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Busch Gardens Tampa – Orientation

Your very first step on any visit to Busch Gardens Africa is to pause near the main entrance and pick up a copy of the park map along with a separate sheet of paper listing the times of the various shows and the schedule of Meet the Keepers sessions printed on the back.

As you will see by perusing the map, Busch Gardens is divided into ten "themed areas" most of them named after a country or region of Africa although a growing number are named after the attractions they house. As the park has evolved, Busch has rejiggered the geography a bit, which can result in some odd juxtapositions (great apes in Morocco?). Each area is relatively compact but the entire park is quite large (335 acres), making covering the entire place a bit of a challenge.

In describing the ten areas, I will start with Morocco, the first area you encounter as you enter the park, and proceed clockwise around the park, ending with Egypt. I am not suggesting that you tour Busch Gardens in this order (although it would be the most direct route if you were to walk the entire park). Use the descriptions that follow, along with the suggestions given above, to pick and choose the attractions that best suit your tastes and that you can comfortably fit into the time available. Remember that you can use the Skyride between Stanleyville and Cheetah Hunt to cut down on the walking.

In addition to the attractions listed below, Busch Gardens features a number of strolling groups of entertainers designed to put a bit of bounce back in your step as you stroll the grounds. The Jungala Characters are a coterie of fanciful jungle creatures in psychedelic colors who cavort on stilts or leap about on "PowerSkips," ingenious footgear that really puts pep in the step. Some of the creatures are actually elaborate puppets that ingeniously incorporate the puppeteer who operates them.The Men of Note offer up the kind of close harmony, a capella doo-wop music more associated with the streets of Philadelphia than the souks of Morocco. Still, they can often be found entertaining departing guests there or holding forth at the Marrakesh Theater.

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