Ardastra Gardens, Nassau
Fantastic place to spend an entire afternoon! The 5-½ acre park is part jungle, part gardens and home to hundreds of beautiful mammals, birds and reptiles from around the world, including many endangered species. You get to mingle with these animals in a very intimate setting - some are in cages, some walking around (LuLu the pot bellypig!) and some are in large enclosed "pits" that are open at the top. If youve been to Nassau and are looking for something out of the way, not crowded and interesting - this is the place! We shot 2 rolls of film in this park! Self-guided maps and employees everywhere encourage you to see all the exhibits and animals. The entrance fee was cheap, I want to say $7 or $10 US. We did make a donation to their fantastic park!
Near Fort Charlotte, this little zoo is worth seeing. It cost us $15 each to get in, well worth it. Besides seeing beautiful foilage and the animals, there's a little interacting you can do also. Hand-feeding the birds apples and getting in with the flamingos while they marched was so much fun. What made the visit was an employee, I believe his name was Bernard, young guy. He was so nice and quite a comedian! When you're ready to leave, you can even get a kiss from a cuckatoo!!!
Ardastra means striving towards the star. The Garden was created in 1937 by a Jamaican Botanist, Hedley Edward who trained his famous flamingos. In 1982, a local purchased it and the zoo was born. In the 1990, a conservation center was born. Here, they exhibit and breed endemic Bahamian animals.
There are a variety of plants in the garden. It was nice to walk and see a waterway surrounded by plants. Be on the lookout for the national tree and flower. The Nation tree of the Bahamas called the lignum vitae can be found in 2 places. Look for it near the petting zoo and near the caimans exhibit. The yellow elder, the nation flower of the island can be found near the green gate by the exit.
The zoo exhibit animals from around the world including South America, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Caribbean. You can find various parrots, birds, flamingo, pigs, rabbits, lemurs, monkeys, jaguars and goats. Children will like the petting zoo. There are several animals that can only be found in the Bahamas that are displayed at the zoo. Watch for the Bahamian Parrot, the Bahamian rock Iguanas and the Bahamian boa Constrictors.
What the zoo is famous for its marching flamingoes. In the 1950’s, Hedley Edwards trained flamingoes from southern Bahamas to march to his spoken commands. The first show was in 1957 and has been going on ever since. The flamingos were funny to watch. When I went it was mating season so some of the flamingos were not listening to the commands. When a few of the audience members participated the flamingo scared them when the flamingoes butted their heads into them. Shows take place at 10:30A, 2 P and 4 P.
Another feature I liked at the zoo was the Lory Parrot feeding which takes place at 11 A, 1:30 P and 3:30 P. You are given a slice of an apple and the parrot fly over to you and eat it. It was cool seeing the parrots do this. There were 2 types of parrots, one was green and multicolored and the other was read with blue. Both were very beautiful
A must see in Nassau! The gardens have beautiful, lush tropical flowers and there are animals too! Many parrots abound, as well as flamingoes, goats, turtles and other reptiles! They have feeding times a couple of times a day, where you hold out apple pieces and the parrots eat right from your hand. After that, we saw a flamingo show, where trained flamingoes walked around and followed instructions. It was a fantastic place to be!
Beautiful animals and birds,many from endangered species...What really blew me away were the marching flamingoes,and you can get real up close to them..a great afternoon or morning out ...we loved it so much we bought the family ticket and went again and saved some money in doing so...not expensive and well worth the money !
all the animals and birds are very well cared for........................
We had a wonderful time at Ardastra during our shore excursion! The Gardens are lovely, but the highlights for us were being able to hand-feed the lorikeets, and being able to interact with the flamingos! There are flamingo shows several times a day, where you can watch the flamingos follow a "drill sergeant" orders. Then, one person from each section of the arena is allowed into the pen to interact with them - it was fun!
Bear in mind, this is a very small zoo (5.5 acres) - so do not expect anything large. But it is lovely, and you can take your time walking through the park. Besides the lorikeets and flamingos, they had free roaming peacocks, and other animals in caged habitats, including many endangered species from the Bahamas and the Greater Caribbean.
We went with a Carnival shore excursion, but the entrance price posted at the front was $16/adult. Might seem steep, but the cost of caring for animals is high. We enjoyed our visit and would happily go back - the photo ops alone are priceless!
This was my favourite attraction on New Providence Island. Getting up close and familiar with the Bahamian flora and fauna in a beautiful setting is hard to beat!
For the very reasonable entry price of $15, we had access to 43 stations featuring birds, mammals and reptiles from the Bahamas as well as the rest of the Caribbean and Central/South America.
The inevitable highlight is the pink flamingo parade, which takes place each day at 10:30 a.m., 2:10 p.m. and 4:10 p.m. Following the orders of their drill sergeant, they walk in unison to and in a specially-designed arena, while a guide gives information about the characteristics of the pink flamingo species.
There are also parrot feedings at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. You can enter their cage and feed them some apples, which they come to pick right out of your hand. Amid the chaos of parrots flying around and chirping loudly, some of them will likely take a rest by perching on your head.
We rode the bus to an intersection where it was a short walk to this beautiful gardens and zoo. There was a "marching flamingo" show. There is a gift shop. Quite worthwhile and very beautiful. We will visit again on return trips.