For some, holidays are built around food and wine. For others, thrilling sports and outdoor adventures are the top priority (once they have their travel insurance sorted, of course). However, for a select few, seeing the local wildlife and visiting zoos is their main goal - and why not?
After all, most of us will never get the chance to see exotic animals in their natural habitat, so heading to a zoo is our next best bet. With that in mind, let's take a look at the best zoos the world has to offer...
Spanning 100 acres, the San Diego Zoo is home to over 3,700 animals from over 650 species. It also boasts a Safari Park comprising 1,800 acres of land. From beetles to polar bears, apes to eagles and dolphins to elephants, the zoo has something to suit every animal lover.
Its commitment to preservation and conversation is admirable, too, meaning that animals who are able to be released into the wild are. All in all, it's a great cause to support and you get to have a great day out - what's not to love?
2. Bronx Zoo
At over 100 years old, the much-loved Bronx Zoo offers a plethora of wild animals - over 4,000 of them. Visitors can watch daily feedings and enrichment demonstrations while perusing Tiger Mountain or hopping on board the Wild Asia Monorail.
Home to the likes of the Caribbean Flamingo, African Wild Dog, Asian Elephant and the Monarch Butterfly, the zoo offers a great day out - particularly when combined with a stop at the 4D Theatre, which plays short films throughout the day.
3. London Zoo
Comprising 36 acres and home to 755 species, London Zoo is the oldest scientific zoo in the world. Around 16,000 animals live here. It also boasts London's only living rainforest, in which rats, bats, armadillos and monkeys roam.
Watch out for the slender lorises too, who only come out when the lights fall - an experience which the zoo calls 'Night Life'. With many exhibits to see, such as Penguin Beach, Gorilla Kingdom and Tiger Territory, you may find one day isn't enough.
As the oldest zoo in Germany, the Berlin Zoological Garden has well and truly earned its status as the best-known zoo in the country too. A whopping 19,500 animals call this spot home, spanning some 1,500 species.
The animals are housed in as natural habitats as possible; plus, they comprise many rare species that you might not see elsewhere - such as the Luzon Tarictic Hornbills and the Tuatara.
Now 40 years old, this open-plan zoo is committed to providing its animals with a habit as close as possible to that which they'd have in the wild. Most of the animals are separated from visitors by dry or wet moats, allowing for a really intimate experience - although the slightly hungrier residents are kept behind glass walls!
The zoo is perhaps most famed for its award-winning night safari, which provides visitors with a completely nocturnal experience comprising 1,000 animals.
Image credits: Facebook