The World of Animals at Busch Gardens: Species and Experiences

The World of Animals at Busch Gardens

Visiting Busch Gardens but unsure about what animals to expect? This 335-acre animal theme park in Tampa, Florida isn’t just a host of thrilling rides. 

The park is also home to an array of exotic and native species that provide an immersive wildlife experience for guests.

In this article, we’ll explore the diverse inhabitants of Busch Gardens – from ring-tailed lemurs to Nile crocodiles and beyond – making your visit more prepared and exciting.

Busch Gardens Animal Exhibits Stand-Outs 

Ring-tailed Lemurs

Ring-tailed Lemurs

Hailing from the island of Madagascar, these creatures captivate visitors with their distinct black and white ringed tails and expressive faces.

Known for their social behavior, they live in large groups called troops, communicating through various sounds and signals. Guests can often glimpse them sunbathing or leaping between trees in their spacious habitat.

Their exhibit is a testament to the park’s commitment to providing authentic environments for its diverse range of species.

Red-fronted Lemurs

Red-fronted Lemurs

These energetic primates are known for their striking red fur on their foreheads, which sets them apart from other lemurs.

With their agile leaping and climbing abilities, they navigate effortlessly through the trees in their exhibit. 

Visitors can observe these playful creatures as they interact with each other, grooming and communicating through a range of vocalizations.

Common Hippopotamus

Common Hippopotamus

The Common Hippopotamus is one of the fascinating animal exhibits at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. 

These massive creatures are known for their semi-aquatic lifestyle, spending most of their time in rivers and lakes.

With their barrel-shaped bodies and large mouths full of sharp teeth, hippos are a sight to behold. At Busch Gardens, you can observe them up close and learn about their behavior and habitat.

White-faced Whistling Ducks

White-faced Whistling Ducks

White-faced Whistling Ducks are one of the fascinating animal species you can see at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. 

These ducks have a unique appearance, with their white faces and reddish-brown bodies.

They are known for their distinctive whistling calls, which they use to communicate with each other. These ducks can be found in the park’s aviary, where you can observe them swimming gracefully in the water or waddling around on land.

Cape Teal

Cape Teal

These beautiful birds are native to sub-Saharan Africa and are known for their striking plumage.

With their iridescent green feathers and bright red eyes, Cape Teals are a sight to behold. 

They can usually be found in wetland areas, such as marshes or lakeshores, where they feed on aquatic plants and small invertebrates.

African Cichlids

African Cichlids

These colorful and vibrant fish originate from the lakes of Africa, and they add a beautiful touch to the aquariums.

As you observe these unique creatures swimming gracefully through the water, you can appreciate their natural beauty and learn more about the diverse aquatic life found in different parts of the world.

Nile Crocodile

Nile crocodiles are one of the fascinating animal species you can see at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. 

These impressive reptiles are known for their large size and powerful jaws. They can grow up to 20 feet long and weigh over 1,000 pounds! 

With their scaly skin and sharp teeth, Nile crocodiles are top predators in the African waters.

Bald Eagles

Bald Eagles

These magnificent birds of prey are known for their distinctive white heads and tails, which contrast with the dark brown feathers on their bodies.

They have powerful wings that allow them to soar through the sky with grace and agility.

Visitors to Busch Gardens can observe these majestic creatures up close and learn more about their behavior, habitat, and conservation efforts.

Barn Owls

Barn Owls

These beautiful birds, known for their heart-shaped faces and silent flight, are a treat to observe.

With their keen hearing and exceptional eyesight, barn owls are skilled hunters who feed primarily on small mammals like mice and voles. 

They have adapted well to living in various habitats, including grasslands, forests, and even farmlands.

At Busch Gardens, you can get up close to these magnificent creatures and learn more about their natural behaviors and conservation efforts aimed at protecting them in the wild.

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

These large birds have a distinctive appearance with black feathers and a bald, wrinkled head.

Black Vultures play an important role in the ecosystem as scavengers, feeding on carrion and helping to clean up the environment. 

They have strong beaks designed for tearing through tough flesh, allowing them to access their food quickly.

Their wingspan can reach up to six feet, making them superb fliers who effortlessly navigate through the air currents above Busch Gardens.

Unique Features of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

335-acre animal theme park

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a massive 335-acre animal theme park that offers an exciting and immersive experience for visitors of all ages. With its vast size, the park provides ample space for a diverse range of animal habitats and exhibits.

As you explore the park, you’ll encounter stunning landscapes designed around the themes of Africa and Asia, creating an authentic atmosphere that transports you to these far-off places.

Owned and operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Busch Gardens has been captivating audiences since it first opened its doors on June 1, 1959. 

Landscaped and designed around themes of Africa and Asia

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is more than just a zoo – it’s an immersive experience that transports you to the continents of Africa and Asia. 

The entire 335-acre park is meticulously landscaped and designed to reflect the unique flora and fauna found in these regions.

From the moment you step foot inside, you’ll be surrounded by lush tropical gardens, cascading waterfalls, and authentic architectural details that make you feel like you’ve been transported halfway across the world.

Each area of Busch Gardens is carefully crafted to represent a different aspect of African or Asian culture. Whether you’re exploring the Serengeti Plains or venturing into the jungles of Borneo, every corner of this theme park will leave you awe-inspired.

Animal Experiences at Busch Gardens

Animal Experiences at Busch Gardens 1

Serengeti Express

The Serengeti Express is a train ride at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay that offers guests a relaxing way to explore the Serengeti Plain. 

It provides a great view of the majestic landscape and allows visitors to observe the herds of giraffes, zebras, and antelopes freely roaming in an African-inspired habitat. The train ride takes approximately 40 minutes.

Animal Connections

The Animal Connections experience at Busch Gardens Tampa is an opportunity for visitors to get up-close and personal with a variety of animal ambassadors. 

Guests can interact with animals such as sloths, flamingos, snakes, and aardvarks. It provides a unique chance to connect with these fascinating creatures and learn more about their habitats and behaviors.

Lory Landing

Lory Landing is an interactive aviary located at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. This domed habitat is home to brilliantly colored birds, including lorikeets, hornbills, and pheasants. 

Lory Landing allows visitors to observe these birds in a free-flight and observational environment. Guests can also feed the birds using pots of fruit fresh nectar, providing a unique and engaging experience.

Walkabout Way

Walkabout Way is a walk-through animal exhibit at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. It is an immersive experience where visitors can encounter and interact with animals from Australia. 

The exhibit features kangaroos, wallabies, emus, and other Australian wildlife. Guests have the opportunity to hand-feed kangaroos and observe these fascinating creatures up close. 

Animal Care Center

The Animal Care Center at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is a state-of-the-art facility where guests can learn about and observe the park’s animal care operations. 

Located near the Asian Elephant habitat, it provides a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to care for the park’s collection of wildlife. 

The center offers opportunities to witness various aspects of animal care, including nutrition, treatments, X-rays, and surgeries. 


Whether you’re embarking on a safari adventure, witnessing the high-flying feats of birds in flight, or engaging in hands-on interactions at the Animal Care Center, Busch Gardens takes you on a journey that fosters understanding and respect for the animal kingdom. 

With over 335 acres of animal habitats, Busch Gardens provides a unique experience for visitors of all ages.


Can I feed the animals at Busch Gardens?

Feeding the animals is not allowed for safety reasons but there are designated areas where you can purchase food to feed specific species like birds or giraffes under supervision.

Are there any endangered species at Busch Gardens?

Yes, Busch Gardens is committed to conservation efforts and houses several endangered species such as cheetahs and orangutans as part of their educational programs.

Can I get up close to the animals?

Yes, Busch Gardens offers various animal experiences that allow guests to interact with and learn about animals up close, under the guidance of trained professionals.

Are there guided safari tours at Busch Gardens?

Yes, Busch Gardens offers guided Serengeti Safari tours that take guests on a journey through the Serengeti Plain, offering the chance to see animals like giraffes and rhinos up close.

Are there Elephants at Busche Gardens?

Yes, there are elephants in Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. The park is home to a group of Asian elephants