Within the bountiful Cairngorms National Park sits the Highland Wildlife Park, an attraction run by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and home to endangered animals of the world! If you’re in the Cairngorms National Park, then stopping by the Highland Wildlife Park is a stellar way to enjoy both the native animals of Scotland and a few critically endangered species from around the world.
If you don’t already have this unforgettable experience on your to-do list, we recommend adding it as soon as possible.
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About the Highland Wildlife Park
The Highland Wildlife Park sits 7 miles south of Aviemore in the town of Kincraig and is open 7 days a week for guests who want to see the most fantastic wildlife park in Scotland. The Royal Zoological Society runs the park, which maintains the famed Edinburgh Zoo.
This hub of wildlife has been in operation since 1986 when the RZSS obtained it. Now it is home to over 200 animals, including native Scottish wildlife and protected animals worldwide. The park has two central regions, the main reserve and the park.
The reserve contains many animals to see within a larger space, but that is still easily navigatable with your vehicle or by booking the park’s Landrover tours. The reserve allows guests to see deer, bison, elk, and more.
The adjoining park allows guests to see the wealth of animal species that call this wildlife park their home, including some endangered animals like polar bears, wolves, amur tigers, and red pandas.
Remember that you’ll have to prebook your tour or visit during the busy month of June and comply with Scottish guidelines.
Things to Do
The Highland Wildlife Park is one of the most spectacular attractions visitors can enjoy in the Cairngorms. If you still need to decide whether to add it to your to-do list and want more reasons to choose that wildlife park, then make sure to read through our top things to do at the Highlands Wildlife Park. We bet you’ll be convinced:
Walk Round Area
Many significant areas of the Highland Wildlife Park exist to enjoy with your family. The Walk Round Area has several sections for families to explore, including the Woodland Walk, Scotland’s Discovery Centre, and Wolf Wood! This is all in addition to the enclosures and terrariums holding animals, so rest assured that you can spend an entire afternoon at this park without dull moments.
Outside the entrance car park, you can enjoy a delightful woodland walk through the park’s verdant forests. During your walk, please keep your eyes out for the red squirrels and crimson satyr tragopans as they make their home in the beautiful Scottish woods.
You can also see the elusive Scottish wildcat, which are tremendous native Scottish wildcats that are a little bit wilder than your average housecat (if that wasn’t obvious in the name).
If you’ve ever wanted to see wolves while on your trip through the Cairngorms National Park, you’re in luck! HRH Princess Anne opened this part of the wildlife park and it has been an integral part of the park ever since.
You can find it squeezed between the main reserve and the entrance. The wolf walk lets guests meet an actual European wolf pack! Watching the group communicate and interact is one of the highlights of this wildlife park.
We can’t talk about the incredible set of animals that call this wildlife park their home. The Highland Wildlife Park has snow monkeys, polar bears (with a new polar bear cub), snow leopards, red deer, red pandas, and so much more!
The park is set within the Cairngorms National Park, meaning you have an incredible view of the world’s mountains as you navigate from enclosure to enclosure. There’s truly no better place to see such diversity than right here.
The Highland Wildlife Park has not one but two fantastic nature reserves for you to explore during your visit! There’s the entrance reserve and the main reserve accessible by drive-through with your own car or with a guided tour.
The excitement begins as soon as you enter the Highland Wildlife Park, as the entrance reserve immediately shows off the centre’s Bactrian camels, yaks, and Mishmi takin. These large herd mammals are gentle giants and love to hang on the road leading into the car park.
We advise you to keep your hands and arms instead of the vehicle as you pass through this reserve, just in case. You can also walk through this reserve on the raised platforms nearby, leading to the visitor centre.
We’ve briefly touched on the central reserve, but it deserves its own section. The drive-through reserve offers guests the chance to view herd animals like they’ve seen them before!
You can drive at your own pace and see the park’s herd of European Bison, European elk, Przewalski’s horse and vicuna. If you feel you’ve missed something, you can always take as many laps as you want before closing time!
The Highland Wildlife Park has regularly planned events and experiences for guests! In addition to the daily feedings and walks you can experience with the trainers and caretakers that work at the park, there are various expos you can have with the animals of the wildlife park.
At Kincraig Community Hall, events like Saving Wildcats and Adaption: Sub-Zero Survival aim to inform and help visitors learn about the fantastic European wildlife. Check their Facebook page for any events that might occur when you’re in this spectacular setting.
If you’re planning to visit the Highland Wildlife Park and need accommodation nearby, then you’re in luck! Not only is there the town of Kincraig nearby, which has plenty of fantastic accommodation available.
You can access self-catering options through booking.com or more homely taverns and inns. There are even accommodation options right next to the Wildlife Park for those who want to stay within the centre.
For food options, we highly recommend The Boathouse Restaurant by Loch Insh, which offers homely Scottish food!Thinking Of Booking A Trip? Check Out Our Top Accommodation Options In Kingussie