Lions, giraffes, and bears, oh my! For a chance to see over 50 types of animals, birds, and reptiles, many of which are in natural habitats, you’ll want to put Binder Park Zoo at the top of your list. Located in Battle Creek, Michigan, this zoo is top notch.
This zoo provides visitors with lots of opportunities to interact with the animals. They have a large petting zoo area which gives people a chance to touch and feed the animals. The food is inexpensive and it’s well received by the animals. There is plenty of shade in this area as well so it’s a comfortable place to hang out for awhile.
Don’t rush through this section! It’s not just for children.
There is a fairly large pen that younger kids can enter in order to interact up close and personal with goats and other farm animals. My niece is a goat whisperer, apparently.
Binder Park Zoo consists of two sections: the exhibits in the original part of the zoo and their newer Wild Africa exhibit. While the animals can sometimes be hard to see in the original section, they are impossible to miss in the Wild Africa section, which is by far my favorite part of the zoo.
To get to the Wild Africa exhibit, visitors have the option of riding a tram or walking uphill half a mile. The tram rides are included in the price of admission and I highly recommend them! You’ll be doing enough walking within the exhibit itself!
When you first step off the tram, you enter what appears to be a small, African village. They have taken great care to complete that illusion by layering detail upon detail throughout the exhibit. Complete with a restaurant called the Kalahari Kitchen and a souvenir shop, this is a great area to grab some lunch or a snack before starting the 8-mile walking trail.
The village contains an overlook which will give you your first glimpse of giraffes, zebras, and other African wildlife. Be sure to check that out before you head down the trail.
Wild Africa consists of an 18-acre habitat and an 8-mile walking trail which takes visitors on a trek around and through various exhibits. There’s plenty to see and do while on this trail, which is mostly accessible. The beginning of the trail is paved but it does become a dirt trail about halfway through. And you should also be aware that there are a few hills as well.
Be sure you take time to feed the giraffes. This is one of the coolest parts of the zoo and you’ll regret it if you don’t take advantage of this opportunity! The giraffe food is more expensive than the food in the petting zoo but it’s worth it.
As the trail continues, there are various animals to observe and interactive displays to help keep the kids entertained.
Most of the trail is also shady which makes it a much more pleasant walk than if it were full sun!
There are also benches scattered about in case you need a rest. And about halfway down the trail, there are air-conditioned bathrooms as well, which definitely comes in handy.
Another neat part of the Wild Africa exhibit is the path to get there, which proudly displays flags from all of the countries within Africa. The flags are labeled and it’s fun to guess the countries while walking beneath them.
I recommend you visit the main part of the zoo first and then go to the Wild Africa exhibit. Both sections of the zoo are worth touring but if you go to Wild Africa first, the rest of the zoo may feel a bit anticlimactic.
Things You Should Know
- The Wild Africa exhibit!!!
- Feeding the giraffes
- Nice and shady
- The tickets and the food are a bit pricey
- Sometimes it’s hard to see the animals because they’re hiding in their awesome habitats
- $14.25 Adults
- $13.25 Seniors (65+)
- $12.25 Children (2-10 yrs)
- FREE Children Under 2
- $1.00 off for Military with ID
- 10% off for AAA Member with ID
- Annual Memberships available – also be sure to check out their reciprocal program
- Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm
- Saturday 9am – 6pm
- Sunday 11am – 6pm
How Do I Get There?
For More Information
Binder Park Zoo
7400 Division Dr
Battle Creek, MI 49014