virtual field trips zoo webcams live safaris and wildlife cams

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Looking for ways to explore the world from home?  Get your wildlife fix with a virtual field trip!  From around the world and across the web, I’ve compiled the best virtual field trips of zoos, live safaris, and animal cams.  These are great activities for wildlife lovers, future trip planning, and home schooling. 

Be sure to check out Wild Earth live safaris, my top pick for a wildlife virtual field trip! I’ve also included links to online learning resources with lesson plans and activities for teachers and parents. 

These are all free virtual field trips, unless noted.  To get started, here are some great resources to go along with virtual field trips:

Jump ahead in this guide:

Best Zoo Virtual Field Trips | More Zoo Webcams| Safari Virtual Field Trips | Wildlife and Farm Webcams

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Zoo Virtual Field Trips

Today, most zoos have education and conservation programs which help visitors learn what they can do to protect animals and their habitats.  For this reason, many already had virtual zoo tours and learning resources online.  Others have been adding virtual experiences as everyone looks for ways to keep exploring and learning from home.  These are some of the best zoo virtual field trips including live animal webcams that let you see wildlife in real-time.

San Diego Zoo California, USA

The San Diego Zoo, located in San Diego’s Balboa Park, is a wildlife sanctuary consistently rated as one of the best zoos in the world.  It’s the busiest zoo in the U.S. and home to over 3,500 endangered animals and 700,000 exotic plants.  They have an amazing San Diego Zoo Kids online portal, packed with fun animal facts, activities, videos and games for one of the best zoo virtual field trips. Don’t miss the live San Diego Zoo webcams including polar bear cam, panda cam, and tiger cam, plus giraffes, elephants and koalas.  Check out their Facebook for more virtual events and animal spotlights.

Tigers’ unique stripe colors and pattern helps them blend into the forests and grassy areas where they live. Learn more about tigers from the San Diego Zoo.

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium Nebraska, USA

Another top-rated zoo, the Omaha Zoo has launched a free “Zoo From Home” program, with zoo webcams plus activities and animal spotlights.  Check out the Omaha Zoo Facebook page for more updates, photos, and live sessions with their keepers and aquarists.  They are also offering paid virtual camps and online backstage experiences.

Houston Zoo Texas, USA

The second most-visited zoo in the U.S., the Houston Zoo is home to more than 6,000 animals.  The Houston Zoo webcams include a giraffe cam, gorilla cam, chimpanzee cam and flamingos.  Check out their Facebook for more news and online events and catch up with their past “Bringing the Zoo to You” events here

Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute  Washington DC, USA

The National Zoo is part of the Smithsonian Institution museums and is free to visit in Washington DC.  Founded in 1889, the National Zoo was one of the first to establish a scientific research program.  Don’t miss the National Zoo webcams including the famous DC panda cam and cheetah cub cam, as well as elephants, lions, and ferrets. You can download an activities guide on the webcam page, and find their at-home educational activities here.  Be sure to follow along on Facebook for updates on if panda Mei Xiang is expecting a cub! 

virtual field trips zoo - Smithsonian National Zoo panda cam
Giant pandas spend about 12 hours a day eating! Get more panda facts from National Geographic Kids.

Kansas City Zoo  Missouri, USA

The Kansas City Zoo is a world-class zoo with live webcams featuring a penguin cam, orangutans, giraffes and otters.  See the Kansas City Zoo Facebook page for animal videos and check out virtual chats with their keepers here

For more penguins and aquarium virtual field trips, don’t miss my ocean virtual field trips feature!

Virtual Field Trip: Aquarium Live Feeds and Ocean Webcams

Take a virtual aquarium field trip with the best ocean and sealife webcams from around the world! Perfect for homeschooling, ocean-lovers, and a moment of zen.

Read more

Philadelphia Zoo Pennsylvania, USA

Opened in 1874, the Philadelphia Zoo is the oldest zoo in the United States.  Check out their live Humboldt penguin cam and all of their online learning resources here including past “Philly Zoo at 2” live videos.  Get zoo updates and see future live videos on the Philadelphia Zoo Facebook page.

London Zoo  England, UK

The London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. It was established first for scientific study, then opened to the public in 1847.  Check out their virtual zoo resources and videos and their “Zoo School” home school resources by age group.

Cincinnati Zoo Ohio, USA

As a native Cincinnatian, I was lucky to grow up with the Cincinnati Zoo! The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is the second-oldest zoo in the United States, and has many conservation and wildlife education programs. You might already know their most famous resident, Fiona the preemie hippo. Follow the Cincinnati Zoo on Facebook for live events and animal spotlights. Also check out their Home Safari Resources including past live events, home projects and activities.

Hippos are the second-largest land animal on earth, after the elephant! Learn more about hippos from Nat Geo Kids.

Toronto Zoo  Canada

The Toronto Zoo is Canada’s largest zoo, with more than 5,000 animals from around the globe.  While they don’t have live animal webcams, they do have a wealth of online resources for parents and educators and host a live session daily on the Toronto Zoo Facebook page at 1PM (Eastern time).

Virginia Zoological Society Virginia, USA

The Virginia Zoo has a cool interactive virtual field trip, but you’ll need a phone or tablet to run the app plus another device that can display the checkpoint photos to scan.  They also have many other “Virtual Voyage” resources, including downloadable activities, links to their social media, and YouTube channel

Denver Zoo  Colorado, USA

The Denver Zoo was founded in 1896 and is the most popular attraction in the Denver area.  It was also the first zoo to use naturalistic enclosures rather than cages with metal bars, when its mountain bear exhibit opened in 1918.  They don’t have live animal webcams, but do have a wealth of educational resources online in their virtual classroom.  Take a virtual field trip, meet animals virtually, and solve a zoo challenge.  Check out the Denver Zoo Facebook page for more animal videos.

virtual field trips zoo - flamingo cam
Did you know flamingo chicks are born grey and white? Learn more about flamingos from National Geographic.

Los Angeles Zoo California, USA

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Garden has many online resources called “Zoo to You” including virtual field trips, animal chats, activity packets and crafts.  Follow the LA Zoo Facebook page for more animal videos and news.

Zoo Atlanta  Georgia, USA

Zoo Atlanta is a zoological park in Georgia. It’s also one of the four places in the U.S. that is home to giant pandas.  Check out the Zoo Atlanta panda cam and all of their zoo “at home” resources including virtual zoo tours, mobile games, activities, and crafts. 

Wild Life Sydney Zoo Australia

The Wild Life Sydney Zoo is a wildlife park in Australia.  Check out their coloring sheets, activities and other online resources including past live stream videos.  Don’t miss videos including Davey, their adorable resident quokka!

Quokkas are marsupials found in Western Australia, primarily on its small islands. Learn more about quokkas from the Perth Zoo.

Taronga Zoo Sydney  Australia

The Taronga Zoo Sydney is Australia’s largest zoo, opened in 1916.  Check out all of their online resources here, including tiger cams, keeper chats, and other videos.  They also have teacher resources and virtual tours.

Zoos Victoria  Australia

Zoos Victoria is a conservation organization made up of three world-class zoos: Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo, and Werribee Open Range Zoo.  Check out all of their “Animals at Home” resources, with virtual tours, keeper talks, and virtual animal encounters.  Their live animal cameras include penguins, giraffes, koalas, zebras, snow leopards, and lions.


More Live Zoo Webcams:

  • Chattanooga Zoo (Tennessee, USA): Meerkat cam, snow leopards, tamarins, spotted genet
  • Bronx Zoo (New York, USA): Sea lions, Madagascar wildlife, aquatic birds
  • Memphis Zoo (Tennessee, USA): Pandas, hippos, flamingos, elephants, grizzly bears, snake hatching cam
  • Maryland Zoo (USA): Penguins, swan nest, lions, giraffes, flamingos
  • Edinburgh Zoo (Scotland, UK): Pandas, penguins, tigers, koalas, lions
  • Reid Park Zoo (Arizona, USA): Elephant cam, giraffe cam, grizzly bears, lemurs and lions
  • Detroit Zoo (Michigan, USA): Penguin cam, otter cam, giraffe cam, snow monkeys and prairie dogs
Not all penguins live where it’s cold! Learn about African penguins from the San Diego Zoo.

More Education Resources & Zoo Virtual Field Trips

  • Paignton Zoo (England, UK): Downloadable science, math, art and writing resources

African Safari Wildlife Live Webcams

If you’re like me, you dream of going on safari to see animals roaming free in their natural habitats.  Live safari webcams let you experience this from home, spotting elephants, gorillas, zebras, cheetahs, lions and more in the forests and plains of Africa.  These are the best live safaris and webcams and learning resources for exploring African wildlife.

Wild Earth

This is my top pick for a wildlife virtual field trip!  Wild Earth hosts live guided safari sessions twice daily, and currently no booking is required – just watch on their website or YouTube channel.  Learn more about their content for kids called Wild Earth Kids including the timetable and preparation tips.  You can even email questions to be answered live by their guides and naturalists.  Check out the Wild Earth YouTube channel to see past live safaris, or watch their 24-hour live cam at the Djuma Game Reserve.

Advice

Their site says that first 45 minutes of game drives are reserved for kids sessions, where they try to keep the content tailored for young viewers. But I have seen a lion and crocodile in a tug of war over a wildebeest carcass! Younger kids might need supervision for this virtual field trip.

Watch a recent “live” safari from Wild Earth!

African Animals Watering Hole  Mpala Research Centre, Kenya

Check out the watering hole at Mpala Research Centre in the highlands of central Kenya! Watch elephants, hippos, giraffes, Grevy’s zebras, gazelles, crocodiles, leopards and many other species take a drink or go for a quick swim.  Mpala also has a field guide to animals of the region as well as classroom resources and lesson plans.

Live viewing hours: Day and night

Tembe Elephant Park  Emangusi, South Africa

Tembe Elephant Park is known for having the largest elephants in Africa and the planet!  The park’s location is very remote, deep in sand forests and wetlands.  Here you can see all of the “Big Five” animals of Africa (as they’re called on safari): elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and buffalo.  If going on safari is on your bucket list, learn more about visiting Tembe Park here.

Live viewing hours: Day and night

safari live cam - elephants at Tembe Elephant Park - Emangusi South Africa
Did you know that elephants use their trunks to drink, cool off, and even as a snorkel? Learn more about African elephants from National Geographic Kids.

Gorilla Forest Corridor GRACE Center, Kasugho, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

The Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (or GRACE) is located near the Tayna Nature Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  GRACE cares for orphaned Grauer’s gorillas with the goal of reintroducing them back into the wild. The organization also works with local communities to promote the conservation of forests & sustainable livelihoods.  Find out more about GRACE and their programs here and follow them on Facebook for more videos.

Best viewing hours: 2AM-3:30AM PDT, 5:30AM -7AM PDT (8:30AM EST – 10AM EST)

Rosie’s Pan  Balule Nature Reserve, South Africa

This camera is hidden at a remote watering hole and is completely solar powered.  Here you can see the “Big Five” animals of Africa (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalo) as well as giraffes, antelopes, warthogs, genets and giant kingfishers.

Live viewing hours: Day and night

Nkorho Bush Lodge  Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa

Located in South Africa in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Nkorho Bush Lodge is home to a variety of wildlife including the “Big Five” animals, birds, and endangered species. The park shares 50 kilometers of its unfenced boundary with neighboring Kruger National Park, allowing animals to move freely between the two parks.

Live viewing hours: Day and night

safari live cam - leopard
Unlike lions, leopards are solitary animals. Learn about African leopards from National Geographic Kids.

The Naledi Cat-EYE  Olifants West Game Reserve, South Africa

This camera has been set up at the eye level of a leopard to give a unique view of the animals that visit this waterhole. Look for cheetahs, lions, elephants, giraffes, impalas, baboons, warthogs, owls, Egyptian geese, genets, meerkats, waterbuck and porcupines.

Live viewing hours: Day and night

Tau Waterhole  Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa 

On the border of South Africa and Botswana lies an area known as the Groot Marico, named after the Marico River. The Tau Waterhole here is an oasis for wildlife including elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras, and cheetahs. Keep an eye out for crocodiles that prey on birds and other animals.

Live viewing hours: Day and night 

Olifants River  Emangusi, South Africa

This camera is set on the banks of the Olifants River near the Naledi Game Lodge. This river passes through the Kruger National Park and Mozambique.  See crocodiles and hippos in the river and elephants and giraffes grazing on the banks. Also look for baboons, waterbuck, bushbuck, impalas, storks, herons and owls. 

Live viewing hours: Day and night

safari live cam - Olifants River South Africa
The Olifants River passes through Kruger National Park. Learn more about the largest national park in South Africa from Britannica Kids.

More Safari Webcams and Virtual Field Trips


Wildlife & Farm Webcams and Virtual Field Trip Resources

  • Goat Milk Stuff: Baby Goat Live Cams  Learn about Goat Milk Stuff’s herd of goats and see their live feeds
  • Beekman 1802: Goat Cam  Get a peek at the goats that create the Beekman farm products
  • Virtual Egg Fam Field Trips: The American Egg Board and Discovery Education bring farms into classrooms with egg farm virtual field trips.
  • Folly Farm: Barn Webcam  See what the Folly Farm goats and sheep are up to today!
  • Honey Bee Hive, Germany See inside a beehive as bees build combs, make honey and protect their queen.
  • Underwater Salmon Cam  Katmai National Park, Alaska, USA  See salmon migrating and swimming bears looking for a meal

Have you gotten your wildlife fix with these virtual field trips of zoos and safaris?  For more fun adventures from home, be sure to check out my virtual aquarium field trip, virtual travel for kids, and Washington DC virtual tour

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Virtual Travel for Kids: Virtual Field Trips, Zoos, Online Museums, & More

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Washington DC Virtual Tour: Online Museums & Virtual Field Trip

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Adrienne, The Haphazard Traveler

I used to be a hot travel mess, but I got better! I kept the name and now blog my best tips for culture and adventure travel from around the globe. Follow along for travel advice, destination info, and photography from faraway lands - and at home in Washington, D.C.

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