Kansas City Zoo: African Sky Safari

Our family loves visiting the Kansas City Zoo and visits just got better! The African Exhibit has been ranked as the #1 African Zoo Exhibit in America. The exhibit is home to African animals who enjoy a wonderful and large natural environment. While the wide open spaces prove to be fabulous for the animals, it can sometimes pose a problem for zoo guests who want that up-close view of a cheetah or a zebra. We were very excited two summers ago when they added viewing decks that offered better views of the animals, and this summer the view got EVEN better. With the grand opening of the brand new African Sky Safari this weekend, visitors now enjoy a bird's eye view of majestic animals!

      The Sky Safari just opened to the public and our children were thrilled! My three-year-old daughter, Kayla, gives it "Two thumbs up," and her 5-year-old sister, Emily, tops that with a "million thumbs up." Why were they so enthralled? It was all because of the view! The Sky Safari is essentially a ski lift ride above the African plains exhibit at the Zoo. Riders view the giraffes, zebras, antelope, cheetahs, rhinos, birds, and more from an up-close view above the treetops unlike any other. The ride is peaceful and serene, offering a great view of animals as they eat, drink, and play. You hear every sound below (we heard chimpanzees hollering in the distance), much like a hot air balloon ride. The journey crosses approximately 1,500 feet at 35 feet above ground and lasts about 7 minutes. I recommend bringing cameras and binoculars for the ride (hold on tight) for an even better experience!

     While you're at the zoo, be sure to visit the Sea Lion exhibit where the zoo just welcomed two new see lion pups last week and make a point to visit Nikita the polar bear, who also happens to reside in our new favorite zoo picnic spot.


Prices for the African Sky Safari:

  • $4/Round Trip (3 and under are FREE)
  • $2 One Way Trip (ride begins in Africa near the tram drop off and the first path stops at the Chimpanzee exhibit).
  • FREE for Platinum FOTZ Members

The guidelines when riding the new African Sky Safari include:

  • Children under 42" tall must ride with an adult
  • All riders must be able to sit up without assistance
  • Flip flops must be carried. (Notice my bare feet in the photo.)
  • All items must be secured including food, drink, cameras and sunglasses (dropped items will not be immediately retrieved and will not be returned in the same condition; our animals will probably use them as enrichment items)
  • Maximum 3 people and 400 pounds per chair
  • Only umbrella strollers will be transported on the Sky Safari; you may check your stroller at the employee-monitored stroller check at the ticket booths

Our Kansas City Zoo Tips:

  • You are welcome to bring food to the zoo! Packing a picnic and bringing bottled water adds to the fun of the day.

  • Remember sun screen, cameras, and comfortable shoes.

  • The Friends of the Zoo Membership is a great investment and especially terrific if you have little ones as it's much more enjoyable to make many short visits to the zoo over a few long visits. Also, the FOTZ membership is reciprocal with zoos across the country where you can enjoy free or discounted admission when you travel.
  • Watch the Kansas City Zoo Calendar where you'll find great special events and programs like FREE Admission for Dads on Father's Day.
  • Be sure to take in an animal show on your visit! The Sea Lion show is our favorite, but we also enjoy the Gorilla Keepers Talk, Polar Bear Feedings, Elephant Painting, and special programs.

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