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Central Florida boasts a range of the world’s best theme parks. But it’s also home to a selection of the best animal attractions and wildlife destinations. So if you're coming to Orlando for the parks, try to make some time to stay for the critters! Here are several of the best places for doing that:
Lion County Safari
Lion County Safari is Florida's sole drive-through safari is located in Loxahatchee between Orlando and Miami near the east coast. There are over 900 animals to see; as you’d anticipate from the name, lions are ample, but also zebras, giraffes and chimpanzees.
The game wildlife section of the park is navigated by car and is divided into seven distinct areas representing completely different regions of the world. The ‘Gorongosa Reserve’ is home to the park’s African lions and the Hwange National Park harbors white rhinoceros and zebra, among others. There are also all kinds of colorful birds to see together with: parrots, macaws, flamingos and hornbills, plus an extensive collection of reptiles.
Everglades National Park
For a literal walk on the wild side that lets you experience Florida’s untamed nature at its best, the Everglades National Park within the deep south of the state is the place to go. The sprawling Everglades is spread across 1.5 million acres. It's the largest subtropical wilderness in the USA and is famed for its inhabitants of endangered species for example; American crocodiles, alligators, manatees and Florida panthers. The region is also residence to dolphins, butterflies and a plethora of wading birds corresponding to flamingos.
It’s doable to kayak and canoe by means of various parts of the Everglades to take in mangrove tunnels, lakes, prairies and ponds. The best time to visit is between December and April when the Everglades are at their driest and temperatures are cooler than in summer. The best technique to access the Everglades from the UK is via Miami which lies to the east of the park.
Manatee Springs State Park
As its name suggests, this state park is the perfect place to get accustomed with the mild mannered manatee (sea cow). The area across the spring itself is a popular area for snorkellers and scuba divers to paddle with the endangered marine animals. This is notably good in winter when West Indian manatees swim upriver and congregate in the direction of the supply of the spring.
The state park is located in northeast Florida, about two hours from Orlando. Camping within the park is possible, as is cycling, hiking via the redwood forests. It’s doable to canoe and boat in a number of sections of the water.
Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Garden
Positioned close to Sandford on Lake Monroe, around 25 minutes north of Orlando, Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Garden combines fascinating sights from the animal and botanical worlds. It's home to over 500 animals and over 200 different species. A few of the most fascinating animals include bald eagles, king vultures, clouded leopards, Indian rhinos and poison dart frogs. A new giraffe exhibit was added in February 2014 alongside a significant rhino enclosure.
Other than the animal attractions, there’s also an Aerial Adventure Course together with zip lines, suspended disks and rope bridges between the tree tops. There are also common events throughout the week and on weekends that guests can become involved with. Storytime at the Zoo is an everyday favourite which supplies pre-school children the prospect to meet zoo animals.
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