Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hope Botanical Gardens and Hope Zoo

Last Saturday, we went to the Hope Botanical Gardens and the Hope Zoo.

The Botanical Gardens are beautiful with lots of grassy areas, tall palms, and the Blue Mountains in the background.  We went for a nice walk while we were waiting for the zoo to open.

As for the zoo, it had 4 things going for it.

1) A lady selling souvenirs in a small booth outside the entrance sang the entire time, which was kind of nice to hear.  Zero customers but still happy!
2) The guy who took our tickets was really friendly.
3) The grounds are beautiful.
4) The iguanas, who usually get a small glass aquarium in most zoos, were living large and in charge in this zoo.  They actually had cages that provided them with more space than I've ever seen in a zoo.  And there were a lot of iguanas.

Other than that, there were 3 flamingos, about 5 sad alligators (one with his left eye missing), some hawks and owls, turtles, mongooses (who were brought in to help with the rats but apparently they took out a whole lot of other endemic animals), 1 capuchin monkey, and some goats.  We were told that they had ostriches but we couldn't find them.

About 2/3 of the cages actually had animals inside.  The rest had signs saying that they were empty.  The lions are no longer there and I'm sure that they're happy to be somewhere else.

Anyway, it's at most a 10 minute drive to the Gardens and the Zoo and the kids enjoyed it.  The Gardens are free and the Zoo cost us $400 Jamaican Dollars (about $5 USD).

Here's some pics of our day:

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