Heart of Africa to reopen

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

The wait to revisit Heart of Africa is almost over! The highly anticipated return of the newest and largest region at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is scheduled for this Saturday, May 2.

After a rejuvenating winter, the savanna is ready for the return of more than 130 animals that represent about 20 species – including lions, giraffes, cheetahs, vervet monkeys, zebras, camels, wildebeest, kudus, gazelles and ostriches. (The cranes and storks will be making their migration to the savanna later this spring, as the temperatures increase.)

And this year, special "Sunrise on the Savanna" breakfast experiences are available for guests seeking a unique view of the African savanna before the park opens to the public. These two-hour tours begin at 7:15 a.m. and are offered Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations are required.

Here also is a daily schedule of special experiences at Heart of Africa:

Giraffe feedings*: 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. (and 5 p.m. May 23-Sept. 7)

Lion keeper talk: 10 a.m.

Cheetah runs: 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Vervet keeper talk: 4 p.m.

Camel rides*: All day

*Requires a small fee.

Heart of Africa will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until May 23, at which date the Zoo's hours extend to 7 p.m.

For more information, go to www.ColumbusZoo.org.