A Tampa guide for animal lovers
If you love being up close to exotic animals, Tampa is the perfect place for you to drive your Tampa car rental on a journey to see endangered species from a new vantage point. Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is an inveterate favorite, and has been consistently ranked as one of the best zoos in the country; however, if you’d like to share an intimate experience with majestic creatures, you’ll want to check out some of the smaller zoos and exhibits that allow guests to see what it’s like to interact with these animals in a setting that’s a closer approximation to their natural habitat.
Big Cat Rescue
Make your dreams of seeing a pride of lions or lounging leopards a reality by taking your car rental in Tampa to the largest accredited big cat rescue in the world. Located just north of Tampa on 55 acres sprawling across the Citrus Park neighborhood, Big Cat Rescue is home to more than 100 big cats. Even during the muggy heat of Tampa summers, the cats are highly visible, and guests have the option of taking a guided tour of the property in a golf cart. Big Cat Rescue is home to 14 species of cats, many of which are endangered or now extinct in the wild.
Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center
Serengeti Night Safari at Busch Gardens
If you’re visiting Tampa between November 1 and April 15, you won’t want to miss out on driving your Tampa car rental to the Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center, where manatees congregate when the water temperature drops below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Conveniently located in nearby Apollo Beach, the Manatee Viewing Center also boasts butterfly gardens, interactive displays, a 900-foot tidal walk, and a hurricane simulator. Check the forecast during your trip, and set aside the coldest day for a journey out to this attraction since manatees are most active when it’s chilly outside.
Drive your Tampa rental car over to the Serengeti Night Safari presented by Busch Gardens, an experience created especially for adults over 21 years old. Snack on hot appetizers and grab an ice cold beer before venturing out to see animals that you might have missed during a day trip to the zoo. You’ll be rubbing shoulders with hyenas, rhinos and lions, and have the chance to delight giraffes by treating them to their favorite food, lettuce. The tour concludes with a fireside nightcap while your host regales the group with adventure tales rooted in African heritage.