Vietnam’s long, lush countryside runs about 1,650 kilometers from south to north and about 50 km from west to east. Containing both tropical and sub-tropical climates, Vietnam is home to a wide array of wildlife. Whether you’re just curious about the country’s native wildlife, or would like to visit a local zoo or safari, we cover the best below.
Often overshadowed by its nearby neighbor, Ha Long Bay, Bai Tu Long Bay National Park boasts the same beauty with fewer tourists. Underdeveloped and immaculate, the park is divided into both terrestrial and aquatic zones. One of only seven amphibian national parks in Vietnam, and ideal for travelers willing to take the time to wander …
Native Wildlife of Vietnam
Crocodiles, monkeys and tigers all reside natively in Vietnam. While some of its native wildlife is endangered or no longer, there are still a myriad of species across Vietnam and in its waters. And there are a growing number of conservation agencies looking to protect Vietnam’s amazing biodiversity.
Wildlife Attractions, Safaris and Zoos
There are multiple places in Vietnam to experience a variety of animals all in one place. Some destinations offer a local zoo or safaris to discover. These are fun activities for the family, with usually other amenities on-site like restaurants.
Guide to Native Wildlife and Attractions in Vietnam
There are many ways to spend time outdoors in Vietnam, and visiting a wildlife attraction is no exception. Some of the venues are similar to traditional zoos, while others are more expansive and include more of a theme park type of vibe.
For a look at some of the country’s native animals and others, check out the wildlife attractions nearest to the city you’re visiting. In addition to the typical zoos and safaris, some of the best places to see wildlife in Vietnam include its mountains, forests, lakes and rivers, at places like national parks and reserves.
Zoos and Safaris
Saigon Zoo, Ho Chi Minh City
Home to 550 types of animals and 1,830 kinds of trees, the Saigon Zoo has been open for over a century since 1869. The botanical garden section has many rare and valuable plants, some of which come from as far as Africa or the Americas. The zoo portion of the property has several animals, including monkeys, tigers, giraffes, lions, turtles, snakes, and more. Also on the premises is the Museum of Vietnamese History, with 15 rooms with numerous artifacts, weapons, and documents.
Dai Nam Zoo, Binh Duong
fLocated in Dai Nam Park, this zoo is about a two-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City. Even though there are other attractions on the same property, the zoo itself is 12.5 hectares has 76 different kinds of animals. Dai Nam Zoo is also the first of its kind in the country to be open during the evenings for viewing the exhibits.
Situated in Bai Dai on Phu Quoc Island, VinPearl Safari is Vietnam’s most extensive wildlife conservation park. This haven is home to 400 kinds of plants and 2,000 animals, including tigers, zebras, rhinos, peacocks, lions, and more. There are five main sections to this sanctuary zoo, broken up into the safari area, open zoo, primate area, bird barn, and reptile area. If traveling with little ones, be sure to stop by the baby animals section and petting zoo to interact with friendly critters.
FLC Zoo Safari Park Quy Nhon
Set in Quy Nhon, this Zoo Safari Park opened in 2017 and is home to almost 1,000 animals, including tigers, monkeys, swans, bears, elephants, crocodiles, and more. Much of the zoo is on natural land instead of exhibits to give the visitors and animals the feeling of being in the wild. The property is also the location of Central Vietnam’s most extensive butterfly garden and has its own restaurant and souvenir store. Visitors can also enjoy riding in a horse cart, tram, and duck boat at the park.
Other Attractions and Gardens
VinWonders Nam Hoi An
VinWonders Nam Hoi An is an amusement park with an intriguing mix of culture and attractions. The park is divided into five sections: Interchange Port, Folklore Island, Water Park, Adventure Land, and River Safari. The animal portion of the park has many types of animals such as primates, parrots, lions, bears, tigers, deer, zebras, water birds, and others.
Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station
This facility takes in animals that have been taken away from illegal traders/owners and gives them a place to heal and rehabilitate. The center also displays information about how these animals have been living, mistreated and their individual stories. Over the years since 2006, this center has helped thousands of animals recover and restore an everyday life. Tourists can see familiar and exotic animals, but it’s best to call ahead before visiting to ensure they are open and staffed.
There are a few other smaller animal and wildlife parks in Vietnam, but these ones have been rated as the ones that are most worth visiting.
Protecting Vietnam’s Wildlife
Protecting Vietnam’s biodiversity has become a primary goal of many conservation organizations. Groups like BirdLife International, Conservation International, the World Wildlife Fund, and the United Nations have all invested in creating a network of 33 national parks and 14 nature reserve biospheres for Vietnam.
More than 50,000 species have been recorded in Vietnam and scientists think that is only scratching at the surface of the country’s true biodiversity. WWII, the Vietnam War, and decades of illegal logging and wildlife trafficking eventually led Vietnam to a breaking point: either conserve the biodiversity that was left or accept the ramifications of losing it.
Vietnam and its international collaborators, including the U.S. and the EU have rallied to protect small but significant pockets of wilderness left in the country. While not all of the protected areas are legally accessible by travelers (or even locals) most of them offer at least some sort of entry.
Vietnam’s ecotourism is vital to the country’s economy as a whole. Different regions supply different gateways into their various ecosystems and its shape is often credited as one of the primary reasons that the country is home to some of planet earth’s most biodiverse habitats. From high elevation mountain forests to humid jungles to coastal wetlands, Vietnam has it all.
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