Sunday, July 28, 2013

Safari Africa Columbus Zoo Update 7-28-13

New Safari Africa building behind the bear.
Safari Africa will be the Columbus Zoo’s most ambitious and expansive region to date and will evoke the real world experience of an African safari. 43 acres will be transformed into a thrilling savanna where zebras and giraffes will roam and animal expert Jack Hanna will be your “virtual” tour guide. The area will feature a village plaza where African culture comes to life through crafts, performances, and food. Up-close animal encounters the whole family can enjoy will include giraffe feeding, cheetah runs, and camel rides.

The Columbus Zoo recently released a few videos on YouTube with some additional information about Safari Africa. At the beginning of July the very first animals who will be roaming the savannah arrived at the zoo. The mixed species habitat will include ten Thompson gazelles, including these two little ones:

Here's an older video from May but it shows some behind the scenes construction on the new African lion exhibit (anyone have any idea what is going to go in the old lion enclosure? The clouded leopards maybe?):

And finally we get a glimpse of the savannah itself and an interactive termite mound that will reside there.

I visited the zoo today and noticed several new buildings in Safari Africa are now visible from a couple of different vantage points. The biggest building can be seen to your left before entering the Polar Frontier region and appears to be the new dining facility.
New Safari Africa building, probably for dining.

The grand opening of Safari Africa at the Columbus Zoo is in summer 2014 - less than a year away!