Guide to Zoo Atlanta: 15+ Things to Know
There’s a lot happening at Zoo Atlanta – The African Savanna is open! Learn about life on the savanna with new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs and meerkats.
Don’t miss these family-friendly activities at Zoo Atlanta:
Zoo Atlanta’s African Savanna is one of the wildest places on earth! Larger, more dynamic living spaces are designed with the animals in mind. It gives kids a chance to be awed and inspired to learn about elephants – the largest land animal on the planet – and many other creatures who share their habitat, such as zebras, giraffes, ostriches and warthogs. The environment also focuses on the connection between Atlanta and the wild savannas of Africa, and what we can do to make a difference for wildlife and wild places.
The African Savanna, triple the size of the zoo’s former elephant area, is now home to female elephants Kelly and Tara, Zoo Atlanta residents since 1986, and new arrival Msholo, a male from San Diego Zoo Safari Park. A wide walkway curves past a pond and two waterfalls; there are multiple spots to enjoy different views. Misting fans and benches make for a comfortable stroll. At the new indoor Zambezi Elephant Center, guests can get a behind-the-scenes look at elephant care and learn from interactive signs. A large wire elephant sculpture outside the center has fun and educational lift-up signs. Along with elephants, the area is also home to giraffes, zebras, ostriches, warthogs and meerkats.
Must-See Animals at Zoo Atlanta
Giant Pandas: Ya Lun and Xi Lun, the only twin pandas in the United States, will be cavorting in their play area.
Giraffes, Zebras and Ostriches: The African Savanna features a mixed-species area, where guests can get a ground-level view of the earth’s tallest living mammals.
Western Lowland Gorillas: The Zoo is home to the largest population in North America, family groups in five natural habitats.
African Elephants Kelly and Tara are always up to something. Kelly loves to throw mud on herself and scrape bark off the logs in her habitat for a snack, and she occasionally paints.
Reptiles: The Zoo’s Scaly Slimy Spectacular has kids oohing and aahing at snakes, lizards, turtles, alligators and other creatures that slither and snap.
Play Areas at Zoo Atlanta
End a day at the Zoo playing on one of the two playgrounds or splash pad, and make sure to catch a ride on the carousel or train.
Treetop Trail: This adventure is situated atop the playground near the main gate, and it is shaded underneath trees so kids really feel like they are in the canopy.
KidZone and Naked Mole Rat Playgrounds: Kids play, climb, slide and burn off energy in KIDZone and explore tunnels like a naked mole rat in the other.
Splash Fountain: Playing in the spray is a perfect way to cool off on a hot day. Fountain presented by Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority.
Petting Zoo: It’s fun to reach out and touch goats, sheep and other critters.
Carousel: The Endangered Species Carousel has 38 carved wooden animals, but no horses.
Zoo Train: This replica of an 1863 locomotive is one of the Zoo’s most popular attractions.
Canopy Climber: Whee! Climb up through a canopy and slide down.
Rock Wall: Kids can test strength and stamina and climb to new heights – safely.
(The Zoo Train, Rock Wall, Carousel, Canopy Climber and Treetop Trail are available for an additional fee.)
Sherry V. Crawley contributed to this story.