The 290 acre/116 hectare zoo keeps its animals and visitors separated by moats, so they can be as free as possible. As well as animals at a distance, you can also get up close with some of the inhabitants at the petting zoo, see some beautiful bird life at Jungle Island, and visit Monkey Jungle, where you’ll be the one behind bars whilst the primates roam free around you.
Facts and highlights:
- There are over 3 miles of walkways.
- More than 50 species represented by 2,000 animals.
- See over 40 species considered to be on the endangered list.
- Over 1,000 species of plants, palms, and trees.
- The Eastern Orchid Society has hundreds of orchids and trees on display.
- Visit Dr. Wildes World where up to 15,000 Italian honeybees are exhibited
- Enjoy special exhibits and a dedicated children’s area.
If Central and South America aren’t on your itinerary on this trip, then get an idea of what you’re missing out on at the Amazon and Beyond exhibit. Journey through the Central Village Plaza, the gateway to the jungle, then come across the misty Cloud Forest where you can hear Howler Monkeys in the treetops, see beautiful hummingbirds, snakes, and perhaps even the illusive Jaguar. As you move deeper into the forest, you come upon Amazonia, with its flooded forests and river, rich in birdlife and animals. The smell of vanilla, cocoa, and coffee fill the air, and just out of reach an anaconda, the world’s largest snake, electric eels, and the Orinoco Crocodile keep their beady eyes on visitors, whilst eagles soar overhead in the free flight enclosure. Finally, you reach the Pantal and the Atlantic Forest, where rare species of toad and frog, anteaters, and giant otters, are some of the animals and reptiles you'll come across.
Moving on from America to Asia, the American Bankers Family Aviary is where you can see real live dinosaurs, well, their descendants anyway. Learn how the tiny Mandarin Duck is related to the T-Rex, see skeletons, dinosaur footprints, and in the Observation Centre, see how aquatic birds swim and dive to catch their food. The aviary is the largest in the western hemisphere and home to over 70 species, including over 300 species of exotic and endangered Asian birds.
If you’re travelling with the family, an extremely popular part of the zoo is the Children’s Zoo. This is where the kids can meet strange and not so strange looking animals for some excellent photo opportunities. The Wacky Barn is where they can comb a sheep, watch the keepers train the horses, and even feed the animals. Probably one of the most popular exhibits is the Meerkat exhibit. Each day at 1230 dinner is served, and the family sit down to a tasty meal of grubs and crickets. As you would expect there are lots more rides, exhibitions and learning opportunities, as well as places to eat.
The park is open 365 days a year between 9:30am and 5:30pm, the perfect place to visit if you’re travelling with the family on a motorhome rental or campervan hire holiday in Miami.