes, but some were in cages that seemed a bit small.
Tip: The walking paths are not paved and are often uneven. Wear your most comfortable shoes!
Feeding the Giraffes
One of the highlights at Wildlife World Zoo is definitely the giraffe feeding platform. Climb up the stairs, purchase some approved feed, and those giraffes will be eating right out of your hands. Adults are allowed, too!
Shows and Bird Feedings
Another popular attraction at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park is the Wildlife Encounter Show. Birds play a major role at Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium, and there are many large and colorful birds to see. Bird feedings are popular attractions here.
Several times per day people will gather in the Wildlife World Zoo amphitheater to see handlers work with birds, animals, and reptiles. There's lots of participation from the crowd, and it's educational, too. You can check the show schedule.
Kids Love Rides!
This Safari Train Ride at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park will take you on a narrated ride through the African wildlife habitats. If you'd rather see the park from the air, the Sky Ride will be your choice. Both are about 15 minute rides.
In addition to the train and sky rides, there's a carousel, an Australian boat ride and a log flume ride (you'll get wet!). All rides at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park have a charge in addition to the admission fee.
Little wildlife lovers have plenty to do at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park. Adults can probably see the entire park in 2 to 3 hours. If you have children, though, they may want some additional entertainment, such as can be found at the petting zoo. OK, I admit it. I went into the petting zoo, too. The cleanup station with soap and water as you exit is great!
Make sure you check the nursery to see what baby animals are there on the day you visit. There's nothing cuter than a baby porcupine!
Penguins in Arizona? Sharks in Phoenix? Arizona's first real aquarium opened in December 2008 and has proven to be a welcome attraction to the Phoenix area. There are three separate aquarium buildings: The Diversity of Life in Water, The Wild and The Wonderful, and Predators. The aquarium includes nearly 150 aquatic and semi-aquatic species, including the famous White Alligator. See more aquarium photos here. Call me crazy, but I think that my favorite spot in the aquarium was the Seahorse Reef!
After 5 p.m. every day of the year you can go to the aquarium only by paying a reduced evening admission charge.
Tip: If you are primarily going to the aquarium, there is a larger paved parking lot east of the original dirt parking lot. That paved parking lot has an entrance and gift shop right near the aquarium and Dillon's Restaurant.
As mentioned before, there are lots of unusual birds at the Wildlife World Zoo, so if birds fascinate you, you can also walk through the African Aviary. Besides the Aviary, there are other exhibits, some of which are indoors: the Small Mammal Exhibit, the aquarium, the reptile exhibit and Dragon World.
Directions, Admission, and Hours
One nice feature of the Wildlife World Zoo has to do with design. We found that we could always find a shady spot, and we noticed that many of the animal habitats provide ample if not total shade for their inhabitants. That means you are more likely to see them when it is warm outside! Still, keep in mind that during hot months in Phoenix, animals are likely to be sleeping in a shady corner or under a rock where they aren't as much fun. Try to go when the weather is nice, but not too hot.
It is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the year, including Christmas Day, with the last admission being a 5 p.m. In the evening, you can visit the aquarium until 10 p.m. every day of the year.
Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park Address and Directions
Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park is located in the West Valley at 165th Avenue and Northern Avenue, just off State Route 303 in Litchfield Park. Signage is very good.
16501 W Northern Avenue
Litchfield Park, AZ 85340
Directions to Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park
From I-10 Eastbound, exit at the Loop 303 (Estrella Parkway) going north. Turn right (east) on Northern Avenue. You're there!
From the 101 Loop Agua Fria Parkway, exit at Northern Avenue, go left (west) on Northern.
Wildlife World Zoo Prices
You can check on admission prices here. Seniors get a discount on Tuesdays. People showing a valid AAA card get $2 per person off their party of up to six people. Admissions to the aquarium only in the evening are offered at a reduced price. Rides have an extra charge and may not be open during weekdays during our hotter months or during maintenance periods. Give them a call first and check if the rides are important to you.
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.