The African Savanna is the first stage of A Wilder Vision and will open to the public in the spring of 2018. Sitting on 10 acres of existing Zoo land, guests will be able to stroll through the African Savanna and see giraffes, zebras, ostriches and more in one exhibit. This habitat will be surrounded by shaded walkways and aviaries with a variety of bird species for Zoo visitors to discover. The exhibit will also include an elevated deck for giraffe feeding, restaurants and shaded viewing areas, private event space and much more. Here’s a peek of what the African Savanna experience will be.
A trip through the African Savanna will give guests multiple panoramic views to watch several species interacting and sharing an exhibit. Zebras, two African antelope species (lesser kudu and springbok), reticulated giraffes and a variety of large African birds will share this open space modeled after the spacious African grasslands. The Giraffe Encounter will allow guests to stand eye-to-eye with a herd of giraffes and feed these gentle giants directly from the raised observation deck, making for an unforgettable experience.
Mimicking the natural African environment, many of these exotic animals will roam freely together in the main savanna that will include multiple watering holes, shaded areas and a dry stream bed. This exhibit will be completely surrounded by observation decks and walkways.
Varying shades of pink will accent the Savanna’s watering holes as flocks of greater and lesser flamingos will socialize in the water. Additional aviaries will sit amidst the African Savanna flora. Hippos will drift, float and swim through a lazy river among thousands of small, multi-colored cichlids, as the generated current creates a true, constant flow, akin to the rivers and streams that run through Africa. Guests can enjoy watching the Zoo’s hippos from ground level as well as from down below. The 70-foot-long underwater viewing area will allow for an up-close-and-personal experience with the animals while they are fully submerged, as hippos spend most of their time underwater. Advanced filtration technology promises crystal-clear viewing beneath the surface, enhancing the viewer’s experience.
Southern black rhinos roam the perimeters of the savanna. Guests can observe these magnificent animals from multiple viewing areas surrounding the habitats. Expanded exhibit space for this endangered species will allow the Zoo to continue its renowned southern black rhino breeding and conservation program. Just across the brush, a mob of meerkats will also call the savanna home.
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Additional African Savanna Perks
Zoo visitors can enjoy a quick lunch or bite while soaking up the sights and sounds of the African Savanna at one of two African-themed snack stands that border the exhibit. These restaurants will be placed around the exhibit and will have plenty of shaded seating areas for a snack with a view.
Corporate events, group picnics and weddings will soon take on a life of their own. A new, climate-controlled private event space can hold more than 1,000 people and will overlook the main exhibit space. Guests can socialize and sip cocktails while taking in panoramic views of the African Savanna. The addition of a watering hole and special lighting will allow for unique after-dark viewing of the African Savanna animals.
Complete with educational programming and correlating activities such as keeper chats, the African Savanna will also share messages of conservation and environmental stewardship with guests, students and families throughout the Metroplex.