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What to Expect when Visiting ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

ZooTampa at Lowry Park is 56 acres of naturalistic animal exhibits in Tampa, Florida. It is a great place to connect with wildlife, learn more about them, and learn how to protect them. There is so much to do at ZooTampa that you will want to spend the entire day - let's explore!

Address: 1101 W. Sligh Ave. Tampa, FL 33604
Hours: 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, 7 Days A Week - Check their website for more details on extended hour days and holiday closures
Parking: FREE!

What are the 6 Sections?

ZooTampa at Lowry Park visual map with the different sections color coded and on the right side there is a listing of all the attractions, animals, and food places you can visit
ZooTampa is split up with Manatee Circle in the front (yellow), Wallaroo to the right of that (burnt orange), Africa at the top (beige), Florida on the left (blue), with Asia (fuchsia), and Primates (green) towards the middle. Side note: going in as first-timers, we did not expect it to be so big and immersive - we were impressed! Now, let's go over what to expect at each section of the zoo.

Manatee Circle

Manatee Statute with a baby and momma manatee at ZooTampa at Lowry Park
As soon as you enter ZooTampa, you are in Manatee Circle. Currently, the first thing you will see ahead of you is a display for Bugtopia, I will go over what this is later on, and behind that, you will find the Manatee Statute and Fountains. It serves as a refreshing splash pad with plenty of bench seating surrounding it. Towards the left, you will find Macaw's Landing Cafe, an indoor quick-service restaurant perfect for escaping the Florida sun. They offer burgers, salads, drinks, ice cream, and milkshakes - to name a few! Moreover, in the center towards the right is the Main Aviary which allows you to get close to many different species of birds as you enter their habitat! Towards the back of Manatee Circle, you will find the Carousel.

Wallaroo

DLT! with Flora the Florida Panther in Wallaroo at ZooTampa at Lowry Park.
Using the above map, to the right of the carousel is Wallaroo! It is Tampa’s own land down under, a.k.a. an Australian-themed kid area at ZooTampa. The main splash pad of the park is found here along with a playground and various attractions. Some of these attractions include Boomer's Flyin' Bananas and Tasmanian Tiger Coaster. You can even meet Flora the Florida Panther. The kiddos can easily spend their entire day in this section with its colorful and inviting elements - you can even see a koala here! Do not worry, parents if anyone gets hungry, you will be next to Boomer's Cafe, which offers grab-and-go chicken tenders, personal pizza, corn dogs, and more. Another distinct feature of this section is the Wendy's Frosty trailer, where you can purchase Frosty Sundaes!

Africa

ZooTampa at Lowry Park's Habari Preserve Decoration Vehicle for their Expedition Wild Africa Safari
The top of the zoo is Africa, home to large, rare, and impressive animals! You can board the Expedition Wild Africa Safari to visit these animals in their habitats through the Habari Preserve. However, you can also meet a majority of the animals by walking the Africa Savanna. We saw rhinos, okapis, giraffes, elephants, a giant tortoise, and many others! This section also has Savanna Oasis, where you can buy pizzas by the slice or the whole pie, and Chakula Canteen, where you can build your own nachos or grab some BBQ. The unique part about Africa is that they have a Beer & Wine Garden called the Coppertail Watering Hole!

Florida

As you exit Africa and pass the African Penguins, go right, and you will enter the Florida section of the zoo. The first thing you will notice is Roaring Springs, a boat ride along a crystal clear spring that ends with a three-story splashdown! To the side of this ride, you will see a little play area for the kids and the entrance to the Florida Boardwalk. Along the Florida Boardwalk, you will find many animals, from skunks, flamingos, a wolf, otters, Florida Panthers, alligators, and more! The Manatee Critical Care Center is in the Florida section here you will witness how ZooTampa is working on rehabilitating these injured Manatees in hopes of releasing them back into the wild.

Asia

As you leave the Florida Boardwalk, you enter Asia. There are so many unique animals here that I have never seen before. In this section, you will see a Malayan Tiger, Siamangs, Binturongs, a Sun Bear, and a Komodo Dragon - to name a few! There is also another aviary here, but it is smaller than the Main Aviary at the entrance of the zoo.

Primates

The last main section of ZooTampa is the Primates section. A majority of the animals found in this section are endangered in the wild, making this area perfect for learning about the different primates and how to help protect them. It was one of our favorite sections, as it was entertaining to see how these primates carried themselves as individuals in their pack. There was a lot of monkeying around in this section which led to a lot of laughs among the visitors. You will also find Rango Snacks in this section which features Starbucks.

Bugtopia

Between the end of the Florida Boardwalk and Asia, you will find the Bugtopia nook of the zoo. This exhibit is temporary and ends on May 28, 2023! Within this exhibit, you will meet 13 larger-than-life animatronic bugs. A few bugs you will meet are Black Ant, Emperor Scorpion, Say’s Firefly, and Mexican Redknee Tarantula. Some animatronics move, make noise, or spit, so be on the lookout. For sure, though, you will get the opportunity to learn more about each species.
Bugtopia display found at the entrance of ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Unforgettable Animal Interactions

Throughout the day, you can join the animal care team for special chats and animal experiences. Each Wildlife Connection features a different animal, so you can enjoy each one throughout the day and learn something new every time! While at the zoo, check out the schedule listing on the back of your map.
Back of the ZooTampa at Lowry Park map showing the schedule for Unforgettable Animal Connections and ways to make your day more wild upgrades along with reasons to become a member of the zoo.

Upgrade your Day

Another way to enjoy your trip to ZooTampa is by upgrading your day with a signature animal encounter. You can get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Manatee Critical Care Center, get up close and feed the rhinos, have some "Koala-ty" time with the Koalas, and more. These experiences can be reserved online or at Guest Services while at the zoo.

CityPASS

This blog post is the third of our Tampa Bay CityPASS series. This ticket allowed us to visit ZooTampa at Lowry Park, The Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and two other attraction visits of your choice (from a listing). The listing comprises the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, The Tropics Boat Tours Dolphin or Sunset Cruise, the Museum of Science & Industry, and the Glazer Children's Museum. Adult ticket prices are $139, and Children (3-9) ticket prices are $124.

Screenshot of the Tampa Bay CityPASS details

In purchasing the CityPASS, we saved money on these 5 visits, skipped the ticket counter, and increased our flexibility as we did not have to reserve a spot for most attractions. Everywhere we go, even when we are local, we search for discounted ticket packages like CityPASS to get the greatest bang for our buck and visit the most well-known attractions in that area!
Disclaimer: As an affiliate of CityPASS, I may receive monetary compensation if you purchase through the links in this blog post. However, I want to clarify that this will not come at an extra cost to you. Your use of the links will help support my blog and allow me to continue creating high-quality content for you. Thank you for your support!
Want to purchase the Tampa Bay CityPASS to visit these amazing attractions and save over 50% at 5 Must-See Attractions? Click the below image to do so!

Check out our monthly tip blog post regarding CityPASS (and Go City) here for more details on what they are, what's the difference between them, where you can use them, and how to use them!

Such a Zoo-tastic Day!

There is plenty to see and do at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, and I hope this article has better prepared you for your visit. So grab your comfy shoes, a bottle of water, and your CityPASS ticket (using our affiliate link 😉), and get ready to explore the 56 acres of naturalistic animal exhibits!

Have you been to ZooTampa at Lowry Park? If so, what was your favorite part? Let us know in the comments below. If you haven't gone when you do, share your experience on social media and tag us on our Dale, Let's Travel! pages. Speaking of social media... don't forget to follow us! 😊


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* This article is not sponsored by ZooTampa at Lowry Park or any of the other businesses mentioned above or their affiliates. However, as previously mentioned, Dale, Let's Travel! LLC is an affiliate of CityPASS and may receive monetary compensation if you purchase tickets using the above affiliate link. *
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