Al Areen Wildlife Park
The Al Areen Wildlife Park is located in the Middle Eastern country of Bahrain and forms part of an extensive $2 billion development that features a variety of retail, residential and recreational facilities. Since its construction in 1975, the facility has become one of the country's most popular family oriented attractions, attracting thousands of visitors every year.
Al Areen offers the opportunity to see over 500 animals that are native to the Arabian peninsula, such as the Reem gazelle, oryx, ostrich and adax. There are also various African animals, which are left over from the park's earliest inhabitants. Some animals are in enclosures, although many roam freely, in keeping with recent trends in zoos and wildlife parks.
The park's beautiful landscaped grounds and ponds also attract many varieties of bird, including pelicans, flamingos and ducks, making it a popular destination for bird watchers. Although there are other places throughout Bahrain where animals and birds can be seen, Al Areen has the distinction of being the country's only nature reserve.
The park's designers have made sure that seeing the animals is easy - carefully placed walkways provide opportunities to view the animals from many different places throughout the park. For those who prefer to ride, a bus service operates from just inside the park's main entrance and professional tour guides provide an informative and educational commentary.
Bahrain's Crown Prince was the inspiration behind the park; a practical result of his lifelong interest in wildlife and conservation and an indication of Bahrain's growing concern for environmental issues. Al Areen is conveniently located close to both the airport and the city of Manama, as well as the Middle East's first Grand Prix motor racing track. It is open during part of the day only, so be sure to check the opening hours before you go there.