We spent a nice afternoon in the Zoo Gelsenkirchen - Zoom Erlebniswelt. Due to the fact that there are currently school holidays we were far of from being the only visitors. Luckily the Zoo area is big enough so that this was never really disturbing. The Zoo provides three different theme parks: Alaska, Africa and Asia. As the latter is new and justed opened, we started with this one.
After having a rest at the central snack point we explored the Alaska theme. As a picture can say more than thousands words:
The Zoo is a modern zoo which provides the animals with a recent amount of space. You do not find any small cages build from iron bars but rather big areas which are bounded by nature emphasized borders, like rocks and water. Works nice - not only for the animals but also for the visitors as this gives a much more natural impression than in the old fashioned zoos. Glass windows in the different enclosure give you the opportunity of a 5 meter-distance eye in eye contact with e.g. a pole bear. Drawback of this is that the visitor needs to be more patient to really spot all of the animals as some of them use the available space to hide from the visitor. So take your time and bring you Zoom lens with you...
For the kids the zoo provides great opportunities not only to experience all the animals but also to refresh their capacity for animal experiences on the various playground. Even within the theme parks they find - nicely integrated in the theme - a couple of slides which keep the kids happy.
As we got a free visit as part of the Ruhrtop-Card it was more than OK just to spent half a day in the Zoo. Anyway if you aim to see all parts of the Zoo you should definitely spent a whole day in the Zoo. More than enough attractions to see and nice opportunities for a break. I think a nice alternative to the central snack area - which provides a huge playground for the kids - would be to aim for one of the snack points within the theme parks. Those are much smaller and provide some park theme related atmosphere and food.
We are looking forward to our next visit - even quite willing to spent some money for this.