My wife and I had arrived in San Diego for a family event. When we planned the trip, we made sure to allow enough time to visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

It was a beautiful morning as we set off for the zoo. The zoo was on the list of local sites on my GPS so we had no problem getting there. We took the freeway across town and got off at the appropriate exit. I must admit I was surprised to see that we had to drive through a residential neighborhood to get the zoo; I thought there would be a main road that would take us straight there.

We got to the zoo, parked, and bought our tickets. A one-day pass for an adult is $40 and is the best deal; you not only get access to the entire park, you also have unlimited use of the Guided Bus Tour, Express Bus, and Skyfari Aerial Tram. By the end of the day you will really appreciate the bus! Wear your walking shoes when you go to the zoo and be ready to do a lot of walking. Be aware that most of the walking will be on inclines or uphill/downhill; there is very little flat terrain at the zoo.

The entrance to the San Diego Zoo.

Which way do you go once you enter the zoo? My suggestion is to take the double-deck tour bus for a 30 minute trip around the zoo. This will give you an idea of what the exhibits are, where they are located, and how large the zoo is. (Hint: while it might seem appealing to sit in the upper deck of the bus, you actually get a better view from the lower deck. Passengers in the lower deck can see animals on both sides of the bus, while those upstairs will not be able to see them on the opposite side.) Once you’ve done that you can decide where you want to go next. You can walk to the next exhibit, or you can take the express bus to a stop nearby.

We decided to save the bus for later and just start walking. Since it was San Diego, the weather was gorgeous, as always. :-)

I hope you enjoy the photos and videos.

The zoo is beautifully landscaped, helping to make the walk more enjoyable.

Is it possible for an orangutan to chill out? In this case, yes it is.

"They're glad to see me, but how many of them will friend me on Facebook?"

The chimps were not very active, but one of them did come close to catching a bug.

One of the more popular areas features the Koalas. Koalas aren’t very active, they usually just sit on a branch, pausing only to eat. An urban legend says they move so slowly because they are stoned from eating the local fauna. A sign at the zoo said the reality is that they are tired from digesting the leaves and branches from the eucalyptus tree.  I think I prefer the urban legend. :-)

A koala, "resting" after eating the eucalyptus leaves.

It was lunchtime at the zebra's area.

Was this thing designed by a committee? I honestly don't remember what this animal is called, all I know is that I don't want one as a housepet.

We saw this sign at the lions' cage. I wonder if anyone would see the humor if I hung it in my office?

The flamingoes seem so elegant except for their legs, which seem too flimsy to support them.

The flamingo shows its amazing dexterity, resting its head on its back.

We saw some ducks at a nearby pond; everyone wanted to get a good look at their baby ducklings.

I don't recall what breed this camel is. I once had my photo taken on a camel in the Middle East; that one did not have as much hair as this one does.

If it’s possible for a camel to have a mullet or look like it should be in a doo-wop band, this is the one! :-)

Late in the day we had the chance to see these beautiful deer.

It’s easy to spend a full day at the zoo. We were there for seven hours and were totally exhausted by the end of the day. We took the express bus to the park entrance, then got in the car and drove back to our hotel, stopping for dinner on the way.

I can’t recall the last time we had done this much walking in one day, but you know what? It was worth it, and I am glad we did it! We had a great time at the San Diego Zoo; hopefully you will to when you visit!