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FYI/Tour the Zoo

It takes between 4 to 6 hours to see the entire Park.  There are over five miles of trails through the two habitat regions, North America and Africa. If you arrive mid-day, you might choose to tour just one region.

When you arrive, please check the animal status boards located outside the admissions windows. The boards will give you daily information about feeding times, keeper talks and which animals might be off exhibit.

At the admission booth, you will receive a free Visitor Guide. The guide includes animals, habitats and trail names which correspond with Park signs to help you navigate through the Zoo.   Download an Art at the Park Guide which shows the location of the public art collection on exhibit throughout the North Carolina Zoo. 

Below is a suggested tour to maximize your time and allow you to see the entire Park in one day without any backtracking.

  1. Come early; the Zoo opens at 9.  Park in the North America parking lot.
  2. After you pay at the admissions window, follow the signs to the North America tram stop located inside the Park.
  3. Catch a free tram or bus to Junction Plaza, which is centered between the North America and Africa regions.
  4. Follow the signs to the Africa region. The first habitat is the Forest Aviary.
  5. Africa is a big loop.  The Akiba Market is located at the bottom of the loop.  Stop here for a restroom break, a snack and a visit to the African-themed gift shops. Continue your safari through Africa, and you will return to Junction Plaza.
  6. Plan to have lunch at one of Junction Plaza’s restaurants or snack bars. Children will delight in a ride on the Endangered Species Carousel and a visit to Kids' Junction, the kid-themed gift shop.
  7. Follow the signs to the North America region. The first habitat is The Desert.
  8. This region is linear and its main trail will lead you back to the North America Plaza, where you originally entered and parked your car.  Stop to have a snack, restroom break and purchase a souvenir before you leave. 

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Aviary Bird Guide

African Pygmy Goose

Amethyst Starling

Bali Mynah

Birds in the Aviary

Blue Poison Dart Frog

Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot:

Blue-grey Tanager

Blue-winged Leafbird

Chilean Flamingo

Common Shama Thrush

Crested Coua

Crested Wood Partridge

Eclectus Parrot

Emerald Starling

Fairy Bluebird

Golden- crested Mynah

Green Woodhoopoe

Mandarin Duck

Masked Lapwing


Nicobar Pigeon

Panama Golden Poison Dart Frog

Paradise Tanager

Pekin Robin

Purple Glossy Starling

Red-capped Cardinal

Ringed Teal

Scarlet Ibis

Scarlet-faced Liocichla


Victoria-crowned Pigeon

White-faced Whistling Duck

Yellow-banded dart frog (bumblebee frog)

Yellow-rumped Cacique

Africa Bridge Art

African Gates

African Savanna

Agama Lizard

Ant Bear

Arctic Fox Art

Arctic Turns

Bald Eagle with Salmon

Ball Python

Billy Goats Gruff

Black Dog


Cattail Gate

Elephant Rubbing Tree

Elephant Tracking Game

Elephants Art

Follow the Pollen Path

French Beans


Garden Friends

Harbor Seal Sculpture

Hippo Pod

Hummingbird Garden

Lisa’s Dragonfly



Nature’s Recyclers

Ola, The Water Bearer

Ostrich Egg Interactive

Piedmont Totem

Polar Bear Art

Prairie Geyser

Preening Heron

Stalking Little Blue Heron

Stone that Stands in an Empty Sky

The Critics

Uwharrie Vision

Watani Cooling Station

White Rhino Art

Zoological Egg Rest