The African experience is further enhanced with the completion of a new immersive loop path around the expansive savannah habitat, where guests observe Masai giraffe, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, ostrich and bongo sharing the same open range. The lions have a new, expansive and complex habitat that draws guests to the centre of Destination Africa.
Safari Lodge, with its central location and public presence, is repurposed and features an elevated outdoor viewing area and café overlooking the new lion and savannah exhibits. The main level continues to function as a year-round rental venue.
A Tropical House covering 1.5 acres is developed in the area between Beyond the Great Wall and the Karsten Re-Discovery Centre to provide energy-efficient, flexible habitat for a wide range of exotic animals and an exciting year-round tropical getaway. Guests experience the immersive habitat from ground-level trails, elevated adventure walks and bridges. Tree-top viewing stations allow observation of the free-ranging primates, birds and reptiles making their home in this living tropical ecosystem.
As a model of sustainable construction methods, the Tropical House is passively heated and cooled with fully-functioning, interactive tools to highlight how water systems can be managed with minimal impact to surrounding ecosystems. Dramatic views of the jungle habitat are available from the full-service “Tropical Café” that does double-duty as a corporate rental facility.
As global warming continues to cause environmental challenges for many species, an exhibit that is the polar opposite of Penguin Plunge is created almost next door with the addition of “Pinnipeds”. This exciting new aquatic exhibit highlights the seals of Canada’s Arctic and engages guests in learning about the conservation challenges close to home. Located between Penguin Plunge and the Discovery Trail Bridge connecting the North Shore to The Island, Pinnipeds showcases seals from Canada’s coasts and provides up-to-the-minute information about the impact of global warming on Canada’s coastal habitats. Complete with surface and underwater viewing, these charismatic animals provide year-round enjoyment and an aquatic link to the nearby Bow River.