There were lions and tigers and bears and more! This past month I was fortunate to visit the Wilhelma Zoo and Botanical Gardens. All I can say is WOW! It is another beautiful surprise right here in Stuttgart. Surrounded by road construction and Spring Fest traffic, I was not expecting to see flora from all over the world and baby monkeys. Nope, it was not on my radar. As you walk these spacious grounds, you are treated to an eye-opening surprise at every corner. Whether it is the majestic fountains or eagles and flamingos, there’s so much to see.
Oh, baby! It’s spring at the zoo and that means lots of babies. It was great; we saw monkeys, zebras and goats! A “Kodak” and super cute moment was when we saw mountain goats frolicking with baby monkeys.
The new monkey house is fantastic and watching preemie primates cavorting was hysterical. They were playful and carefree swinging from limb to limb. If your zoo favorite is seeing all the exotic birds, you will be in for a treat walking the paths and popping in the bird-houses. Throughout the park, playgrounds and play areas are available for smaller children to enjoy some fun too.
The entrance path of the zoo has a tulip display that could rival Keukenhof gardens in Holland. The full bloom announces spring has sprung. I was surprised for a moment as I noticed lawn signs that invite you to sit and enjoy the gardens. We had enough time to catch a bite to eat at their lunch bistro buffet. The beautiful courtyard with many tables had some wandering friends too. We were blessed to get a visit from a stray, curious peacock. You can’t say that everyday.
Impressed with Moorish design at the turn of the 19th century, King Wilhelm I built this as a palace. After World War II, the palace reopened with an azalea show and has since been a part of the historical heritage of Baden-Württemberg. You can see the influence throughout the park. One of the most interesting facts I learned was Wilhelma’s vision of nature conservation and specie preservation. The zoo is the only zoological botanical garden in all of Europe and has over 8000 animals and 1000 species.
We were there on a weekday so be prepared for school field trips and large groups. I’m sure it stays busy all year round, and we also saw simultaneous exhibits going on. You can take guided tours and find out more information about their nature and animal programs by checking their website. The parking garage was very easy to use and affordable as well as there is an S-bahn stop close by that takes you right there.
Wilhelma Zoo and Botanical Gardens address is Wilhelma Square 13, 70376 Stuttgart, Germany. The zoo is about 2 hours and 14 minutes southeast of Kaiserslautern and 2 hours and 7 minutes south of Wiesbaden.
Author’s Profile: Wendy Payne is a military spouse and lives with her family in Stuttgart, Germany. She is a freelance writer, blogger, and photographer. She also enjoys gardening, hiking, yoga and sharing Europe with people.