Darica Zoo Nearby Istanbul (What to See, How to Go?)

Darica Zoo Nearby Istanbul (What to See, How to Go?)

Darica Zoo- Introduction

Darica Zoo is one of the best zoos in Turkey. There are many species in this zoo even it is not a big one. We like to spend time and see different animals and we would recommend you to check if you are around Darica- Kocaeli or an animal lover.

This zoo is also called FYZoo which is the abbreviation of Faruk Yalcin- the founder of this zoo and important businessman. We will also give a piece of brief information about him.

Even we are saying that this zoo is one of the best zoos, we should also mention that Turkey may not be considered as one of the top countries considering both quality and quantity. But, we are sure that the responsible people are improving this zoo day by day.

Darica Zoo or Bosphorus Zoo Information

Faruk Yalcin is the founder of this zoo. He passed away in 2008 and was one of the important businessmen and writers in Turkey. Additionally, he was the uncle of Aziz Yildirim who was the former president of the Fenerbahce Sports Club in Turkey.

After his retirement, he started to spend his full time for this zoo. He was a dedicated education volunteer and animal lover. [1]

This zoo is the first established private zoo in Turkey. This is why it is also important for the country. Its old name is Bosphorus Zoo. So, don’t be confused when you see any info regarding Bosphorus Zoo.

What to See in Darica or Bosphorus Zoo?

According to the official site [2], there are more than 250 species and the animal population is over 3000. So, this is a very good number which means you can see a lot of types in this mid-sized zoo.

It can be categorized with 5 categories as follows as they did on the official website. So, you can find the whole list via this link [2], but we will mention our favorites, no worries.

Here is the map of this zoo. There are 5 areas including center, west (bati in Turkish), east (dogu in Turkish), south (guney in Turkish) and north (kuzey in Turkish) sides in the zoo. Considering the areas, our favorites are D and K 😉

Darica Zoo Map
Map of Darica Zoo

At the entrance, a dinosaur will be welcoming you. It is a good start even it is just a model 🙂

Model dinosaur in FYZoo

Unfortunately, seeing a lot of “threatened” tags in the zoo makes us pretty sad. Be aware and look at the tags as well.

African lion

As you know, these lions live in the south of the Sahara desert. And, these are very big cats and they like sleeping and resting a lot. But, this is their nature. It is highly probable that you will see them sleeping.

Darica Zoo- African lion
African lion in Darica Zoo

Anatolian lynx

It was a surprise for us to see this lynx type under the “least concern” section. They are not very fast, however, their hearing capability is superior.

Eurasian brown bear

They are pretty good at sleeping 🙂 Please note that there is not just one single bear.

Brown Bears in Darica Zoo
Bears in Darica Zoo


It is the biggest cat in America. There are many jaguars with different colors from brown to red. Moreover, they are very good at hunting. The black jaguars are also good at disguising by camouflaging due to their colors.

Jaguar in FYZoo

Persian leopard

Their weight is 40-70 kilograms and they live in snowy regions. This environment looks like not really suitable for the leopard.

African black-footed penguin

These penguins are currently under the “endangered” category. It looks like these penguins have fun in this small pool 🙂


This animal has spiral horns. It is a middle-sized antelope and native to South Africa. So, it is one of the members of the Bovidae family such as kudu and eland [3]. The old males generally live alone.


They are herbivorous animals and mainly live in Africa. Zebras show a visual feast when they are together with these black and white stripes. And, the best thing would be mysterious stripes about zebras. It is still an open discussion, but check out this article to find out more [4].

Rothchild’s giraffe

They are mostly seen around the Sahara Desert. As known, they are pretty long and they have small horns compared to their bodies.


Our opinion is these cold-blooded animals are very scary. They are able to see, hear and smell under the water.

crocodiles in Darica Zoo
Crocodiles in Darica Zoo

Indian rhinoceros

Indian or Greater rhinos are around 2 tons and have one horn which is around 3 kilograms. They can run fast even with this big body. They like to swim and have a mud bath. The area has a very small bath, it looks like it is not enough for this rhino.

Rhino in Darica Zoo
Rhino in Darica Zoo

Red panda

Here is a small panda welcoming its guests. It likes to rest a lot, and its post is very good at camouflaging. The red pandas live in a cold environment.

Monkey and chimpanzee

There are many monkey types such as squirrel monkeys, sakis and grey coated in the zoo. They are so fast and mostly playing games with each other. Also, there are chimpanzees. Some of them also have stories. Be careful when you visit this zone 🙂


There are a couple of turtles in the zoo. But, the turtle “Tuti” is very old. It is around 100 years old. Seeing this one is a “must-do”, don’t miss it.

Other than these, we also like mongoose, golden jackal, lemur, phyton, sheep and goats. The fish zone or aquarium is not very big, but also worth a visit.

Darica Zoo- Services and Rules

The facility includes many services.

  • Car park
  • Prayer room
  • Baby care room
  • Infirmary
  • Lockers
  • Cafeteria
  • Gift shop

It may be a little bit challenging for stroller and wheelchair because of ups and downs, but can be handled.

There are general rules like other zoos.

  • Smoking is forbidden except designated areas.
  • Feeding, touching and throwing anything to the animals are dangerous. Do not cross the barriers.
  • Pets are not allowed.
  • This is our world. So, we should keep the area clean.

Where is Darica Zoo Located?

Check out the address or map to see the location of Darica Faruk Yalcin Zoo. Officially, FYZoo is not in Istanbul, basically, we can’t name this place as Darica Zoo Istanbul 🙂 But, some districts of Kocaeli are connected to Istanbul such as Gebze and Darica. So, please note that this is not really far away from Istanbul.

Address: Piri Reis, Tuzla Cd. No:297, 41700 Darıca/Kocaeli

Darica Zoo – How Much Time

Regardless of the activities taken place in the zoo, a half-day would be enough to cover everything in this zoo. But, don’t forget that this zoo is in Darica-Kocaeli which means you will be spending some time to go there. And, it really depends on your starting point. It would take your whole day.

Darica Zoo Dress Code

There is no specific dress code for the zoo and the weather conditions are mostly similar compared to Istanbul throughout the year. So, you can check this post to find out seasonal information.

Darica Zoo Ticket Price

Our opinion is the tickets are not cheap, especially compared to the Izmir Natural Park which is also our one the favorites. However, this is a non-profit natural conversation center which means that they directly transfer the profits to animal and plant protection. Moreover, they also support other important organizations. Please see the prices below.

Darica Zoo- Prices

Please note that there will be a discount for teachers, polices and their families for Turkish citizens. But tickets having discounts should be taken from the box offices since the cards having this info such as jobs should be shown to the responsible people.

Additionally, you can be a member and enter the zoo without a limit throughout a year at a fair price.

Darica Zoo Opening-Closing Days & Hours

The Faruk Yalcin Zoo is open every day. The ticket offices are open between 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can keep on touring the zoo until sunset. We suggest you be there early so that you won’t be in a rush to complete the tour.

How to Reach Darica Zoo

If you prefer to go by your own car, there is a parking lot at the entrance where you can park your car. But, there is an admission fee which is cheap. You can both use E-80 or D-100 to reach there.

You can also go there by taxi, however, it will not be the cheapest option. For instance, Kadikoy is around 50 km which would cost above 150 Turkish Lira.

From Kadikoy

The zoo has a shuttle from Kadikoy near Sogutlucesme Metrobus station. You can check the timetable which is referenced on the official site [5] and this needs a reservation.

From other locations

There are a couple of ways, but we strongly recommend you to use Marmaray. And, the greatest part is the zoo has a shuttle from Osmangazi station. Please check the timetable via this link [5] for this shuttle.


Darica Zoo or Bosphorus Zoo is nearby Istanbul and there are various animals in this zoo. It can be a time-consuming trip to go there, but we can definitely recommend it if you are close to this spot.

Moreover, it can be tough to add a zoo to your “must-do” activities during a short trip, so timing is an important parameter. If you visited a great zoo before in your life, you can also think about not adding any zoos in your list. We believe that you will not regret it but think twice since Istanbul has a lot of great options to do. We also observed, there are some tours organizing the combined Darica Zoo and Sapanca. So, this can be a good option as well. At least, this will be a different experience. It is worth mentioning, Sapanca looks like very popular in these days, unfortunately, we couldn’t feel like a local there anymore 🙂

Again and finally, don’t miss it if you are an animal lover 🙂


  1. https://www.biyografya.com/biyografi/4608
  2. http://www.farukyalcinzoo.com/en/fyzoo/
  3. https://www.britannica.com/animal/nyala-mammal
  4. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/1/150113-zebras-stripes-evolution-animals-science-africa/
  5. http://www.farukyalcinzoo.com/en/working-hours-and-getting-here/
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