Who knew that tigers like to swim? That orangutans like to paint? Or that there really is a theme park area just for tweeners?
Welcome to Jungala, the new 4-plus acre area at Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa.
The animal exhibits here -- tigers, orangutans, flying foxes -- are all from Asia. And you can get up-close and personal without risking limbs, thanks to some wonderfully inventive see-through barriers and viewing areas that put you right inside the exhibits. (Of course, you can still hear the roller coaster roaring overhead.)
There's a giant rope jungle gym with totaly enclosed byways so kids can't fall through (or get pushed by a sibling), a "zip-line'' ride just for kids and a "surge'' ride that's only 35 feet tall, which is just about right for kids who aren't ready for the 'coaster (and the adults who aren't ready for them either!)
Of all the new attractions I saw this year on my annual dash through the theme parks, Jungala is the one that most captured my imagination. If there's another place you can watch tigers swim just behind a glass, or play tug-of-war with a tiger, I haven't seen it yet.
Photos by JANE WOOLDRIDGE / THE MIAMI HERALD
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Posted by DARCOS CRUZ at 12:13 PM