World Zoos that Offer Virtual Tours

Kids adore animals, and learning about our furred, feathered and finned friends is a huge part of their education. But it’s not always possible to visit zoos in person, due to financial reasons, health issues, mobility issues, social distancing / social isolation, and more. In such situations, how can parents continue their child’s education at home and make sure they have activities to do that are interesting, engaging, stimulating, educational, and not to forget, FUN? Well, virtual excursions are a pretty cool answer!

Did you know that you can e-visit many amazing zoos, all around the world, from the comfort of your own home? You could be exploring the depths of the ocean one day, checking in on a train of cuddling koalas another, then watching gorgeous polar bear cubs wrestle the next! And learning all about these fascinating creatures along the way. All you have to do is follow the links below and you can instantly take you child on a virtual tour of a world zoo today!

Note: Some live camera feeds are subject to zoo opening times and closures. Please follow the links to find out what is available and when.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Australia

  • Koala Joey cam
  • Lone Pine Koala Train cam
  • Koala Forest cam
  • Koala Pocket cam
  • Koala Close Up cam
  • Dingo Puppy cam
  • Dingo cam

Right here in Brisbane, our very own Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a wonderful place to visit in person, but also a really fun facility to explore from afar! Did you know that you can now stroll through the sanctuary using Google Street View? Just drop the little yellow Pegman onto the map, and you can virtually explore the sanctuary, visiting the various exhibits and peering into enclosures.  

There are also numerous webcams streaming footage of our amazing Aussie wildlife, from koalas and reptiles to dingoes and platypus. Be sure to check out the Koala Train of snuggled up koalas, and the dingo puppies enjoying their day. You can find details of all the webcams here.

Taronga Zoo, Australia

taronga park zoo koala

  • Virtual tour
  • General zoo cam 

On the shores of Sydney Harbour, the famous Taronga Zoo can also be explored on a virtual field trip through Google Street View.

Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo can now also be explored through exciting Virtual Reality experiences using Google Expeditions. To do this, just download the Google Expeditions app on your mobile device or tablet, search for Taronga, and get ready to for your virtual field trip! If you don’t have a Google Cardboard viewer for VR, then you can find out all about them and download instructions to build your own one here. You can also learn all about the animals of Taronga Zoo here.

San Diego Zoo, US

sandiego zoo entry and signage

  • Virtual field trip
  • Ape cam
  • Baboon cam
  • Condor cam
  • Elephant cam
  • Giraffe cam
  • Koala cam
  • Owl cam
  • Panda cam
  • Penguin cam
  • Polar bear cam
  • Tiger cam

San Diego Zoo takes online learning to the next level with its awesome website dedicated entirely to kids! There, you’ll find a wealth of resources for students, including animal information, stories, activities, games, and arts and crafts.

For your virtual zoo visit, you can see apes, elephants, giraffes, polar bears, tigers, pandas and many more, through both live cameras around the zoo and a library of animal videos. Just follow this link to start your virtual field trip!

Houston Zoo, US

houston zoo web cam

Leaf Cutter Ant on log

  • Giraffe cam
  • Gorilla cam
  • Elephant Yard cam
  • Leafcutter ant cam
  • Rhino Yard cam
  • Chimp 

Houston Zoo is home to over 700 species and thousands of individual animals, which you can learn about here. Minecraft fans will love to learn about the ocelot, and what kid wouldn’t be curious to find out about the weird and amusingly named naked mole rat?

Houston Zoo also has six animal cams, so you can visit a range of animals from the tiny leafcutter ant to the giant elephant. Check out their live webcams here.

Monterey Bay Aquarium, US

monterey bay aquarium shark

Shark in Monterey Bay Aquarium

  • Aviary cam
  • Coral reef cam
  • Jelly cam
  • Kelp forest cam
  • Monterey Bay cam
  • Moon jelly cam
  • Open sea cam
  • Penguin cam
  • Sea otter cam
  • Shark cam

Located on the edge of the ocean in California, Monterey Bay Aquarium offers visitors and e-visitors a fascinating glimpse into the underwater world. You can keep up with the sharks, sea birds, penguins, sea otters, and all the marine life of a coral reef, kelp forest or open ocean with their live webcams here.

You can also use their wide range of information to learn about the aquarium’s animals, their habitats and their stories.

Paignton Zoo, UK

meerkat at houston zoo

  • Virtual tour
  • Flamingo cam
  • Sulawesi crested macaque cam
  • Meerkat cam

With six animal habitats and over 2,000 animals, Paignton Zoo in Devon is a wonderful place to visit for all animal lovers. When you can’t get there in person, the next best thing is to take part in their amazing Virtual Tour here. This is a great way to check out all the exhibits, enclosures and animals of the zoo from anywhere in the world!

Another highlight are the live webcams, including Flamingo Cam, Sulawesi Crested Macaque Cam and the wonderful Meerkat Cam. You can find these all here. You can also check out the full Animal A to Z Guide here.

Georgia Aquarium, US

georgia aquarium

  • Piranha cam
  • California sea lion cam
  • Ocean Voyager cam
  • Underwater puffin cam
  • African penguin cam
  • Jelly cam
  • Beluga whale cam
  • Southern sea otter cam

Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta also offers a wealth of animal information online. Plus they have a whole range of live webcams available for your virtual tour. You can see jellyfish and piranhas, sea lions and beluga whales, to name just a few! The underwater footage of the Ocean Voyager Cam alone is both stunning and mesmerising. You can find this and all the other webcam live streams here.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

flamingo at Cincinnati Zoo

  • A range of Facebook videos showing a range of animal antics at the zoo

Cincinnati Zoo is home of the world-famous and world’s cutest baby hippo, Fiona! There are a whole series of videos of Fiona and other beautiful animals here, including lion cubs, a Galapagos tortoise, tigers, giraffes and more. And you can learn about all the animals of the zoo.

In addition, the zoo is currently showcasing Home Safari Facebook Live sessions through their Facebook page here. These are currently streamed live at 3–5 pm on weekdays (local Cincinnati time).

Smithsonian’s National Zoo, US

elephant in smithsonian zoo

Elephant at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington D.C.

  • Naked mole-rat cam
  • Lion cam
  • Giant panda cam
  • Elephant cam

Smithsonian’s National Zoo is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Washington DC. You can find out all about their animals, their care and conservation here. They also offer live webcams here, featuring lions, giant pandas, elephants and even naked mole rats!

Ouwehans Dierenpark, Netherlands 

  • Polar bear cub cam
  • Pandacam

For unbelievably cute webcam footage, you can’t miss this live stream of the twin polar bear cubs at Ouwehans Dierenpark in the Netherlands! They also have a live Pandacam here, where you can keep a close eye on the beautiful giant pandas.

For younger kids, you may also want to print these lovely animal colouring pictures from the zoo, for another fun animal activity.

So if you have kids at home and you’re looking for fun excursion ideas without leaving the house, we hope you enjoy these resources. For other educational options, check out these World Museums that Offer Virtual Tours and our Free Educational Resources for Parents.

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