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Photo TR: Busch Gardens Africa


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I have kind of a weird relationship with Busch Gardens Tampa. Certainly, it’s a pretty park. And it has lots of individual attractions that I really like. So I always go back to it optimistically, wanting (and maybe even expecting) to love it. Yet I inevitably walk away with the impression that the park, as a whole, is just okay.

 

Maybe it’s the fact that, outside of SheiKra, I’m just not knocked out by the park’s coaster lineup. Or maybe it’s that I always end up encountering some kind of seriously weird and/or bad employees/operational policies there. I don't know. All I know is that, for me, it can't hold a Yankee Candle to its sister park, Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

 

Having said that, this visit was probably one of the most enjoyable I’ve had there. Possibly because I purposely focused on the things I already knew I liked, and didn’t worry too much about hitting every coaster.

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A train full of Montu riders wave goodbye with their sock-feet, bringing this trip report to a close. Thanks for reading, and drive safe.

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Montu Rules The Sand!

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I do like Montu, but not as much as the similarly laid out Top Gun/Afterburn at Carowinds.

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But the big attraction in Egypt is this thing.

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And it exits into the coolest looking gift shop ever.

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Tut's Tomb is a walk-though attraction. It's minor, but nice enough.

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And now off to the land of Egypt.

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The Crown Colony House is a full service restaurant with a view of the savannah. (And one of the few things BGT has over its sister park up north.)

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The jeep in the background is an upcharge type deal. I've never done it, but it looks interesting.

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More 'Edge of Africa' goodness.

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"Holy Hell, was that a lion?!"

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Some yummy humans.

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Presented in Super Hippo Vision.

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Edge of Africa is a large walk-through animal exhibit, and might very well be my favorite thing at BGT, outside of SheiKra.

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Hooray, we made it!

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Yeah, you can see the track. It's still really amazing, though, to see this jeep ride become a boat ride.

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I like Rhino Rally way better than Kilimanjaro--but only if the river section is working properly.

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Pardon me, a Rhino has interrupted my thought.

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Obviously, it is a bit like Kilimanjaro Safari's at DAK.

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Doesn't this look like a promotional photo from the 70's? :OP

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Rhino Rally is (arguably) the park's signature non-coaster attraction.

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"I AM YOUR LIZARD KING!" - "Hey, uh, watcha doin' there, Ralph?"

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There's something really disturbing to me about this setting.

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Timbuktu is kind of like BGT's "county fair" section. :OP

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How many rides can you see in this photo? (And does the Sky Ride cable count? :OP)

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I never did get all the Kumba love. I mean, it's okay. Kinda rough for a B&M, though.

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Uh-oh, the kid in yellow has spotted me.

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Congo River now has monkies in its queue. I'm pretty sure that's new, as well.

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Congo River Rapids, with Kumba peeking out from the bushes.

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I like this photo more than I like Kumba.

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Jungala offers several neat ways to view tigers, including an air conditioned option.

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More topiary. I like it.

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The semi-enclosed frog hopper.

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We didn't climb around much, as we were all wearing sandles. But it looked fun.

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Too easy.

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Jungala is part kiddy land, part animal exhibit, and actually pretty cool.

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Just a bit splashy.

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This is not going to end well. :OP

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And...going down.

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Going up. That's Jungala between us and Kumba.

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It's way better than we're making it look here. :OP

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The Tanganyika Tidal Wave used to be a slow Jungle Cruise-esque boat ride, apparently.

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Just some of the offerings at the Zambia Smokehouse.

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And I love my camera. :O)

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I still love the way SheiKra interacts with the area it's in.

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In all its "better than Griffon" glory.

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I'm not sure that the new "floorless" aspect really adds much. However, the seats are now stadium-style, which is nice.

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SheiKra's giant queue building.

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The best coaster in Florida, so far as I'm concerned.

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Pink chickens on stilts. (Yeah, I know that's a lame joke. I stole it from a Rhino Rally driver.)

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The Garden Cafe (formerly, the Hospitality House).

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Gwazi is almost as difficult to photograph as it is to ride. :OP

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We're ready. (And, um, dorky.)

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Only running one side (of course). I'm not even sure which one it was.

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The lion topiary out front is new (to me).

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Great pics I love Busch Gardens Tampa. Glad to see you had a great time. I will agree that operation wise Williamsburg rules the two but I disagree about the coasters. I love sheikra as you do to, but I think that Kumba and Montu create the best 1,2,3 combo in any themepark line up. I agree that Kumba has gotten a little rough, it is going into its 16th year in operation. But despite that I have to say Busch Gardens has 3 of the 10 best B&M's ever built.

Again just an opinion

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Very nice report. I absolutely love Busch Gardens Africa. I love the collection of animals they have and their coasters are pretty good too. If they had a hyper, then I would give Africa the edge...until then Europe is slightly better.

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Another round of great shots. You really picked a winner of a camera and I like your composition in the shots.

 

Kept feeling like I should see Python in there, even after all this time.

 

Good to see Grizzly River Rampage's sister ride too. Thank you.

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Great pics I love Busch Gardens Tampa. Glad to see you had a great time. I will agree that operation wise Williamsburg rules the two but I disagree about the coasters. I love sheikra as you do to, but I think that Kumba and Montu create the best 1,2,3 combo in any themepark line up. I agree that Kumba has gotten a little rough, it is going into its 16th year in operation. But despite that I have to say Busch Gardens has 3 of the 10 best B&M's ever built.

Again just an opinion

 

Very true. Kumba and Montu were built back when B&M made kick arse rides. ...though Montu has been tamed a bit. As for SheiKra, it's just not in the same league IMO. Overall, I would say that Dueling Dragons, Montu, and Kumba are the three best B&Ms in the US.

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You're out of your mind if you don't think sheikra, montu and kumba are a solid coaster lineup. What is a better inverted coaster than Montu? It's definitely the best one I've been on so far. Kumba, is a surprisingly good coaster and in my opinion more fun than the incredible Hulk.

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You're out of your mind if you don't think sheikra, montu and kumba are a solid coaster lineup. What is a better inverted coaster than Montu? It's definitely the best one I've been on so far. Kumba, is a surprisingly good coaster and in my opinion more fun than the incredible Hulk.

 

I consider SheiKra a top 10 coaster. I like Montu, but I would put Afterburn at Carowinds way above any other inverted. (I might even put Raptor ahead of Montu.) Kumba is just not my cup of tea. So, yeah, in my eyes, BGA/T has one great coaster, one good one, and a bunch of "meh."

 

In any case, my tastes run more towards traditional thrills. So a park could have all 10 of the best B&M multiloopers in the world and still lose out to, say, Holiday World or Kennywood when my vote is cast.

 

But I freely admit that I might be out of my mind.

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