Adventures of Gus and Kim: ZooTampa at Lowry Park - Tampa, Florida

If you're planning a trip to the Tampa area anytime soon, you don't want to miss ZooTampa at Lowry Park! Gus and I have wanted to see ZooTampa for a couple of years now, so when we were in Florida a couple of months ago, we were finally able to make it happen. And can I just say that being able to wear shorts to visit a zoo in February is the best?!

entrance of Zoo Tampa

Let me start by telling you about our favorite animals - the Bornean orangutans!!

mother and baby orangutan

We have a couple at the Cincinnati Zoo, but ZooTampa has a whole group (which is called a congress - something I didn't know). The male is named Goyang, but Gus and I refer to him as "Big Daddy". He is fabulous!

large male orangutan

We just happened to arrive as a zookeeper was tossing food to the orangutans so a professional photographer could get photos. The orangutans were very engaged and it was just so much fun to watch them.

large male orangutan sitting on some logs

close-up of large male orangutan

Side note: Did any of you watch The Strain on FX (2014-2017)? If you did, do you remember those creepy kids that walked like spiders and looked a bit like monkeys?? I got a shot of one of the orangutan babies that gave me chills because it looks so much like one of these creatures! I think it's the expression that makes it so creepy! Those eyes!

baby orangutan holding onto a rope in front of a waterfall

Next up - koala!! We haven't had one at our zoo for quite some time, so I was excited to see one again. They look so cute and cuddly. Minus the huge pointy nails.

koala sitting in a tree

And stingrays!! If you've read my post about the Jacksonville Zoo, then you know Gus loves to feed the stingrays. At first, he said he wasn't going to feed them because he had done it before - but then he ended up feeding them twice!

stingray taking food out of a man's hand

We found the zoo easy to navigate. We were able to see everything without doing a ton of backtracking. The manatee exhibit was closed, so visitors were unable to walk through and had to turn around to get out of that loop - not a big deal. Something else we appreciated was that there were plenty of opportunities to find shade, sit down, and grab some refreshments.

Here are some of the other animals we saw - enjoy!


colobus monkey
Colobus monkey

coopertail monkeys
Red-tailed guenon (Coopertail monkey)

ring-tailed lemur
Ring-tailed lemur

bald eagle
Bald eagle

Caribbean flamingo
Caribbean flamingo

scarlet macaw
Scarlet macaw



Aldabra tortoise
Aldabra tortoise

red wolf
Red wolf

They took several photos of us when we arrived, asking us to pose in different ways. This was a little different than what we've experienced at other zoos - just one or two standard poses and you're done. We don't usually buy photos but we decided to stop and look at them simply because we were curious about the poses. We were so amused that Gus bought all of them on a flash drive!

I'll only post one, but the others showed us surrounded by a few animals, watching an elephant spraying water, looking scared as a tiger was gearing up for attack, me holding the baby pygmy hippo, and Gus holding a macaw on his arm. Yep, they were cheesy and we loved them!! FYI: It was $60 for a flash drive with all of the photos, print release, an 8X10 of our choice, and 9 professional animal photos with the ZooTampa logo (there are other packages as well).

man and woman "running" from a rhino

Other things to do at ZooTampa:

  • Roaring Springs Splashdown
  • Rides in Wallaroo Station
  • Jungle Carousel
  • Expedition Africa

ZooTampa is located in an urban area, like a lot of zoos. We didn't have any problems finding it, and parking was easy and free. It is on the list of reciprocal zoos for Cincinnati, so we were able to get half-price admission with our Cincinnati Zoo membership. Definitely on the to-do list for Tampa!

infographic of Zoo Tampa's entrance and a mother and baby orangutan

ZooTampa at Lowry Park
1101 W. Sligh Ave.
Tampa, FL  33604

(813) 935-8552

Hours: Open daily 9:30am - 5:00pm (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day)
The Zoo has extended hours for Seasonal Events and closing hours vary for Creatures of the Night and Christmas in the Wild.

Admission: $36.95
($3 off if you purchase in advance online - or pay full price for one day and you get free admission the rest of the year)

Do you have a favorite zoo? Let me know in the comments or connect with me on Instagram or Snapchat - I'd love to get some ideas of where to go next!


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