File Photo: Giza zoo s gate. Photo courtesy of Trip.com website.
The renovated zoo will be divided into sectors under the names Africa, Asia, and America, where animals will be placed based on their continents of origin, Maha Fahim, head of the General Organization for Physical Planning, said in a cabinet meeting on Monday.
The zoo will include areas for safari trips, a bird aviary, and an elephant haven.
Renovations will include trialing a new night experience zone to enable families to stay longer.
The project will preserve and improve the health of the zoo’s more than 5,000 old trees, said Fahim.
It will increase the number of walkways and waterbodies and improve animal shelters.
The zoo will also have interactive animal exhibitions, she added.
The number of visitor attractions will increase to 14 from three, shows will be organized for more amusement, and educational centres will be established for children.
The zoo’s old gate and famous hanging bridge – designed by Gustave Eiffel more than 150 years ago – will be renovated as well, Fahim said.
The project was approved by the African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZA), the Permanent Committee for Islamic and Coptic Monuments, and the National Organisation for Urban Harmony.
Closed for renovation
In July, the Giza Zoo and the neighbouring Orman Garden, one of Egypt’s most famous botanical gardens, closed their gates to prepare for renovation by a company belonging to the Ministry of Military Production.
The renovation will take up to 18 months, said Maged El-Serty, CEO of the Military Production Company for Projects, Engineering Consultancy, and General Supplies.
The Giza Zoo is the third oldest zoo worldwide and the oldest in Africa. It was built by Khedive Ismail (1830-1895), the ruler of Egypt at the time, and was opened in 1891.
The zoo receives thousands of visitors daily with the number of families visiting the garden surging during public holidays.
The renovation of the zoo aims to elevate the zoo to international standards, allowing it to retrieve its position as an internationally recognized zoo, according to a July statement by the media office of the Ministry of Agriculture, which owns the zoo.
In 2004, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) dropped Giza Zoo membership due to the garden’s failure to comply with international animal housing standards.
WAZA is overseeing the renovation in association with the Egyptian national companies carrying out the project.