The wait is finally over: this Friday, April 29, the Memphis Zoo will unveil its newest exhibit, the Zambezi River Hippo Camp.

With over 70 acres and 3,500 animals, the Memphis Zoo is unquestionably one of the largest and most entertaining zoos in the south. Just last year, it was ranked No. 8 on TripAdvisor’s 25 Best Zoos in the US and among the Top 10 on Fodor’s Travel’s 10 Best Zoos in America.

Hippopotamus pod (Hippopotamus amphibius) in the Zambezi river
Hippopotamus pod (Hippopotamus amphibius) in the Zambezi river

This weekend, it will only get better. The long-awaited Zambezi River Hippo Camp brings animals found near Africa’s Zambezi River together in a African-inspired habitat.

The Zambezi River in Africa is known for is expansive wildlife and length, stretching through six countries for a total of 1,600 miles.

For the first time at the zoo, guests will be able to enjoy seeing hippos both on land and below water. These two hippos are named Binti and Splish, and they will be joined by Nile crocodiles, lesser flamingos, okapi, patas monkeys, various fish and African birds.

According to the Zoo’s website,

“The Zambezi River Hippo Camp was the last major exhibit in our previous 25-year Master Plan. Long in the works, meticulous planning went into building the most ambitious project the Memphis Zoo patrons have ever seen. “

One can find the Zambezi River conveniently located next to the Primate Pavilion and south entrance to the African Veldt.

Here are the Current Ticket Prices for the zoo:

Adults (Ages 12-59): $15
Children (Ages 2-11): $10
Seniors (Age 60+): $14
Parking: $5

In a study made by the University of Memphis last year, they calculated that the Zoo contributes $83.8 million in total impact to the Memphis economy, provides 879 jobs, and accumulates over one million visitors annually.

I believe that with this new exhibit, we will only continue to see these numbers grow.

The growth of our Memphis Zoo, which stands as the 6th largest tourist attraction in the State of Tennessee, can only increase the tourism to our City.

I’m excited! Aren’t you??