Also known as Bosphorus or Darıca Zoo, Faruk Yalçın Zoo and Botanic Park is among the important landmarks to visit around Istanbul. This family-friendly park is located in the Kocaeli province, neighboring Istanbul, and it has been open since 1993. Established by the initiatives of well-respected Turkish businessman Faruk Yalçın, this zoo has been actively opening its doors for visitors. Initially aimed to aid and help exotic animals and a variety of birds, this place was later turned into a zoo. This non-profit organization manages only to use the money and funds they receive to help animals in grand scales further. With an area of more than 200,000 m2, there are currently more than 3,000 animal species and 500 different types of plants that live inside this great zoo.
The main principle of the zoo is built by the firm thought of helping the animals to survive their life in the best way possible while enabling them to feel at home. This animal-friendly zoo has managed to achieve incredible milestones over the years, earning numerous awards. As Faruk Yalçın Zoo has the highest amount of natural diversity both in its plants and animals, it’s considered to be one of the biggest in Turkey. It is the first member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) from Turkey. Standards needed to be a member of such association are as high as it could get, and Faruk Yalçın Zoo and Botanic Park fulfills these requirements. This zoo’s value is greatly appreciated both by the government and the people, and there is great interest in this zoo. Many government-funded missions and studies were commissioned specially for this zoo as it has a staff that does & wishes the best for animals. One of the most significant projects of this zoo, being “Protection and Recovery Center for Wild Animals,” aims to assist 62 different animal species under the threat of extinction, 52 different animal species under critical protection service, and home to more than 16 kinds of unique Anatolian species. This achieving project manages to promise a bright future for many animals.
Along with the great number of animals it has, Faruk Yalçın Zoo and Botanic Park is one of the biggest botanic parks of Turkey with more than 8,000 plants. Serving and operating in numerous different sectors, this zoo has the vision to protect wildlife from the dangers that humans possess while raising awareness upon sensitive subjects. Annually, more than 150,000 students and 500,000 visitors have the chance to get educated upon sensitive manners while enjoying the best of this zoo.
Located in the Kocaeli province, you can easily reach this zoo via the E-5 highway in an hour. You can also reach Faruk Yalçın Zoo by taking the Marmaray trainline and busses from Üsküdar. While the fee for entry to the zoo is discounted for children aged between 4-17, it has a full price for adults.