on February 5, 2009
The Myombe Reserve was one of my absolute favorite parts of Busch Gardens Tampa. Home of the chimpanzees and gorillas, it's an exotic and magical walk-through attraction where you can come face-to-face with these gorgeous creatures in a unique and inspiring atmosphere. Have you ever dreamed of trekking through the jungles of Africa, mist billowing through the trees and humidity filling the air, as gorgeous gorillas frolicked through their natural habitat? I know I have, but a trip to Africa is still a long way off for me, so the Myombe Reserve was as close as I was going to get. And I wasn't disappointed.The Myombe Reserve is located near the front entrance of the park, in it's own uniquely themed land. There's nothing else in the Myombe section of the park outside of the reserve, making your experience seem even more realistic. No, it's not as authentic as an actual trek through the jungles of Africa, but it really is close. Lush, exotic forestry surrounds the trails as smoke billows around every corner and the sound of chirping birds and far-off waterfalls fills the air. The chimpanzees are playful and an absolute blast to watch, while the gorillas are large and majestic, although usually resting quietly. The highlight of our trip through the reserve was when one of the Gorilla's laid right up against the glass of their habitat, giving us a face-to-face view of an animal most people only dream of getting so close to.The Myombe Reserve is not to be missed. It's a truly majestic and exotic part of Busch Gardens, and no trip to the park is complete without it. Since it's a walk-through attraction you don't have to worry about crowds, and the flowing layout keeps crowds low anyway. Plan to spend at least a half-hour in the area in order to watch the animals and take in all the special touches and theming. The chimpanzees and gorillas are most active early in the day and the reserve closes at sunset (usually around 6:00) so be sure to visit as early as possible. It's a great experience!
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