Spread over an impressive area spanning hundreds of acres, this is the largest natural habitat zoo in America! On a walk ... More
North Carolina Zoo
Spread over an impressive area spanning hundreds of acres, this is the largest natural habitat zoo in America! On a walk through, you can observe the animals at home in recreations of their natural living conditions. See polar bears and baboons, zebras and sea lions; there is a plethora of wild life here. With a plan to incorporate another 900 acres, this wildlife institution will have it all. From different species of the animal kingdom to a rare plant collection, there's a ton to see. Refreshments and picnic areas, gift shops, an amphitheater and more are present onsite too. Check the website for further details.
After driving an hour and 1/2 to get to the zoo we were excited to see animals. When we there we quickly noticed how crowded it was and each exhibit had so many people around it, you couldn't even see the animals. Later to find out, there were hardly any animals at the zoo. It has a horrible set up going up and down hills and you start at one side and end up at the other. You have then either walk a 40min gravel path back to your car or wait over an hour for a bus to drive you to the other side. This is a HORRIBLE place for parents with strollers or those who are handicap. There is absolutely no room for a "normal size" stroller and if you are going down an aisle passing someone with another stroller you can not pass either other. One person has to back out and let the others go which causes a huge traffic jam. Also, there is only one "food court" so at lunch time this place is overly crowded, there are not enough seats and you have to wait atlas 45min for an overly priced slice of pizza. Overall I was no impressed with the NC Zoo.
We got up early and drove almost 2 hrs, to walk all day and not see much! There was a very big crowd and we went on a Tuesday. We were very disappointed with our experience. The animals were so far away very hard for a 15 month old to enjoy. Overall we will not be returning!
I completely agree with the person who wrote, “Did the animals escape.” Our family visits many zoos every year and this is at the bottom of our list. We were very excited to visit this zoo for spring break and drove over 6 hours to get there. At the zoo we walked over 5 miles up and down hills and saw very few animals. We even got to the zoo before the gates opened to see the animals when they are the most active. The problem was there were just not many to be seen. It was just a very expensive hike with a few animals thrown in. A big rip of was to have to pay money to go onto the giraffe platform to feed the giraffes and have to pay even if the giraffes were at the other end of the exhibit and never even came near the platform. I would have no problem paying to feed them but to have to pay the same price to stand on the platform and not do anything at all was very strange. The tram system is a disaster as well. With only three stops in the park on a road that runs beside the park, you can hardly see any exhibits from the trams. Also at the end of the day when everyone wants to get back to the opposite side of the park to get back to their vehicles the lines are simply incredible.
On a positive not the gorilla exhibit was very well done and all of the gorillas were very active. Also, my children and I really enjoyed the Dora the Explorer 4-D movie, that was well worth the price of admission.
Advice I would give, if you still want to go to this zoo is to start in the Africa side of the park and work your way to the North America side. Most people start the other way and if you get there at 9 AM you will not hit crows for a few hours. Also, at the end of the day the lines for the trams in the Africa side going to the America side were incredibly long, over an hour wait.
most animals could not be found..1 g bear,1 p bear,2 b bears. that was it..2 monkees!! 2 gorillas,, 2 lions..Big Zoo,,lots of walking only to see a Few animals..it was a wasted trip and time..NO tigers at all not even 1..2 elephants!!! I mean they had tons of space and enclosures were Large but no animals to speak of..I cannot even believe what I saw..well the lack of what I saw.. NC has tied up a ton of money into this Zoo but has very few animals to show for it..Madison Wi has a very small Zoo and dont have to walk for several hours.. But has like hundreds of more animals than this one has..Tons more animals!!!! I will never go back Nor will I recomend this Zoo to anyone..
The zoo is divided into North America and Africa. In each continent's area you will find animals native to that part of the world. There is also an aviary and reptile house. The zoo is huge so be prepared to walk a lot. However, strollers and wheelchairs have plenty of room to move. Vans and trams do run with some regularity from various points in the park. We usually visit on a weekday in the spring or fall. Summers are just too hot.
Great place for both animals and humans!
You can't go wrong visiting the NC Zoo. The animals are, for the most part, in large spacious habitats with grass below their feet instead of concrete. Newly expanded elephant and rhino exhibit gets you up close to them even as they wander their LARGE pens. Bring your walking shoes but don't worry since they do have shuttles that run from one end to the other. Better than any other zoo I've visited in the country - including the National Zoo in DC. A bit in the middle of nowhere but worth the trip. The kids will love being able to actually 'see' the animals and you won't feel sorry for the animals because they are not couped up in some small space.
Me and my grandchildren have been going to this event now for over five years.
The past couple of years we have not been able to get into the zoo until after 10am, whereas before it became a major craze we were there, parked, and inside the zoo by 905am. Now, once inside we stand in line for over an hour, the children are tired of waiting, get weary, begin crying, just to get a few pieces of candy. It is a wonderful idea, but something needs to be done about the crowd. Please come up with a better solution.
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