Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



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grapes with the apes


Gorilla: Spring 2011

Great apes and other primates can be seen both indoors and outdoors in several locations at the Zoo. The Great Ape House is home to western lowland gorillas and orangutans.

The house is about mid-way on Olmsted Walk, between the Small Mammal House and the Reptile Discovery Center.

Great Ape House


The Great Ape House is home to six western lowland gorillas, who may be outside in the yard, inside the House, or in a private space in the House.

Meet the Gorillas | Gorilla Facts


Six orangutans live at the Zoo and have access to the Great Ape House and Think Tank by using the aboveground O Line.

Meet the Orangs | Orangutan Facts

Best times to visit the Great Ape House

Depending on the time and the weather, the great apes may be inside or outside. They are usually inside the house after 2 p.m. From April to October, animals may be outside until 5 p.m.

If you prefer seeing the primates outdoors, the morning and mid-afternoon are better times. These animals tend to nap in the middle of the day. Also, there are likely to be fewer people inside the house in the early morning and late afternoon.

Elsewhere at the Zoo

What primates you'll find where.


  • Orabussu titi monkey

Gibbon Ridge

  • white-cheeked gibbon
  • siamang

Lemur Island

  • ring-tailed lemur
  • red-fronted lemur

Small Mammal House

  • golden lion tamarin
  • golden-headed lion tamarin
  • Geoffroy's marmoset
  • howler monkey
  • pale-headed saki monkey
  • red-ruffed lemur

Think Tank

  • Orangutan

Meet some of the great apes, lesser apes, and other primates that live at the Zoo.