Fota Wildlife Park
Cork International Hotel is perfectly located in the centre of activity in County Cork. Being a brief 10 minute journey from Cork City, there is an abundance of things you can do. From the rich food and music culture in the city centre to the rugged beauty of the Cork coastline, which is part of the Wild Atlantic Way, there is something for everyone to delight in. During your next family stay at Cork International Hotel,Fota Wildlife Park is the perfect way to spend a fun-filled day out in Cork.
Initially, Fota Island was a 100-acre estate and private home of the Smith-Barry family for nearly 800 years before being sold to University College Cork in 1975. Seeds for the Wildlife Park were sown in 1979 following on from Dr. Terry Murphy’s proposal for a Wildlife Park to be established in Ireland. Buildings were erected as more funding became more readily available and the first animals arrived at the end of 1982. Fota Wildlife Park opened to the general public the following summer and has since been an independently funded, not-for-profit charity that is one of the leading wildlife and conservation attractions in Ireland, welcoming thousands of visitors each year. Since then Fota Wildlife Park has been welcoming visitors through their gates, celebrating their 30 years open in 2013.
Fota Wildlife Park is home to almost 30 mammals and 50 bird species, with animals in the park representing all of Earth’s continents and ecosystems. Many of the animals roam freely amongst the park, with visitors able to watch animals feeding and foraging for food during their time at Fota Island. Fota Wildlife Park’s mission is to inspire others to understand and converse the natural world, fostering greater public understanding for threats to plant and animal habitats, harming global biodiversity. Don’t be surprised if a kangaroo hops across your path or a monkey swings past you. Fota Wildlife Park prides themselves in the efforts in the area of conservation and continue to lead the way in the conservation field. 2020 will see new additions to the park, with the introduction of two new areas, the Asian Bear and the Takin and Markhar enclosures, to the Asian Sanctuary area of the park. In addition to increasing the size of the park Fota Wildlife Park collaborates with zoos, wildlife parks and reserves around to globe, by taking part in breeding and conservation programs to help project endangered species and promote animal and plant conservation. On their website they list nearly 60 plants and animals which they conserve at the park alone.
Children and adults alike will enjoy exploring Fota Wildlife Park with several locations around the park being the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic or an ice cream. Feel free to let the kids enjoy some fun in the play areas dotted around the park or take part in activities organised in the park throughout the year, such as art and crafts. Areas in the park include the Monkey Island, African Planes, Asian Sanctuary and Tropical House. Make time to check out the feeding times when the park rangers feed some of our favourite animals including; seals, penguins and cheetahs.If after that you’re hungry, there are cafés, restaurants and food stands, to fill those rumbling belies. With being one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland, it is no surprise that it was voted ‘Best Family Day Out’ for both Munster and Cork time and time again. Why not rest your feet and take a train ride around the park? Fota Wildlife Park has a train that allows you to take in the all the amazing animals and scenery from the comfort of your seat on the train.
HOW TO GET TO FOTA WILDLIFE PARK
To begin your trip to Fota Wildlife Park, take the second exit at the first roundabout on leaving Cork International Hotel. Continue driving straight through the proceeding roundabouts until you join the N2, bringing you towards Cork City. Continue on this road for 3 KM before arriving at the Kinsale Road Roundabout. Take the third exit onto the N40 ramp for South Ring (East). Continue on this route for approximately 11KM, driving through the Jack Lynch Tunnel. On exiting the tunnel you will be faced with another roundabout. Take the third exit for Rosslare/Waterford before meeting another roundabout where you will take the first exit onto R624. Continue on this route for 3km before arriving at your destination on your right.