Take a boat; ride a camel at the Kansas City Zoo


Amazing how a few months and a warmer temperature can change an experience at the zoo.

Lisa and I first visited the Kansas City Zoo last February during a short trip to KC. We stopped at the zoo again this past weekend while in town for a baseball game. We enjoyed the zoo the first time we were there, but, as expected, a trip during the summer allowed us more opportunities for activities.

One such adventure was a boat ride among the Mombasa Crystal on an “African” lake. The lake is located in the Africa section of the zoo.

Boat Tour at Kansas City Zoo

The boat ride was interesting and enjoyable. We were able to see animals, such as giraffes and gazelles from a different angle. Looking at the animals on the walking paths is sometimes difficult, as they may be farther back in the zone. In this case, that helped us by giving us a waterside view of giraffes eating from trees, etc. Giraffe at Kansas City Zoo

Once, we saw an African crowned crane roaming among geese. As our guide pointed out, if geese and ducks find a nice area to live with food opportunities, they’ll settle down. Thus, we had a unique view of African crane and North American geese.

African Crowned Cranes at KC Zoo

Another benefit of the warm weather was Lisa taking a camel ride. The KC Zoo has it priced right. It costs $5 for a short camel ride. If you want a “professional” picture, it’s another $5. The photographer is another zookeeper with a digital camera. Lisa enjoyed the camel ride.

Camel ride at Kansas City Zoo

The skyfari was running, as well. We’ve rode ours in Omaha a few times, so there was no overwhelming need to ride it during this visit.

The zoo’s carousel was available for kids to ride.

While the additional activities were nice, one downside to warmer temps is that the animals tend to sleep more during the day. In February, almost every animal was active – such as lions and cheetahs. This time, most animals were laying in the shade or trying to stay cool.

Two hippos were submerged to their nostrils in the water.

Hippos at Kansas City Zoo

The elephants were a little more active than they were six months ago. Though, they, too, were trying to stay cool, spraying dirt on themselves.

Elephants at Kansas City Zoo

An additional thing we liked about the KZ zoo over ours in Omaha were the animal shows.

The zoo is home to two California sea lions. They were not raised with other sea lions, so the zoo keepers work with them to develop sea lion behavior. As a result of this training, a few public demonstrations are held.

California Sea Lions at KC Zoo

The sea lions demonstrate their flipper movements, diving abilities, as well as jumping skills. They jumped through hula hoops. A neat thing to know is that they are not forced to do these actions. If they are not in the mood to jump through the hoop, the zoo keeper wouldn’t make them.

We watched a bird demonstration inside the main auditorium. Birds ranging from owls to eagles are brought out and perform winged demonstrations for visitors. We did learn that the pigeon is the most decorated animal in American military history. It was used to carry messages between units and headquarters during World Wars I and II.

Birds at Kansas City Zoo

Overall, as we’ve learned over the last year in visiting at least five zoos in different areas, each one brings a unique experience for visitors. I’ve mentioned before that I used to be a zoo snob, believing that none could offer the experiences I have had at the Omaha zoo. But, to be honest, while the Henry Doorly Zoo does remain one of the top two or three zoos in the United States or even the world, other zoos do bring something to the table that we do not have in Omaha.

So, as you travel, be open to the experiences other places can bring. I know I am looking forward to checking out other zoos as we travel.

[bctt tweet=”Great animal experiences at @KansasCityZoo including sea lion show, camel rides & more #KC ” username=”walkingtourists”]

Chimpanzee at KC zoo