Mitchell Park Zoo is situated in the Morningside suburb of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. It is one of eThekwini’s best-kept secrets. Mitchell Park Zoo is named after Sir Charles Bullen Hugh Mitchell. Its history dates back to the early 1900s. It was established as an ostrich farm 1910. However, Sir Charles soon realized that the grounds would be better used as a zoo. Thus, the Mitchell Park Zoo was born.
Facilities at Mitchell Park Zoo
- Mini Zoo with animals like giant tortoises, buck, crocodiles, raccoons, wallabies, monkeys,
- A variety of birds in the walk-through aviary.
- Picnic lawns and braai areas, with plenty of room to enjoy a game of cricket or Frisbee.
- Playground with jungle gyms, swings, slides, and other equipment for small children.
- Blue Zoo Restaurant and Cafe
- Alley’s Snacks
- Bandstand venue that can be booked for parties and other events, at a cost of R130 for 4 hours.
- Wheelchair friendly
Get to Know the Zoo Animals
The zoo then became home to a large variety of animals, including leopards, lions, crocodiles and many kinds of bird. One of the most memorable animals at the zoo was an Indian elephant named Nellie. Nellie was given to the zoo by the Maharajah of Mysore in 1928 and could blow a mouth organ and crack coconuts with her feet. These animals once roamed freely in this natural habitat at Kwazulu-Natal province.
Today, Mitchell Park Zoo has a whole lot of small animals, including crocodiles, small antelope buck, raccoons, cranes, flamingoes, wallabies, monkeys, and tortoises. The Zoo’s oldest resident is over 100 years old Aldabra tortoise named Admiral. Admiral was left at the Zoo in 1915 by a naval officer and has long since become a neighborhood legend for Durban residents. The zoo also has a walk-through aviary allows you to get close-up views of many beautiful bird varieties. These animals occupied a large part of the zoo. The remainder consisted of beautifully landscaped gardens.
Playground for the Kids
The Mitchell Park Zoo also boasts a sand-filled playground allows small children to enjoy playing on jungle gyms, swings, slides and other equipment. While the kids enjoy at the playground, the parents may sit and relax among the nestled trees and flowerbeds. The kids are not the only ones who get to enjoy in the Mitchell Park Zoo but the whole family too because there are carefully tended lawns that are perfect for family picnics.
Staff members of the zoo also teach children about the animals and plants found at the zoo and educates visitors on how to preserve natural wonders such as the Mitchell Park zoo so that future generations may also enjoy them. For the kids, the Mitchell Park Zoo is a wonderland of exciting sights, sounds, and experiences.
Blue Zoo Restaurant & Cafe
Established in 1914, Blue Zoo is Durban’s oldest restaurant. Blue Zoo is surrounded and shaded by trees, with rich, colorful flowerbeds lining the periphery. The restaurant has a wide array of indoor and outdoor seating as well as a jungle gym, swing, play-house, sand-art area and play tables for the children. Blue Zoo’s menu has a wide variety of wonderful dishes ranging from light or hearty breakfasts, lunch, and snacks. Whether you are coming for breakfast, lunch, snacks or afternoon tea, Blue Zoo has a well-rounded menu for you. The restaurant also caters for special events such as weddings and parties.
Home to a wide range of interesting and exciting animals and surrounded by the lush, landscaped gardens and blazes of colorful flowerbeds, the zoo holds claim to being the only zoo in Durban. Being a perfect spot for family picnics, a venue for kids’ learning expedition and play time, Mitchell Park Zoo is definitely one of Durban’s must-visit destinations.