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Overnight Boutique Wildlife Encounter in Canberra

All-inclusive African-style lodge!

Jamala Wildlife Lodge is the ultimate overnight safari at the National Zoo and Aquarium and Canberra’s first all inclusive, luxury lodge experience. You will meet many of the most dangerous and endangered species on earth and learn how you can help their survival.

1 night
  • hotelAccommodation
  • new_releasesBonus experiences
  • free_breakfastDaily breakfast
  • restaurantSelected meals
  • local_barSelected drinks
  • local_activitySelected entry fees

About this holiday

Slide 1 of 3
Welcome to Jamala Wildlife Lodge, Canberra

Jamala Wildlife Lodge is nestled in the grounds of the National Zoo & Aquarium in Canberra. It offers very different accommodation facilities and is amongst one of the most unique animal lodges in the world. You can stay in the Lodge, Jamala's signature accommodation, which has its own shark tank. Therefore the lodge is call uShaka and is a grand lodge straight out of Africa and only guests staying in the lodge have use of the infinity swimming pool, spa and tropical gardens.

Your stay at the Jamala lodge is an experience that you will never forget. All prices are for two guests and includes afternoon and morning tours, 5 star accommodation, gourmet meals and fine wines. Dining is in the tropical Rainforest Cave where you may be joined by magnificent white lions and hyenas.

uShaka Lodge is abeautiful 7 room lodge with a stunning lounge and dining area, pool, spa and tropical gardens, all of which are reserved for the fortunate few who stay in uShaka Lodge*. This is the owners’ former residence and has varying room sizes and designs.

Your adventure starts in the living area, with a magnificent shark tank extending from one end to the other and with two of the coolest Colobus monkeys watching you from the other side! From the minute you walk in the door you will be transported to deepest Africa – every part of uShaka is decorated in a truly African lodge theme and features fine carvings, artworks and artefacts from throughout Africa. Dining is in the tropical Rainforest Cave where you may be joined by magnificent white lions and hyenas.

The indoor and outdoor entertaining areas are only metres from the edge of Lake Burley Griffin and have magnificent views across the lake to Black Mountain. uShaka is the Zulu word for shark, but also refers to Shaka Zulu who was one of the most influential monarchs of the Zulu kingdom and a stay here combines the magnificence of Africa and the wonders of the ocean.


  • 1 night stay in the Wild Encounter Room
  • Meet a Cheetah encounter for two (T&Cs apply)
  • Pre-dinner drinks and canapes
  • 5-course gourmet African inspired dinner with drinks
  • Breakfast
  • Afternoon tea if check in arrival is by 1:30pm
  • 2 safari tours at the zoo


Slide 1 of 3
Welcome to your Wildlife Encounter Room at Jamala Wildlife Lodge

Wildlife Encounter Room - This room is a short stroll from the main lounge, down a flight of stairs with views through mature pine trees towards the Molonglo River. The room also has a private terrace and its split level design features a lounge area that can comfortably accommodate 2 children.  Additional bedding utilises a double pull out sofa bed.

As there are no wild animals outside your room, we take you into the zoo in the morning to visit one of our cheetahs, where you have a special hands-on meeting with the fastest animal on earth!* Go into their enclosure to meet this unrestrained big cat! (If you are concerned about meeting the cheetah, we can organise an alternative encounter – please advise us when booking.)

*Encounter is for 2 people. Minimum age for the Cheetah Encounter is 15 years. Please note that because animal’s natures and reactions can change, no guarantee can be given that we can introduce you to the cheetah. In the rare event that this meeting cannot happen, we will take you to one or more personal meetings with other animals after discussing options with you.

Travel dates


Valid for travel until 31 March 2021

Advertised rate is based on travel 23 Feb 2021

  • Wildlife Encounter Room - from $598 per person twin share

Call our Brisbane based travel team on 1300 414 198 to book your preferred date.




1:30pm – 2:15pm - Early Arrivals

Meet in uShaka Lodge and chat with your fellow travellers and become acquainted with Colin & Colby (our Black & White Colobus Monkeys), and Homer & Lady (our Queensland Groper & Leopard Shark).

2:20pm - Afternoon Safari

You can enjoy this tour into the National Zoo & Aquarium with one of our talented guides and meet some of our beautiful animals. You also will learn some amazing facts about different species from around the world. Your guide will deliver you to your room around 4:00pm.

2.20pm – 3.30pm - Later Arrivals

If it’s more convenient to arrive a bit later, check in any time between 2:20pm and 3:30pm and you can either explore the zoo or relax in uShaka Lodge until your guide escorts you to your rooms at 3:45pm.

4:00pm – 6:00pm - At Your Leisure

Your guide will deliver you to your luxurious home away from home to relax or alternatively, you may wish to further explore the zoo.

6:15pm - Head for the Lodge

For guests staying in our Treehouses and Bungalows we invite you to walk through the zoo towards uShaka Lodge for pre-dinner drinks.

6:30pm – Pre-Dinner Drinks

This evening, venture through the Aquarium Rainforest and into ‘The Cave’ to enjoy pre-dinner drinks with your fellow guests and some exotic residents.

7:15 pm - Dinner

Indulge in our Chef’s African influenced “dinner party” menu. If Jamala Lodge is at capacity our uShaka guests will dine upstairs.

9:00pm – 10:00pm – Transfer

As the evening draws to a close we will have a bus service to deliver you back to your suite to enjoy the sounds of the zoo at night.


7:00am – 8:00am – Breakfast

Please place your luggage on the inside of the front door to your room if you would like it collected while on tour and advise the breakfast team.

8:00am - Morning Safari

You will head back out into the Zoo and experience the sights and sounds as our residents awaken and prepare for the day.

From 9:45am until 11:00am – Farewell

Once you are ready to depart, please return your key to our Reception staff in uShaka Lodge. Guests in the bungalows or treehouses should make their way back to uShaka Lodge and go to the upper level of the aquarium and enter through the door directly to the left of the shark tank. If you’re not in a hurry to reach your next destination, feel free to check out and enjoy the zoo for the remainder of the day. Remember to check if any spots are available for further animal encounters before you leave.



Check-in/Check-out times:

On arrival at the Zoo, guests can park in the main car park and make their way through the landscaped gardens to the Jamala Wildlife Lodge entrance (or be dropped off at reception). Guests can check in to Jamala Wildlife Lodge any time between 1.30pm and 3.30pm (later check in is available, but please check when booking). Those checking in between 1.30pm and 2.00pm can go on the optional Afternoon Tour. Those checking in after 2.00pm can explore the zoo or relax in uShaka Lodge until 3.45pm, when they will be taken to their rooms.

Please note that due to animal encounters, access to your room is not available before this time. Check out time is 11:00am and unfortunately the property can’t provide late check outs as they have limited time to get rooms ready for incoming guests. Guests are welcome to explore the zoo, or you may also wish to undertake one of the zoo’s exciting animal encounters.

Age Restrictions:

Due to the safety regulations and the nature of our tours we can only accommodate children 6 years and over on our standard nights. The Lodge operates “Family nights” which are held once a month, when children 4 years and older are allowed to stay (please ask us for details of family dates).


Rates include dinner, dinner beverages and breakfast. Dress for dining is neat casual.

At dinner you will join other guests at large tables for a fun African Style dinner party. This involves canapes and a beautiful four course set menu. The main course has alternate plates (eg usually one guest will be served a red meat dish and the one sitting next to them either fish or chicken). All dishes are prepared by a fantastic team of chefs. If you have any dietary requirements, please advise us at time of booking. Dinner will be served in the Rainforest Cave, or with maximum occupancy, guests staying in uShaka Lodge will dine upstairs alongside the sharks. Breakfast is available from 7:00am to 8:00am prior to the morning tour.

Dress Code:

Dress for Dinner is smart casual. Other than that, life at the Zoo is all about the outdoors, so feel free to dress accordingly. Comfortable walking shoes, a camera and a keen sense of adventure are a must! During the hotter months. we also recommend you bring a hat and sunscreen and in the cooler months it’s a good idea to pack warm clothing and a rain jacket.

What are the two tours?

Two optional tours are offered while you are staying with us. The first afternoon tour is to the main part of the zoo. It's a walk and talk tour where the guides do a few feedings. The morning tour is mainly to the new part of the zoo, where you get to meet some our new animals like the rhinos!

What if I have mobility issues?

The Lodge has two disabled accessible rooms – the beautiful Lemur Rooms have both a wheelchair accessible bathroom and a normal bathroom. In uShaka Lodge, the Reef Room and Wild Encounter Room 1 are not disabled accessible rooms, but there are no stairs involved. One Jungle Bungalow also has no stairs, all others and all Giraffe Treehouses have 6 – 8 stairs. If you have trouble walking long distances, mobility scooters are available for the tours, but you will need to book these (please advise at time of booking) and a bus pick up for dinner is also offered.

Can I feed the animals?

The beautiful animals are on strict diets to ensure they have a long and healthy life, so under no circumstances can you feed or touch our animals without a guide’s permission.

Couldn't find an answer to your question? Ask us!

Fine print


Travel at 60 and supplier booking conditions apply. Package is Land Only. Prices are correct as at 24 Sep 2020 & are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices are per person based on twin share. Package price is based on travel dates specified. Valid for new bookings only. All product is subject to availability and may be withdrawn or varied without notice.