One of the attractions I loved when I was a child was the Zoo. We didn’t have too many Zoo parks in Romania, but those we had were interesting enough, especially since as a child I didn’t have any kind of comparison term. As I begun to travel all over the world I’ve started to realise what a serious Zoo like the Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna means, but we’re talking probably about the best Zoo in the world.

Anyway, when I’ve found out about the Oaklawn Farm Zoo in Annapolis Valley, the biggest Zoo in Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada I thought this is a place me and my girlfriend need to visit. As the name suggests, it’s a small zoo, family friendly, with a relaxed atmosphere that stretches on an area of just 50 acres.

From Halifax it takes a little bit under an hour and a half of driving on the 101 highway. Even if on the official site there’s no actual address the directions given there are more than enough to help you get by. And in case that’s not enough for you take a look at the map at the end of this post, print it out and you will make it there without too much hustle, just follow the blue Zoo signs when you take the Exit 16.

Admission: during the Zoo season the OakLawn Farm is open 7 days a week from 10 AM till dusk.
Rates: follow this link for admission rates and general info. Group discounts and season passes are also available

Once you get to the entrance you’re getting the sense of a farm like zoo, with every building reminding of a farm environment, not a Zoo. There are also a bunch of children areas, so the emphasis here is on family friendly. Your kids can feed the birds and some other animals, or ride the ponies, so this is a very entertaining experience for them. I’ve especially liked the areas where you can walk and touch the more docile animals, like the llamas. And no, they won’t let you in the same cage with the Siberian Tiger or the Black Panther.

Best looking horse I've ever seen
Best looking horse I’ve ever seen

Animals you can see in the premises:

  • Birds – Crested Duck, Toulouse Goose, Great Horned Owl, Lovebirds, Barred Owl, Peacock, Snowy Owl, Emu
  • Cats – Caracal Lynx, Cougar, Siberian Tiger, Jaguar, Bengal Leopard, Serval, Lion, Black Jaguar
  • Primates – Lion Tailed Macaque, Black and White Ruffed Lemur, White Handed Gibbon, Black and White Angolan Colobus, Squirrel Monkey, Red Ruffed Lemur
  • Reptiles – Frogs, Bearded Dragons, Blandings Turtles, Egyptial Tortoise, Iguana, Tortoise, Savannah Monitor, Tarantulas, Queensland Carpet Python
  • Hoofed animals – Pygmy Donkey, Pony, Fallow Deer, Jacob Sheep, Belted Galloway Calves, American Cream Draft Horse, Pygmy Goats, Llama, Miniature Horse, Alpaca, Mouflon Sheep, Jacob Lamb, Jacob Kids, Sika Deer, Plains Zebra, Zonkey
  • Farm Animals – Pot Bellied Pigs, Barred Rock Chickens, Rabbits
  • Native wildlife – Arctic Fox, North American Porcupine, Black Bear, Raccoon, Bald Eagle
  • Other animals – Meerkat, Agouti, Peccary, African Crested Porcupines, Mara, Bennet’s Wallaby, Straw Colored Fruit Bats

Oaklawn Farm Zoo is a nice blend of “endangered and threatened species of exotic, native and domestic breeds of animals”. And it’s not just a pretty sight, as you can learn a lot by reading the animals description tags found on each cage. Or you can enjoy the spectacle provided by the monkeys, which is always a noisy one.

Here are a few pictures for your delight:

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