There are many enjoyable issues to do in Florida and no scarcity of animal encounters both. In actual fact, there are whole theme parks devoted to animals and ocean life. However in case you are in search of one thing particular to make your trip unforgettable for the animal lover in your loved ones, listed below are a number of distinctive animal experiences in Florida the place you’ll be able to rise up shut and private to unique animals.
You might also wish to try a few of these accredited drive-through zoos and safaris throughout the USA.
Distinctive Animal Experiences in Florida
Notice: I used to be a visitor of Go to Florida and obtained complimentary admission to many points of interest as a part of a press journey to introduce writers to a few of what Florida has to supply households. All opinions are my very own.
Feed lemurs on the Safari Wilderness Ranch
The Safari Wilderness Ranch is about on 260 acres amidst pristine watershed in Lakeland, Florida, about 45 minutes exterior of Orlando. Neither a ranch or zoo, the Safari Wilderness Ranch has a whole lot of animals, primarily hoof inventory, together with scimitar-horned oryx, Defassa waterbuck, eland, Purple Lechwe, zebras, fainting goats, ostriches, llamas, camels and extra.
There are a lot of methods to view the animals, together with on horse or camel again, ATV, or kayak, however the usual safari makes use of a lined open-air car that seats as much as 20 folks. All through the safari the ranch’s educated guides reel off innumerable details concerning the animals you encounter.
Whereas it’s enjoyable to look at the animals roaming and frolicking of their expansive, pure habitat, the particular moments come when the bus stops and you’ll be able to get shut up with the animals. All guests are given a cup of pellets to feed sure animals. And the animals know you might be coming and the llamas, water buffalo and deer stroll proper as much as get their share.
These shut encounters are so enjoyable, and a bit slimy, however the really particular moments include the add-on experiences like a hoop tail lemur feeding. Small teams are introduced into the lemur enclosure and given grapes to interrupt aside and feed to the lemurs.
We have been instructed to not contact the lemurs, however they’d no hesitation in touching us. They greedily grabbed our fingers and pulled them shut, rapidly snatching no matter grapes have been resting there. The infants, not fairly up on their desk manners, have been wanting to lick up each sticky drop. You simply can’t beat it.
Safari Wilderness Ranch now additionally affords safari glamping in 10 fantastically appointed safari tents on the property. For in a single day friends, continental breakfast is included and the ranch also can manage sundowner safaris, fowl watching safaris, and mountain bike excursions.
Safari Wilderness Ranch is situated at 10850 Moore Rd. Lakeland, FL 33809.
Trek above the animals at Animal Kingdom
When you’ve got been to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ve absolutely gone on their Kilimanjaro Safari journey to look at the animals roam of their animal habitats. Now, Animal Kingdom can be open at night time so you may get a completely completely different nighttime safari expertise.
Nevertheless, in case you actually wish to do one thing completely different, join a Wild Africa Trek. This three-hour, privately-guided, VIP expedition travels above the animals within the Safi River Valley on a shaky rope bridge (don’t fear, you might be hooked into a security harness.) Additionally, you will take a personal safari car throughout the savanna, getting unique perception into the animals and park operations.
Wild Africa Trek is situated in Animal Kingdom. Costs differ primarily based on season and requires a separate admission ticket to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.
Meet penguins at SeaWorld Orlando
Penguins are one in every of my favourite animals (I admit that I sleep with a stuffed penguin) and whereas I hope to make it to Antarctica at some point, I welcome alternatives to see penguins earlier than that day comes. One of many shut encounters supplied by SeaWorld is a Penguin Up-Shut Tour.
We had an opportunity to go behind the scenes at Antarctica: Emperor of the Penguin at SeaWorld Orlando for a forty five minute tour to study all concerning the penguins housed there together with how they breed, what they eat and the way they dwell. After seeing the place the keepers work, we stepped into the backdoor of the exhibit to fulfill the Rock Hopper, Chinstrap, Gentoo, King, and Magellanic penguins residing there.
After having an opportunity to fulfill a penguin chick (their fluff is so mushy!!), an grownup Gentoo penguin came to visit to say whats up. They greet you with a bow and a hiss. After first I assumed it was going to chunk our toes however it’s simply the penguin’s manner of claiming whats up.
SeaWorld is situated at 7007 Sea World Dr, Orlando, FL 32821.
Go behind the scenes at SEALIFE Aquarium
I’ve been to a few SEALIFE Aquariums now…one in Orlando and the opposite in Kansas Metropolis…and they’re all pretty comparable. Nevertheless, this time round we received to do one in every of their VIP experiences and go behind the scenes to find out how their 5,000 animals are cared for, together with the ocean turtles.
This 25-minute, behind the scenes tour confirmed us how the water is handled, the science behind the upkeep of the tanks, the place meals is ready, and even had an opportunity to see the enormous tanks from above. Really, we mixed this tour with the opposite iDrive 360 points of interest and had a behind the scenes tour at Madame Tussauds wax museum and a glass of champagne as we rode the Orlando Eye.
SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium is situated at 8449 Worldwide Drive, Orlando, FL 32819. The behind the scenes tour is $5.00 and requires a regular aquarium admission, which is $20 for an grownup and $15 for a kid.
Kayak by Brevard Zoo
I used to be so impressed by the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne on Florida’s Area Coast. As a more moderen zoo and an accredited member of the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums, the animal habitats have been lush and spacious, the walkways have been incessantly shaded boardwalks, and so they even supplied a splash space for the kiddos to chill off.
The Brevard Zoo affords a couple of distinctive animal experiences. You’ll be able to feed giraffes and Lorikeets, or have shut up encounters with rhinos. However one factor that I by no means noticed earlier than was kayaking by the zoo. We took a brief paddle on a artifical river that cuts by the zoo, floating previous the giraffes with nothing however pure limitations to separate us from these lovely animals.
Brevard Zoo is situated at 8225 North Wickham Street, Melbourne, Florida 32940.
Watch manatees with Island Boat Strains
Island Boat Strains affords guided eco-tours by the Thousand Islands of Cocoa Seaside on 27-passenger pontoon boats. These islands have shaped a maze of canals by the pure mangrove islands the place dolphins, manatees, and flocks of birds like to hang around.
On our tour we noticed many momma and child manatees, together with loads of dolphins too. In actual fact, after we received again to our slip, a momma and tiny child have been hanging on the market and we needed to await them to mosey alongside earlier than we may park the boat.
The corporate additionally affords sundown sailings, rocket launch boat cruises on the Banana River, and particular bioluminescence excursions.
Island Boat Strains is situated at Sundown Waterfront Grill & Bar, 500 West Cocoa Seaside Causeway (520), Cocoa Seaside FL, 32931.
Feed giraffes at Lion Nation Safari
Lion Nation Safari affords one of many solely drive-through safaris in Florida. Situated close to Palm Seaside, you get fairly near over 900 animals, together with massive herds of water buck, orucks, and rhinos in addition to two lion prides, chimps, and giraffes on this 4-5 mile drive. There’s additionally an amusement park and water splash space.
The most effective time to go might be between 11:30-12:00, when they’re feeding the animals, however you might be welcome to drive by as many occasions as you desire to, simply allot 1-1.5 hours for every journey. Lion Nation Safari affords distinctive experiences like VIP driving and strolling excursions, giraffe feeding, and even the prospect to look at a giraffe paint an image that you would be able to take house.
Lion Nation Safari Street is situated at 2003 Lion Nation Safari Street, Loxahatchee, FL 33470.
Be a Coach for a Day at Gatorland
Gatorland is a well-liked theme park and wildlife protect situated close to Orlando, Florida. Established in 1949, it spans over 110 acres of land and is house to over 2,000 alligators and crocodiles, in addition to a variety of different animals similar to snakes, turtles, birds, and extra.
One of many principal points of interest at Gatorland is the chance to see these reptiles up shut and private by strolling alongside a raised boardwalk that runs by a big swamp space often called the “Alligator Breeding Marsh.” The park additionally has a number of reveals all through the day, together with the Gator Jumparoo Present, the place guests can watch as alligators bounce out of the water to grab meals from trainers’ fingers. Different reveals embody the Up-Shut Encounters Present and the Gator Wrestlin’ Present.
For these in search of a extra immersive expertise, Gatorland additionally affords a number of VIP experiences. One such expertise is the Coach-for-a-Day program, the place guests can spend the day working with and studying concerning the park’s reptiles alongside an expert coach. One other common VIP expertise is the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line, which takes guests on an exhilarating journey over the park’s alligator-filled swamp.
Gatorland is situated at 14501 S. Orange Blossom Path Orlando, Florida 32837
Experience an Airboat & Pet a Sloth
There are a lot of locations to take airboat excursions in Florida, together with in southwest Florida and close to Orlando. One of the crucial common spots in Central Florida is Wild Florida. Situated in Kenansville, Florida, the park spans over 85 acres of land and is house to a wide range of animals native to Florida, together with alligators, panthers, deer, and varied fowl species.
Along with the airboat excursions and animal displays, the park additionally affords a drive-thru safari expertise the place you’ll be able to see a wide range of unique animals from the consolation of your personal car. There’s additionally a petting zoo space the place guests can work together with a few of the park’s smaller animals, similar to goats and llamas.
For a extra unique and immersive expertise, Wild Florida affords plenty of VIP experiences. These embody a Sloth Encounter expertise, the place guests can meet and work together with a sloth up shut, in addition to a VIP animal encounter the place guests can rise up shut and private with varied animals similar to alligators, snakes, and extra.
Wild Florida is situated at 3301 Lake Cypress Rd, Kenansville, FL 34739
ZIpline Over Gators at ZooTampa at Lowry Park
ZooTampa at Lowry Park spans over 63 acres and is house to over 1,300 animals from all over the world, together with elephants, tigers, giraffes, and extra.
The park has plenty of animal displays, together with the Asian Gardens, the place guests can see tigers, clouded leopards, and different animals native to Asia. There’s additionally the Primate World exhibit, which options a wide range of primates from all over the world, together with chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas.
Along with the animal displays, ZooTampa affords a wide range of different points of interest and actions. There’s a water play space for youths, a carousel, and a zipper line that takes guests over the alligator exhibit. There are additionally a number of VIP experiences obtainable together with a behind-the-scenes tour of the park, a giraffe feeding expertise, and a penguin encounter the place guests can rise up shut and private with these lovable birds.
ZooTampa is situated at 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, FL 33604
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