Family Activities:

Serengeti Plain


Serengeti Plain

10001 McKinley Dr., , Tampa, FL

Spread across 65 acres, this little slice of Africa in Florida is as close as many folks will ever get to a safari experience. And with the chance to see wild animals such as giraffes, zebras and hippos from extremely close vantage points, it’s a pretty exciting experience whether you’re four or 40. The Serengeti Express Railway is a great place to start, and the full ride around the park takes about 40 minutes (when there’s only one train running, that’s how long you”ll have to wait till the next one comes around, too). But the best stretch of the train ride for seeing wildlife is the short, twelve-minute chug between the Nairobi and Congo stations.

Bench-like seating fits five or six people across, and kids under 12 years old are asked to take interior seats. Try to sit on the left side of the train, which puts you closest to the wildlife and allows the best views for photography across the plains (without capturing heads of fellow passengers in your shots). Strollers have to be folded up before you board the ride, so bring your most convenient people pusher. Other ways to view the animals on the Serengeti Plain are via safari tours, the SkyRide (a cable car tour that crosses above the park from the Crown Colony area to Congo) or by strolling along wooden boardwalks that wind through the environments.