French Guiana has one of the richest fauna and flora densities in the world. Its surface is almost entirely covered by the Amazonian rainforest. It’s a basin of life. Unfortunately, the high density of plants and trees makes it difficult to observe animals in their natural habitat. Home to more than 75 species, the French Guiana zoo is a beautiful showcase of the fauna that populates this wild region of France.
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How to arrive to French Guiana Zoo
The zoo is situated nearby Macouria. If you’re coming from Cayenne on RN1 you have to take the road on the left right after the VITO gas station. While from Kourou It’s on your right once you passed by Macouria. You then have 10 more minutes on the road.
Things you should know before your visit
Would you like to see a caiman running for its lunch? Or a jaguar’s jaws in action? French Guiana Zoo shows the feeding of some animals during the opening hours. Down below you can find the calendar. Note that due to meteorological conditions or other external events the feedings may change schedule.
JAGUAR, PUMA and other CATS: Every day at 10 AM.
TAPIR: Wednesday at 3 PM.
CAIMANS: Saturday at 3 PM.
The zoo is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 AM to 5.30 PM. There is a small shop that sells fresh sodas and drinks but there is no restaurant. The site is shaded overall. For this reason, there may be mosquitoes in some areas, bring insect repellent If you wish. Although I survived just fine without ever using it till now.
If you are visiting during the rainy season don’t forget a poncho or rain coat. In the forest torrential rains are sudden and frequent.
Along with these tips, remember not to leave the zoo’s track. There are many ponds next to the track, some of them hosts wild caimans. Naturally the zoo keepers keep them under surveillance, but I wouldn’t venture too much anyway.
For more information about extra closings and events check the Zoo’s website.
Explore French Guiana Zoo: What to expect
Animals and much more! Along the 2.500 km path that brings you through the zoo, you’ll see many different plants and trees. Some of them are directly from the rainforest.
There’s also a canopy walk 400 meters long. You can walk among the trees, and if you are lucky you’ll meet wild monkeys. But be aware that they are some expert thieves and will not hesitate to take your food or small object they can catch! In fact it is official forbidden to feed them, even so you will see many people giving them snacks or fruits. Kindly remind them if you have the chance, with time, the colony may get more aggressive.
The zoo has also an aviary. You can walk in the middle of red ibis, just be careful when passing under their nests. You never know what may be dropped on you!
Did you know? The Zoo is a sanctuary for wounded animals who are found in Nature, or animals that were born with an handicap. For this reason, you may notice that some of the animals are limping or not looking in their best shape.
You can download the zoo’s map. And don’t forget to ↓ check out our virtual tour ↓
How long does the visit lasts?
The visit lasts between 2 and 3 hours. And that means you can add more stops to your trip! Check out the map to arrive and you will find 3 great activities you can add to your day trip:
The Annamites prisons camp
Witnessing French Guiana’s past as a prison the Annamites prisons camp is an easy trail that ends in a creek where you can bathe and relax. Along the way, you can also visit the remains of the ancient structures that were once prisons.
Did you know? There is another Annamites prison camp nearby Petit Saut dam.
See French Guiana from above
At Montsinery Hydro base you can fly over the Montsinery river and its surroundings. See French Guiana from a bird’s view. An amazing not to be missed experience!
Bathe in the quite waters of Crique Patate
Crique Patate is a lovely beautiful creek to have a picnic or chill in the beautiful waters. During the rain season it is quite difficult to get there as the short dirt road that lead you there gets very muddy. Also if you have the chance visit it during the week as there are less people and it’s more quiet.
In conclusion is French Guiana’s Zoo worth visiting?
Yes! Seeing animals in their natural habitat in French Guiana is difficult because of the density of the Amazonian Forest. The zoo is a very nice and respectful way to observe the fauna in ideal conditions.
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