So, as the name suggests, the exhibit features some of the more popular species from the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon boasts some of the world’s most varied wildlife but also some of the most popular species in pop culture, such as the Tarantula or Boa Constrictor, which makes it the perfect focus for a dedicated exhibit like this one.
I arrived at the exhibit and was immediately impressed by the scale of it. It’s modelled on a Mesoamerican pyramid, it towers above you and is really quite convincing. Doorways to the exhibit can be found all around the building which I thought was quite an interesting approach and allows for a more flexible tour of the facilities.
The exhibit is made up of three areas; ‘Frogs and Bats’, ‘Spiders’, ‘Snakes’ and ‘Aquarium’. There are also a few Tamarins in a cage outside. The spider area was truly an eye-opener, boasting a bunch of the biggest and scariest spiders on the planet. It’s a real treat seeing them all considering that you’ve likely only seen them in movies, it was great.
The snakes section is where you get to see all your favourites from the movies including the Boa Constrictor and the Yellow Anaconda which was a big hit amongst other visitors. The Boa Constrictor seemed very interested in one of the toddlers walking past the tank while the larger-than-life anaconda stayed fully submerged in water ignoring us all. They really have to be seen to be believed. Think the movie Anaconda but without Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube.
Now onto the pièce de résistance – the aquarium. Designed in a tubular shape, you walk through the exhibition like you’re underwater, it’s awesome! I didn’t recognise any of the species names but thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. It would be worth visiting just for the selfie opportunities in there (I admit I took one).
If you are like me and love animals but haven’t visited the zoo in a while, make this your excuse to get down there, you won’t be disappointed.
Address: Jan Smuts Avenue; Parkview
Contact: 011 646 2000 or visit the Johannesburg Zoo Website
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