The zoo was established in 1963, just six years after Malaysian independence, and soon became one of the country's biggest tourist attractions.
The large site houses a whole range of creatures -- nearly 500 species in all -- from bees to Asian elephants. While some of the creatures naturally call Malaysia home, such as the Malayan tigers and orang utans, others like the wallabies and giraffes hail from much further afield. It's open daily from 09:00 to 17:00, but is best avoided at weekends and public holidays.
Zoo Negara is not cheap (35 ringgit non-Malaysians, with Butterfly Park and Insect Zoo; 30 ringgit without), but it does offer decent value for money. As an added bonus, it's easy to reach by public transport. Metrobus number 16 goes there from Central Market, while RapidKL runs services from Wangsa Maju LRT station (U34), and from Titiwangsa Monorail station (U23).