One of the most striking features of the Zoo is the indigenous vegetation which can be seen everywhere. Part of this natural vegetation is the numerous Cycads which occur throughout the Zoo. The management of these endangered plants shows the zoos commitment to the preservation of all species.
Another well-known feature of the Zoo is the fountain which is situated close to the Chimp enclosure. This fountain was donated to the City of East London by William Martin Fleischer at the turn of the century. It is still in a good working condition today and it houses a collection of Koi fish.
The zoo also exhibits 47 mammal species, 38 bird species and 7 reptile species. These include the big cats, some indigenous antelope, primates and various small mammals. There are also a variety of aviaries where numerous bird species are housed.
One of the biggest attractions is our group of chimpanzees which can be observed in a large open enclosure.
The East London Zoological Gardens is well known for its breeding successes with animals like Bushbuck and Blue Duiker, although numerous other species are also breeding in the Zoo at the moment including Nyala, Lions, Marmosets and a number of the bird species.
The Zoo also boasts of a large collection of Leopard tortoises. Other tortoise species are also housed in the Zoo but in smaller numbers.
The snake exhibit houses a number of snakes in a unique viewing environment.
The African savannah exhibit is home to our giraffe, as well as the Nyala, Springbok, Blue Cranes and pair of Emu's
Future plans include The building of new small cat enclosures as well as the construction of a new Jaguar enclosure as well as renovating and upgrading a number of existing enclosures. This upgrading is a continuous process which requires extra funding.
As visitors wander through the Zoo they will see numerous free-flying birds like Hornbills, Flycatchers, Goshawks. Giant King fishers etc. to name but a few. A popular attraction with the children are the rabbits and chickens that roam freely in the Zoo and are happy to take food from the visitors. Raw peanuts are sold in the Zoo and these afford the visitor the chance of feeding some to the various animals.
There is also a large Jungle Gym and play park for the children situated close to the refreshment kiosk which can keep them amused for long periods. As well as a new tarantula jungle gym close to the boma area.
Another popular attraction is the Train, an East London tradition, which has been relocated to the Zoo from Marina Glen and is enjoyed by adults and children alike, the train runs at specific times during the week and all day on weekends and public holidays, there is also a jumping castle which is run by the Round Table. As well as rides on the small boats and Ferris wheel.The entrance fees are very reasonable and the Zoo is accessible to wheelchairs and prams. There is also a private baby room where moms can feed and change their babies.
The kiosk, centrally situated, offers a wide variety of light meals and refreshments, the specialty being the "Tea & Scones". Breakfasts are served from 9.00am - 11.00am.Prices are very reasonable. There is a special rate for pensioners ordering tea & scones. The kiosk also caters for children's birthday parties, for R30.00 per child. It includes entrance into the Zoo, a boat and train ride, a party box with sweets, chips, a cold drink, an ice-cream. The parents of the birthday child also get free entrance into the Zoo but all other accompanying parents have to pay an entry fee.
The Zoo is supported by a very strong Friends of the East London Zoo (FELZOO) organization. They play a very important role in supplying funds for the purchase of new animals as well as the construction of new enclosures. Members of FELZOO also assist the Zoo with organizing and running of various functions like, night-tours.
The kiosk and curio shop in the Zoo are managed by FELZOO.