Jungala Debuts at Busch Gardens Africa

The much ballyhooed new area at Busch Gardens Africa (or as everyone still insists on calling it, Busch Gardens Tampa) has opened.

Jungala replaces a good chunk of the Congo area around the old Claw island tiger habitat.

The Tampa theme park known for both its roller coasters and African animal exhibits is opening Jungala this weekend, offering a couple of new, small rides and focusing attention on new, close-encounter showcases for its Bengal tigers, orangutans and a handful of other animals.

The 4-acre area, centered on an African-village-themed courtyard of shops, restaurants and exhibits, offered a preview Thursday but officially opens to the public Saturday. The new area replaces several of Busch Gardens’ old Congo-area attractions, including the Python roller coaster and the tigers’ original habitat, Claw Island, which closed in fall 2006.

The rides are not quite thrill rides and not quite kiddie rides, but something in between. The stated aim is to appeal to kids too big for Land of the Dragrons and not yet ready for the mega-coasters.

Busch has posted video of the press opening. The Orlando Sentinel article, linked above, also has video.

More on Jungala, including pix, can be found here.

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