Take a tour to Phnom Tamao Zoo and Wildlife Rescue Centre (PTWRC) – the country’s largest zoo and wildlife sanctuary that is located about a 45-minute drive outside town. Opened in 2000, it is more a wildlife rescue centre than a zoo, serving as a safe refuge to rare and endangered animals rescued from the clutches of poachers, traffickers and illegal wildlife traders.
The wildlife centre’s residents now include over a thousand animals plus hundreds of exotic birds and reptiles. Managed by the Ministry of Agriculture’s Forestry Department with support from WildAid and Free the Bears Fund, the zoo occupies about 1,200 hectares land out of a 2,500-hectare forest protected area of Phnom Tamao that enjoys picturesque surroundings comprising mountains and ancient temples such as Phnom Tamao Temple and Thmor Dos Temple.
Phnom Tamao Zoo is situated in Tro Pang Sap village, about 35 km southeast of Phnom Penh. It’s easily accessible from National Road No 2, and a 5‑km trail off the main road leads to the zoo.
In addition to buses, tuk tuks are available from the capital to reach here. To get a better idea about the residents of the zoo, you can hire the services of English-speaking guides.