The Miami Metrozoo is one of the best places to visit for a wildlife adventure without going on an actual African safari. This extensive 740-acre zoo in Miami houses a variety of wildlife species on 300 developed acres, and it features three miles of walkways throughout the zoo from which you can observe wildlife, plants, and trees. The zoo has a $350 million dollar plan in place for future improvements and expansion to the park.
More than 1,000 animals representing 400 species and specifically 48 endangered species make their home at Miami Metrozoo. Visitors to the zoo can expect to see orangutans, lions, tigers, Asian and African elephants, meerkats, otters, pygmy hippo, Indian rhino, chimpanzee, gorillas, hyenas, Asian bears, giraffes, Harpe eagles, and pelicans, in addition to the nearly 100 species of birds in the World of Asia aviary and more than 10,000 Italian honeybees in Dr. Wilde's World, one of the more than 80 exhibits at the zoo.
Throughout the zoo, you will also see more than 900 species of native and exotic plants, trees, and palms along with hundreds of orchids nestled in the trees. One of the best ways to see all that this outstanding zoo in Miami has to offer is by taking a tour. The Asia or Africa Safari Tram tour takes you through the zoo on a narrated tour lasting approximately one hour; the tram leaves hourly and there is a per-person fee.
Two educational tours that families at the Miami Metro Zoo might enjoy are the Behind-the-Scenes Keeper Tours and Behind-the-Scenes Evening Tours. The keeper tour is an hour-and-a-half visit that lets you come face-to-face with select wildlife in private visiting areas, while zookeepers provide interesting facts about the animals. Visitors can select a tour of birds, mammals, or a general tour. The Behind-the-Scenes Evening Tours allow visitors to see select inhabitants in their nocturnal setting during a two- to three-hour guided walking tour. Pizza is served prior to the beginning the tour. Fees apply, per person, for both tours.
Walking tours are also available, providing visitors with the option of the 30-minute Pineland walking tour through the pine rockland habitat or the self-guided two-hour audio walking tour. For the adventurous vacationer visiting the zoo in Miami, the guided Segway tour provides the whole family with the opportunity to navigate these safe, battery-operated vehicles on an African or Asian safari. Fees apply for the audio and Segway tours.
Other entertainment and activities at the Miami Metrozoo include the Children's Zoo, where the kids can pet small animals and ask questions of the zookeeper, as well as Become a Zookeeper for the day, Humpy's Camel rides, the Wildlife Show, Quetzal's World Show, Wildlife Carousel, and Meet the Zookeeper, which is held at select exhibits where zookeepers narrate while feeding the animals their favorite treats.
The Miami Metro Zoo is open year-round from 9:30 to 5:30, but keep in mind that the ticket booth closes at 4:30 pm. Children receive discounted admission, and to receive Miami Metrozoo coupons for an additional discount on regular prices, you can access the zoo's web site, place an order for tickets online, and then print out tickets to receive a discounted price. Ordering Miami Metrozoo coupons online through the zoo is quick and easy and best of all, there's no waiting in line. Discounts for military personnel, seniors 65 and over, travel agents, and AAA members are available. Identification is required when purchasing tickets using any of the discount options.
If you don't want to bring a picnic lunch, dining is available at several cafes and grills located inside the Miami Metrozoo along with concession stands and gift shop. Visitors on a Miami vacation who are interested in local animal life can also consider visiting the Miami Seaquarium, and joint passes are available for combining this attraction with the zoo. Boat tours and Everglades tours are also options, as they offer the possibility of seeing wildlife in their native habitat.