We were pretty thrilled with the Zoo North section of the zoo but more was yet to come.
We would definitely recommend touring the Zoo North portion of the zoo first and then going to the Wilds of Africa section. This side of the zoo contains the larger animals and a monorail ride.
Of course saying that there are larger animals here, you start the tour with the cute little penguins. This area gets crowded for obvious reasons. On our visit the penguins congregated around a window viewing area where you can get face-to-face with them. You may have to wait a bit to work your way to the front of the glass.
After the penguins you come to a split. You can go to the Savanna or head to the river / jungle section. As you can see from the picture above we ventured to the Savanna first.
The elephants very active while we were there. Their water source is placed close to the viewing area. Beautiful animals.
Next to the elephants are the giraffes. Again, they were very active so you get some great views of them.
If you buy some food, they will come. There was quite a line for the feeding area and you can see why. You really can get up and personal with these beautiful animals.
After seeing the active elephants and giraffes, there was a bit of a let down viewing the resting cats. The Cheetah didn’t want anything to do with the patrons while the lions at least were pretending to be interested. Both were majestic creatures but their nature is to rest most of the day.
At the entrance to the Savanna area were these realistic elephant statues. These make for some great photo opportunities since you can’t get your picture with the real ones. These were a very popular spot for kids and their parents.
Once we left the Savanna we ventured up the hill (literally) to see the gorillas. As you can see they know where to hide out from the public. They were not as active during our visit as some of the other animals. Worth the trip to get a glimpse though.
Next on our tour was the monorail. This is well worth the extra $5.00 ticket. The ride is a nice change from walking through the zoo. There are some animals that you can only see on this ride. The only issue we had was that we were in the back of the tram while the narrator was up front. There was a bit of lag time between what they were describing and when we would see it. All-in-all it was a great experience.
During our visit in the winter the Simmons Hippo Outpost was still under construction. It has since opened and we plan on returning to see it soon.
The ibex in its natural mountainous environment.
There is an area where the antelope roam. This is one of them. One of the features of the monorail is that it does not stop. Therefore, getting pictures on the move can be tricky. You will get one chance.
Beware the crocs. We could have ventured back to this area on foot but with my wife’s wheelchair and the hippo pen construction it was quite a bit of effort. We will re-visit this area soon on a return trip.
Upon visiting the zoo we wondered why we didn’t do this sooner. It is a fantastic place to visit. Never boring and filled with at least a day’s worth of adventure. The Monorail may cost an extra $5.00 each but well worth the price.
Helpful hint: get there early!! Parking is limited and we saw a long line of cars waiting to park as we left in the mid afternoon. We would recommend using the DART transportation if it works for you. It will drop you off right across the street from the entrance. Parking is $8.00 per car.
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