1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Welcome both old friends and new to the all new Walt Disney Secrets :-D Please take a moment to say hi

AM I EVER COMING HOME! 9TH JANUARY ….BUSCH GARDENS

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Isafari, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. Isafari
    Offline

    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    13,144
    Likes Received:
    93
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    North East England
    Today we are off to Busch Gardens in Tampa. It was a lovely day weather wise and the car journey took us about 70 minutes. We were at BG earlier in the week too when we did the Jungala Tour and today, we are doing the Saving A Species Tour. This park is a lot bigger than when we visited last year with the addition of Jungala. :yes:
    We arrived just before the park officially opened and for some reason, we were directed over to the preferred parking area. :thumbsup:

    Opening ceremony....

    [​IMG]

    It was very quiet at the park today and nearly every exhibit we went to, we were the only ones there….even in the café where we had lunch.

    Today, we decided to head left once in the park. There is a huge area now for the flamingos and they are a beautiful sight when there are a group of them together. Another addition was a lake for the swans and peacocks. There had been some food put out for them in a three sided container but they couldn’t get to it for masses of seagulls! One plucky white peacock had enough. He got hold of about six gulls one by one with his beak, gripping their backs, even their heads and throwing them to one side. After that, the rest of the gulls flew off.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We wandered past Land of the Dragons which is a play area for kids complete with a three storey tree house. We did hear that this area was to be replaced late 2009 with a Sesame Street themed area.

    Lory Landing, another new addition was next for us. You can enter and feed the lorikeets under a huge netted birdcage. We picked up a tiny cup of nectar for $3 on our way in and were immediately covered in birds! They were far from shy, looking in our bags, climbing onto our heads…even chewing DH’s ear! :point: There were hornbills and pheasants in here too.

    Continuing our way around, we came across Shikra. You now actually walk underneath the ride and, if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, you get absolutely soaked!

    [​IMG]

    It was time for Critter Castaway and, seeing as we’d never actually seen this before, I was looking forward to it. A bit cheesy but still entertaining in my opinion. Cats, dogs, birds, wallabies, llamas, pigs etc, all acting on cue. After the show, some of the actors came down to the seated area with some of the animals so you can get a closer look. I was so pleased when I had my photos taken with a baby wallaby and was asked if I wanted to feed her after the photo. Erm….well…if you insist….go on then!!! :beg::applaudit: Awe, she was so cute and drank all of her bottle for me before passing wind! :unsure:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I couldn’t wait to get over to Jungala to see my tigers. This area is very impressive compared to what BG had for these guys a few years back on Claw Island. First off, we came across the orang-utans. We were lucky to get to them just as they were about to be fed so they came real close. They now have a hammock to lie in which you can actually walk above looking down on them through a clear floor. There were actually some guys there discussing the flooring as it was getting rather scratched from folks feet and they were going into different options to solve the problem.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tiger time! No matter where the tigers are, you can see them from a viewing point. They would often come right up to the windowed area and look at you. We were lucky again and hit on for one of the tiger talk sessions which go ahead about 6 times a day. During these sessions, small pieces of meat were thrown down for the tigers to catch. I couldn’t wait to go and stick my head up the bubble though. DH stayed over on the opposite side of this section of the enclosure by the window so that he could take a photo of me with my head in the bubble and the tigers lying on top. It was actually quite claustrophobic. You step up a ladder until your head and shoulders are in a small space (the bubble) and you can see the tigers very close up. I waved over to DH to make sure he knew it was me :wave:….apparently he had already taken photos of two other women. :lol: Remembering that there was a line waiting for their turn, I reluctantly came back down.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We then headed over to Rhino Ralley where we were surprised to see it was a walk on. DH was chosen to sit up front with the driver. So, he generally had the Mickey taken out of him the whole ride.

    We went to see the elephants and rhino next before heading further into to Edge of Africa. The lemurs were very close to the windows and even the hippos were all in the water. It never ceases to amaze me how graceful they can be underwater. We watched in amazement as a black cormorant is fishing for his dinner in the hippo pool. He does eventually catch a fish, takes it and bangs it onto a branch a few times and then drops it again! He re-enters the water and is successful in keeping hold of it this time before throwing it in the air, catching it in an open bill and swallowing it whole.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We got chatting to a keeper and learnt that Max, my favourite animal at BG had died a few months back. He was the older male lion who appeared in the papers a few years ago after a member of staff got too close and ended up having her arm amputated below the elbow after poking her hand through the bars behind the scenes.
    I was quite sad at this news but knew it was coming soon as he was getting old and, last time I videoed him, he was getting rather fragile.
    The new group of lions who we saw last visit had grown considerably over the year. I was in the truck when a female jumped in the back and came right up as far as she could get and looked straight though me as though I wasn’t there. It was a great opportunity for me to look into her eyes though.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Time for the Saving A Species Tour. We were so lucky to be the only two visitors to have booked the tour today so we had all of the attention of the animals to ourselves….Heaven! We headed out with the tour guide on the back of an open truck with our very own photographer. First off, we pulled over to feed the giraffes some lettuce. I asked if Dolly was still around as I remembered her from a previous and different tour last year. Sure enough, just as I mentioned her name, she was at the truck, her head billowing over mine with her blue tongue licking at my hands. Don’t these animals have the most amazing deep eyes? Well, there seemed to be giraffe heads everywhere and we were able to stroke them and give them lettuce for quite some time.

    [​IMG]

    We then head over and feed some Bongo before getting off the truck to go and visit some black rhino.

    [​IMG]

    We walk down into a ditch right in front of the rhino so it is actually above us and feed him some carrots and corn on the cob. He is absolutely caked in mud right now but he is still adorable to me.

    [​IMG]

    Back to the truck we head through lots of zebra and just pull over to watch the wildlife on the Serengeti for a while. After a few minutes, a family of white rhino come into view and start heading our way. There is a mother, father and baby boy. They were so funny and the baby was so boisterous. He thinks he is fantastic as he will run at another animal such as a zebra and he feels so cool when the other animal runs away from him at speed. What he doesn’t realise is that his Mom and Dad are on either side of him just a couple of feet behind him as they won’t let him out of their sight and it is them that the other animals are running away from.

    [​IMG]

    We had a great tour and bought the photo CD for $39 as we were the only two people on it, we got a great deal and lots of photos. There can be around 15 people on this tour. While waiting for the photos being put onto CD, we are told that BG actually swaps animals with AK.

    Heading over to see the Clydesdales, we watch as one of them is having a wash and then a back scratch.

    Gorillas are next and apparently we just miss a Mom feeding her baby right in front of the window. We hang around for a while and watch as another baby sneaks up behind a male who is busy eating. The baby bangs the gorilla on the back and then runs and hides behind a tree stump. The male jumped so badly his food went in the air….he wasn’t impressed at all.

    Before we know it, it is getting dark and we are heading back to the car.
    On the journey back to the villa, I ring our Tink for a chat. I follow that by phoning Johnie who was engaged. I then ring Dorothy….who is on the phone to Johnie! I do however manage to speak to Dorothy for quite sometime….in fact right until we reach DTD where we are going for a meal. It was great chatting to you guys.

    Random BG photos....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Disneybumble
    Offline

    Disneybumble The Secret is in the Sauce.

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,110
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Thank you Diane,your photos as always are breath taking. The up close detail is just so clear.
     
  3. foreverducky
    Offline

    foreverducky Addicted to Mickey

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,327
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    United States
    Siobhan, that was the exact word I was going to use: breathtaking!
     
  4. Isafari
    Offline

    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    13,144
    Likes Received:
    93
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    North East England
    Thanks for taking the time to read the trippie guys...appreciate it :yes:
     
  5. arkvilla
    Offline

    arkvilla Addicted to Mickey

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,305
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Romford, Essex
    It was so detailed and great to read and see photos

    Sandra
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  6. Isafari
    Offline

    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Messages:
    13,144
    Likes Received:
    93
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    North East England
    Thanks Sandra :)
     

Share This Page