Posted in Florida 2012

19th March 2012 (Day 8): Busch Gardens

Busch GardensOff again to Tampa to visit Busch Gardens this time.  Nice journey over to the Gulf Coast and this time we didn’t need to drive through Tampa itself, so no city driving which was nice.

We visited Busch Gardens many years ago when we first went to Florida and made the mistake of going on a weekend, and it was really, really busy with local people.  Fair enough they probably get a good value annual ticket and can go in whenever they want.  But this time we planned to visit on a weekday and so went on a Monday.  It was certainly a lot quieter but there were still long queues for some of the rides (not that we were going on any) and things like Rhino Rally, which we thought Rosemary was too little for anyway.

While getting our bearings and working out where to visit first we saw the crocodiles.

Crocodiles
Crocodiles

We started off by visiting the Myombe Reserve where there are Gorillas and Chimps.

Chimps
Chimps
Watching the Gorillas
Watching the Gorillas
Gorillas
Gorillas
Gorillas
Gorillas

The grounds are really nice and the enclosures are pretty big (not as big as a jungle obviously) but give the animals lots of space to roam and hide away.

Myombe Reserve
Myombe Reserve

As it was getting towards lunchtime and we took a break and went to the Kenyan Kanteen in the Nairobi area and got some chips (sorry fries) and a funnel cake.  This is a fried dough, bit like a doughnut, but sort of swirled into the fryer so you get thin pieces all joined together.  Was really nice and Rosemary wanted it.

Want it!
Want it!
Enjoying some fries
Enjoying some fries

We then headed into the Curiosity Caverns and Animal Care Centre where there are some smaller animals and some requiring attention for whatever reason.

Eagle
Eagle
Not sure what this was?
Not sure what this was?
Lizard
Lizard
Cameleon
Cameleon
Rattle Snake
Rattle Snake

From there we walked over to the Edge of Africa.

The Edge of Africa
The Edge of Africa

There was a nice display with some lions, set up like an encampment.

Lions-Asleep as Normal
Lions-Asleep as Normal

By the lions there is a Land Rover that you can climb into and the glass for the lion’s enclosure forms the windscreen.

Land Rover
Land Rover
Watching the Lions
Watching the Lions

And there was an amazing “stand” (the term for a group) of flamingos.

Stand of Flamingos
Stand of Flamingos
Flamingo
Flamingo

And finally in this area was the tank with hippos and a multitude of fish.  Really nice to see them underwater.

Hippos
Hippos

From here we went to the Nairobi train station to get the train around the whole park and through the animal enclosures.  This was a really nice little trip  and you get to see the animals much closer up.

Zebras
Zebras
Zebra
Zebra
Zebras
Zebras with rollercoaster in the background
Giraffe
Giraffe
Wilderbeast
Wilderbeast
On the Safari Train
On the Safari Train
On the Safari Train
On the Safari Train

Getting off the train we headed further into the park and had a look at the elephants.

Elephant
Elephant
Elephants
Elephants
Elephant
Elephant

And then headed up into Timbuktu.

Timbuktu
Timbuktu
Timbuktu
Timbuktu

And from there we headed to Jungala to see the tigers.  Busch Gardens has a number of white tigers (which is not good for conservation purposes but they are pretty spectacular).

White Tigers
White Tigers
White Tiger
White Tiger

As well as the normally coloured tigers.

Tigers
Tigers

The one on the left above looks like he’s halfway between the two.

And this guy really looks like a Disney cartoon of Shere Khan.

Shere Khan
Shere Khan

There is a hatch you can stick you head up into where you can look at the tigers directly.

Tiger Observation
Tiger Observation

As well as a high level observation area where there is a floor to ceiling window.

Tiger Observation
Tiger Observation
Tiger Observation
Tiger Observation

We went to do some shopping at this point and Julia tried on some rather fetching head gear.

Deeny boppers
Deeny boppers

And Rosemary got bought a white tiger, although she was a bit too sleepy to appreciate him.

Fast asleep again
Fast asleep again

And finally as we were leaving a picture in front of the main entrance.

Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens
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