Approximately 25 minutes away from Tampa International Airport by automobile, Busch Gardens Tampa is an African-themed theme park operated by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. One of the first things park guests see after entering is a colourful flock of flamingos and this is a precursor of things to come. This park is the home of numerous forms of wildlife including zebra, giraffes, cheetahs and ostriches. It’s also the home of eight roller coasters, including the daunting dive coaster SheiKra (sister to Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Griffon), the launch coaster Cheetah Hunt and the awesome Montu, arguably one of the best inverts ever built.
Among the animal exhibits are Cheetah Run, Edge of Africa walking safari and Jungala, featuring Bengaltigers, orangutans and a zip line. The Serengeti Plain can be toured in an open air vehicle for an upcharge (as of 2013, $19.00 to $39.00.)
The rides range from intense coasters to Congo River Rapids to a sky ride. For kids there’s a Sesame Street Safari of Fun and the Serengeti Railway among other attractions. Unlike Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Busch Gardens Tampa actually has a wooden coaster. Gwazi used to be a duelling coaster with Lion and Tiger sides but the Tiger side was closed, so now only the Lion side operates.
There are numerous dining options and an all-day dining deal is available for $32.99. Tickets are somewhat pricey at $89.00 although as of September 2013 the park was offering admission plus all-day dining for that price. At this time weekday admission tickets were available for $50.00. The park also offers entertainment in the form of shows.
Busch Gardens Tampa is an exceptionally beautiful and well-landscaped theme park. 5 out of 5 stars. . For more information about Busch Gardens Tampa, visit seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-tampa