Zoo invites Oklahomans to experience Tanzania’s wildlife migration and the diverse conservation programs the Zoo supports.
For the first time in decades, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is organizing a conservation trip to Africa designed for Oklahomans to connect with wildlife and wild places in a whole new way.
In partnership with Ujuzi African Travel, the OKC Zoo has designed a 10-night deluxe tour through Tanzania, one of the top safari destinations in Africa. The trip includes tours through Tarangire National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and the spectacular Central Serengeti. Guided excursions each day will connect guests with some of Africa’s most iconic wildlife including zebra, lion, elephant, hippopotamus, giraffe, wildebeest and more. Over the 10 nights, guests will stay at five of Tanzania’s best lodges providing relaxing accommodations immersed in nature. Interested guests have the option of extending their safari with three additional nights in neighboring Rwanda for an exclusive mountain gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park.
Complementing the wildlife excursions, guests will be joined by select expert staff members from the OKC Zoo who will explain the Zoo’s conservation efforts in Africa supported with funds generated through its Round Up for Conservation initiative. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet representatives from wildlife conservation organizations based in Africa, including the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. Round Up for Conservation is a program that raises funds from visitors who donate their spare change when purchasing admission tickets, or when buying food or beverages at the OKC Zoo. By “rounding up” purchases, Zoo visitors have contributed more than $500,000 since the program began in 2011.
“The mission of the Zoo is to connect Oklahomans with the world’s vanishing wildlife and wild places,” said Dr. Dwight Lawson, executive director/CEO for the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. “By hosting this conservation trip to Africa – one of many annual trips we envision – we hope Oklahomans will see how successful conservation programs help both wildlife and people to thrive and will better understand the complex challenges wildlife face.”
The timing of this conservation trip comes 8 months prior to the opening of Expedition Africa, the Zoo’s largest new habitat expansion in its 119-year history. Set to open Spring 2023, the new 14-acre project will provide guests with more immersive wildlife experiences and larger habitats for animals native to the African continent including giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, ostrich, meerkats, African painted dog, cheetah, lemurs, honey badger and more.
The 10-day conservation trip is limited to 16 guests. Families with younger children are welcome. The OKC Zoo has partnered with Ujuzi African Travel, an organization specializing in African safaris, to organize all aspects of the trip. Full details on this trip including prices, locations, amenities and travel protocols can be viewed online at www.okczoo.org/safari.
Join the Zoo for an informational meeting on Wednesday, January 19, to meet and talk with representatives from the Zoo and its travel partner, Ujuzi African Travel, to learn more about this exciting conservation safari. The meeting will take place at the Zoo’s Conservation Education Center from 6–8 p.m. Interested persons are encouraged to attend and should park by and enter through the education center located at the east end of the Zoo’s parking lot.
Go on an African Safari with the OKC Zoo to discover wondrous wildlife like never before! The Oklahoma City Zoo is in its winter hours and open Thursdays through Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. The park is closed to the public during daytime hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. OKC ZOO SAFARI LIGHTS is open through Sunday, January 9, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. nightly. Purchase advance tickets for general admission and SAFARI LIGHTS at www.okczoo.org/tickets. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.
Stay connected with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming a ZOOfriends member. Starting at $45, memberships can be purchased at ZOOfriends.org and provide access to the OKC Zoo for an entire year plus, additional benefits and discounts. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.