Nassau Paradise Island

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Head to the heart of Nassau for a unique visit to the Ardastra Gardens & Zoo. As the first and only zoo in The Bahamas, it features more than four acres of lush tropical gardens inhabited by a dazzling array of animal species—including the national bird of The Bahamas, the Caribbean flamingo. Hand-feed playful parrots, take a free educational lecture on wildlife conservation and be sure to watch the world-famous marching flamingos in action.

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THE HISTORY

Originally created as a nature preserve by Jamaican horticulturalist Hedley Edwards in the 1950’s, Ardastra Gardens & Zoo has developed over the decades into a tropical garden, conservation centre and boutique zoo. Today, thousands of visitors visit Ardastra annually to marvel at the tranquil, restorative gardens and enjoy close encounters with a wonderful collection of over 135 animals, complete with a petting zoo, secret garden and flamingo arena.

THE ANIMALS

From the cute and cuddly to the big and powerful, the Zoo at Ardastra features a wide variety of wildlife. The animals range from exotic jaguars to Madagascar lemurs, while our domestic rabbits love the attention they receive at our petting zoo. (A little less on the cuddly side would be the snakes and iguanas in our reptile section.) With peafowls, lory parrots, swans and macaws, you could say we’re for the birds here—especially with our famed Caribbean flamingos!

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THE GARDENS

With temperatures that rarely soar above 90 or fall below 60 degrees, Ardastra Gardens is home to a brilliant array of flowers and trees such as coconut palms, bromeliads, orchids, bougainvillea and hibiscus blossoms of every color. It’s also a wonderfully tranquil place to admire the awesome canopy of mangos, sapodillas and breadfruit and explore the winding trails draped with vines and lined with tropical trees.

PROGRAMS & EVENTS

From parrots to pink flamingos, Ardastra offers a wide variety of programs and events sure to entertain and educate. There are free 30-minute instructional lectures that include wildlife conservation and general animal classification, as well as daily opportunities to hand-feed playful lory parrots at 11:00am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm. Then at 10:30am, 2:15 and 4:00pm, Ardastra’s famous flamingos take center stage, where they march in parade and on command, complete “about faces” and 180-degree turns. A must see for the young and young-at-heart!