ACT Australia Destinations

Inside Jamala Wildlife Lodge: A Slice of Africa in Australia

Rise for breakfast with giraffes and gaze into the eyes of tigers over dinner at Australia’s very own luxury safari hotel.

Creature comfort takes on new meaning with a stay at the five-star Jamala Wildlife Lodge. Hidden within Canberra’s National Zoo & Aquarium, the lodge allows guests the chance to live alongside some of the world’s rarest animals. Experience a taste of Africa, in the company of prowling big cats, lanky giraffes or playful meerkats.

Much more than a once-in-a-lifetime stay, Jamala Wildlife Lodge is an invitation to learn more about the importance of wildlife conservation. The lodge is proudly accredited under the Zoo and Aquarium Association’s Animal Welfare program, with proceeds supporting animal welfare and breeding initiatives.

This is a bucket-list experience without the travel miles – a fascinating insight into incredible wildlife, all while staying in luxurious comfort.

Enjoy an African dinner party with special guests

Celebrate your stay with a four-course African-inspired gourmet dinner, where you’ll be joined by special guests – roaring white lions or laughing hyenas. Just a glass window separates diners at the themed Rainforest Cave restaurant from these magnificent animals, for a dinner and a show like never before.

Toast to your experience with fine wines and Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut Champagne, and savour fresh seasonal dishes such as native macadamia-crusted snapper, wild mushroom risotto and tiramisu with fresh raspberries.

When the Rainforest Cave is at maximum capacity, some guests will have the opportunity to dine upstairs alongside circling sharks.

Meet and feed the resident sharks

The most expansive suite in the lodge, the Grand Shark Suite is ideal for families and groups. Located on the top floor, an adjoining terrace perched above the shark tank allows guests the rare chance for a private meet and feed with these beautiful animals.

What’s more, guests of the suite will also have the exclusive opportunity to feed the hyenas. Encountering these two apex predators in perfect safety with the guidance of an expert zookeeper makes for a luxury travel experience like never before.

Make memories with gentle giants

Get up close and personal with one of the savannah’s most majestic creatures – the impressive giraffe. Guests have the exclusive opportunity to go behind the scenes and meet Shaba and Mzungu, the National Zoo’s most beloved (and photogenic) couple. Learn about these gentle giants from an experienced keeper and feed the giraffes in a memorable encounter.

Enjoy a safari tour – a true taste of Africa in Australia

You’ll receive a tour booklet upon check-in, so you can explore a section of the zoo at your own pace, but the main event is the guided African Savannah Tour. Join an experienced guide on a private tour through the open-range enclosures and find out who’s who in the zoo. Along your tour, you’ll have the opportunity to pat a rhino, count the number of stripes on the zebras, admire the lemurs and see why the cheetah is the fastest animal on earth. At the end of your tour, travel out of Africa via Malaysia and meet a family of siamang apes.

Monkey around in the Capuchin Room

There are no crowded zoo windows when you stay in one of two stylish Capuchin Rooms in the exotic uShaka Lodge. Each showcases a large viewing window into the enclosure of the cheeky Capuchin monkeys, allowing you to watch the antics of these highly intelligent animals from the comfort of your room.

These incredible rooms also feature a large outdoor terrace which boasts views over the lion enclosures.

Want to explore more of Canberra? Things to do in Canberra: Where to Eat, Drink, Stay & Play.