Located in Tampa, Florida, Busch Gardens is a hybrid theme park, being an amazing zoo, but also having exhilarating rides and entertainment. Known for its 70 acres of Serengeti-like animal habitats, Busch Gardens is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, making it the perfect place to both educate and entertain your entire family.
If you’re going to Busch Gardens, you’re going to see animals. This is the primary draw of the park. And it delivers. It is divided into several sections, each with a theme and different habitats for the animals housed there. For example, Jambo Junction (jambo means “hello” in Swahili) and Cheetah Run house some of Africa’s big cats, elephants, and meerkats. The Edge of Africa is a walking tour you can experience on your own. As you walk through the safari setting, you can see lemurs, hippos, crocodiles, and, of course, lions.
The biggest draw of Busch Gardens, however, is the Serengeti Plain. Here you drive through an African setting in a typical safari truck. There is also a train option, if you want a smoother ride. On the drive you’ll get to visit typical villages found in Africa. There’s also a section, the Great Ape Domain, where you can see and learn about gorillas and chimps. Despite not being African animals, you can also see kangaroos, tigers, and koalas.
Once you’ve seen all of your favorite animals, you can begin riding all the amazing roller coasters at Busch Gardens! One of the longest roller coasters in Florida, the Cheetah Hunt, is located here. Not only is it long, it’s extremely high, dropping 130 feet at one point. Other rides include Wild Surge, Scorpion, and Montu, the fastest and largest coaster in the South. There’s even an old wooden coaster that has two tracks. Gwazi speeds and whips through its huge course, coming very close to the other track and train.
Busch Gardens is also home to Adventure Island. If roller coasters aren’t your thing, or you need a few minutes to cool off, this water park is for you! Spread out over 30 acres, Adventure Island is a great place to grab a bite to eat and splash around for a few hours. Be sure to check out the Aruba Tuba ride and the Caribbean Corkscrew. Though you might want to eat after you ride.
Once you’ve seen all the animals and ridden all the rides, you can check out some of the many shows that Busch Gardens offers. For younger kids, A is for Africa is perfect! In this show, Elmo and his friends from Sesame Street sing and perform as they learn about animals. Iceploration is an ice skating event that explores several different aspects of the parks habitats. This show follows a grandfather and his grandson as they travel through Africa, Australia, South America, and the Arctic.
While Busch Gardens is a great place to be entertained for the day, its true value is that there are people there every day teaching about how to conserve wildlife. They also take in orphaned or injured animals and host several studies on their grounds. Busch Gardens truly is the perfect place to take the family for a day.
For more information, please visit the Busch Gardens website.