Previously, we discussed some of the plans for the first phase of the African Grasslands expansion project at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska, but there are still more exciting components of this project to come. In addition to the two massive mixed-species savannah exhibits that feature giraffes and elephants, Phase 1 will also include a collection of small “kopje” exhibits for klipspringers, rock hyraxes, meerkats, and white-throated monitor lizards, as well as a petting area featuring African pygmy goats.
Phase 2 of the expansion is separated from phase 1 by a large lagoon, and it will feature exhibit spaces for lions, cheetahs, bongo, sable antelopes, and spur-thighed tortoises. Guests can travel to the exhibits of Phase 2 on the Skyfari, and the central plaza of the Phase 2 expansion will feature a variety of tools used in wildlife management, such as a helicopter, a safari vehicle, and animal shipping creates. The Phase 2 project area is located at a higher elevation than Phase 1, so guests can expect to enjoy sweeping panoramic views of the African savannah grasslands below.
The cheetah exhibit will feature heated rocks for the cats, and both the bongo exhibit and the sable antelope exhibit will include training demonstration areas. The lion habitat will contain heated rocks for the lions to rest on, and the viewing gallery will allow guests to sit on the same rocks as the lions, with only a glass panel separating them. Another special feature of this display will be a lion training demonstration with seating for guests.
For zoo visitors interested in getting a more intimate safari experience, the Phase 2 offerings will include an overnight safari tent camp. The camp will include rainproof tents, a campfire area, and hikes in the morning and evening led by zoo staff.
Click here to see an interactive map of the entire expansion project, including both Phases 1 and 2. Phase 2 of the African Grasslands expansion is scheduled to open on Memorial Day Weekend in 2016.