Photo TR: Busch Gardens Africa

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Photo TR: Busch Gardens Africa

Postby Electerik » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:29 pm

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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The lion topiary out front is new (to me).
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Only running one side (of course). I'm not even sure which one it was.
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We're ready. (And, um, dorky.)
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Gwazi is almost as difficult to photograph as it is to ride. :OP
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The Garden Cafe (formerly, the Hospitality House).
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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 best coaster in Florida, so far as I'm concerned.
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SheiKra's giant queue building.
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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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In all its "better than Griffon" glory.
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I still love the way SheiKra interacts with the area it's in.
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And I love my camera. :O)
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Just some of the offerings at the Zambia Smokehouse.
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The Tanganyika Tidal Wave used to be a slow Jungle Cruise-esque boat ride, apparently.
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It's way better than we're making it look here. :OP
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Going up. That's Jungala between us and Kumba.
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And...going down.
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This is not going to end well. :OP
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Just a bit splashy.
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Jungala is part kiddy land, part animal exhibit, and actually pretty cool.
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Too easy.
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We didn't climb around much, as we were all wearing sandles. But it looked fun.
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The semi-enclosed frog hopper.
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More topiary. I like it.
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Jungala offers several neat ways to view tigers, including an air conditioned option.
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I like this photo more than I like Kumba.
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Congo River Rapids, with Kumba peeking out from the bushes.
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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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Uh-oh, the kid in yellow has spotted me.
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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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How many rides can you see in this photo? (And does the Sky Ride cable count? :OP)
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Timbuktu is kind of like BGT's "county fair" section. :OP
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There's something really disturbing to me about this setting.
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"I AM YOUR LIZARD KING!" - "Hey, uh, watcha doin' there, Ralph?"
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Rhino Rally is (arguably) the park's signature non-coaster attraction.
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Doesn't this look like a promotional photo from the 70's? :OP
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Obviously, it is a bit like Kilimanjaro Safari's at DAK.
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Pardon me, a Rhino has interrupted my thought.
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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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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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Hooray, we made it!
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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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Presented in Super Hippo Vision.
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Some yummy humans.
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"Holy Hell, was that a lion?!"
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More 'Edge of Africa' goodness.
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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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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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And now off to the land of Egypt.
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Tut's Tomb is a walk-though attraction. It's minor, but nice enough.
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And it exits into the coolest looking gift shop ever.
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But the big attraction in Egypt is this thing.
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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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Montu Rules The Sand!
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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.
Erik Allen Elness

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Postby netdvn » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:35 pm

WOW!

SheiKra's theming seriously beats Griffon's "theme".

The entire park looks amazing too. I'm glad you had a great time.

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Postby spaceace12 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:45 pm

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I don't know if intentionally made the flowers the focus, but this is really good.

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Postby HatetoFLY » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:51 pm

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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Postby Looty » Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:23 pm

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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Postby TheRapidsNerd » Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:21 pm

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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Postby matteocrepaldi » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:49 am

Wow! Great trip report!
BGA really looks awesome!
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Postby esvadj » Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:44 am

Great trip report, we plan on hitting BGA this year - and I can't wait!

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Postby alpengeist04 » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:30 am

HatetoFLY wrote: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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Postby johnusername » Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:39 pm

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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