Quick facts

Location (indicated in orange on the map): San Diego Zoo, west of front plaza
Habitat/Region featured: tropical forests of Africa and Asia
Size: 3.4 acres (1.4 hectares)
Opening date: June 2005
Dining facility: Safari Kitchen

Be sure to look for…

Pygmy hippos
Slender-snouted crocodiles Sociable weavers
Clouded leopards
Bearded pigs
Softshell turtles
Twig snakes

Horticultural highlights

Big Fig Ficus watkinsiana
Mahogany trees
Aloe and Euphorbia Garden
African apricots
Snowflake tree
Bog Garden

Download a free customized self-guided iZoofari Audio Tour of Monkey Trails. See how here.


Special/VIP Tours
Kid Territory: A Smiling Mandrill; Clouded Leopard Sisters

Help us help wildlife. Adopt-An-Animal is a unique way to give a gift.

Monkey Trails and Forest Tales

Our newest and most ambitious habitat

The regal and colorful mandrill will mesmerize you with its stare.

Prepare yourself for an entirely new way of experiencing the San Diego Zoo! The most elaborate and ambitious animal habitat in our history is now open, ushering in a new era. Joan B. Kroc's Monkey Trails and Forest Tales is the naturalistic home to more than 30 species of African and Asian birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, some of the world's most exotic and endangered wildlife. You can enjoy a three-dimensional journey into the depths of a tropical forest and a new understanding of the diversity and interconnectedness of life on Earth.

L'Hoest's guenons are one of four guenon species found in Monkey Trails.

An elevated walkway located across from the Zoo entrance takes you directly through the tree canopy where you will encounter some of the most rare and endangered monkeys on Earth: golden-bellied mangabeys, Schmidt's guenons, and mandrills, one of the largest and most colorful of primates. Or you can enter along the Asian forest path that begins across from Absolutely Apes, where you'll encounter two different species of exotic pigs, a family of huge Bornean bearded pigs and a busy group of Visayan warty pigs, the most endangered pigs in the world. And be sure to look for the secretive and mysterious clouded leopard, rarely seen in zoos but fascinating and beautiful to watch.

An African aviary is filled with exotic birds like amethyst starlings, yellow-rumped tinkerbirds, and sociable weavers, sparrow-like birds that build spectacular communal nests that resemble haystacks in trees. And at the western end of Monkey Trails is an African riverbed habitat with aquatic tanks for watching underwater activities and behaviors. Endangered pygmy hippos and slender-snouted crocodiles live side by side. And up in the trees is yet another monkey species, the Wolf's guenon.

The mysterious and secretive clouded leopard is a resident of Monkey Trails.

Across from the hippos and crocs are eye-popping displays of reptiles and amphibians. One large tank is designed to look like the undercut edge of an African riverbank habitat filled with dwarf crocodiles. Smaller exhibits house pancake tortoises, green mambas, fire skinks, and scorpions, along with endangered succulents and cycads.

Fun facts