Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Lion Zoo Addis Ababa Reviews
Lion Zoo Oct 18, 2011
On my first trip to Addis in 2009, I visited the Lion Zoo which is located near Sidist Kilo.
When you arrive, you pay your entrance fee (the tourist price) and if you want to take pictures you also pay for a permit (I can't remember how much but all in all it was inexpensive).
The zoo is known for their lions obviously, but they also have Gelada baboons which are endemic to Ethiopia. Each lion is in a fairly small cage by itself. I don't know if this is typical or not (although I've heard that others have had similar experiences) but many people were shouting and taunting the lions until they would roar. Once they did, the crowd would erupt in cheers. When I visited the baboons, many people were doing the same thing. There were 2 baboons in one cage, a male and a female. The female was hiding in a corner and the male was quickly pacing back and forth as people were shouting at him. He barred his teeth a few times, which delighted the crowd.
I love Ethiopia and its people with all of my heart so I can't say anything too bad, but I was very uncomfortable at this zoo. The animals looked very unhappy and I felt as though the zoo could do more to teach visitors about the animals and also how to respect them.
One of my Ethiopian friends did say that the zoo is a way for locals to see animals they would probably never have a chance to see otherwise and I do think that this zoo could be great if a few changes were made.
Overall, Addis has such an amazing culture that I would recommend skipping this zoo. Spend your time at some of the other awesome places around the city instead.
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