Busch Gardens Tampa Summer Camp

Apart from the thrills and delights one can enjoy in the park, Busch Gardens Tampa has an educational side.

Home to hundreds and thousands of species and animals, Busch Gardens has won many awards for its brilliant work providing a safe and spacious place for endangered and exotic animals.

There are multiple educational opportunities for students and educators to explore wildlife details, its care, and conservation at the park through the Busch Gardens Tampa summer camp.

There are many Busch Gardens educational field trips and after-hours programs for those interested in learning beyond common knowledge about wildlife.

Embark on an exciting Serengeti safari tour for interactive nature education at Busch Gardens, Tampa.

Here is a look at all the Busch Gardens education programs:

Summer Camps

The summer camps are offered in two varieties:

Day camps

The Busch Gardens day camp mainly caters to school children.

The Busch Gardens summer camp is further divided by grade levels, with separate camps for grades 1st and 2nd, grades 5th and 6th, and so forth.

To learn more about Busch Gardens Summer Camp 2024, visit the official website to download the Day and Resident camp handbooks.

The prices range from $219 to $329, with extra charges for extended care.

Overnight resident camps

This Busch Gardens Tampa summer camp is for students in grades seven to 12. 

Here, they not only learn about wildlife but also marine life and get to visit water parks as well. 

This Busch Gardens summer camp price starts at $1900.

Group Overnight Camps

Groups of 20 people can stay for two to three nights in an overnight Busch Gardens Tampa summer camp. 

Camping at Busch Gardens begins at 12 pm on the first day and ends at 10 am on the final day, granting campers park access upon trip completion. 

Campers also receive camp t-shirts, water bottles, food, snacks, drinks and free transportation from Tampa International Airport to the park. 

They get to shack at the onsite dormitory, Mzinga Lodge. There are 3 programs provided in the Busch Gardens overnight camp:-

Zoo journeys 

For students in grades four to 12, this program involves grouping students by grade, providing them with close encounters with animals like giraffes, lorikeets, hippos, and more.

This journey spread across 2 nights also involves a tortoise tour, a scavenger hunt in the Edge of Africa region, a safari across the Serengeti Plains, hand-feeding giraffes and lorikeets, an up-close look at a python, alligators, other reptiles, and so much more.

The prices for this special camp are set at $270 per participant.

Animal Adventures 

This camp, designed for grades six to eight, offers close animal interactions and a Serengeti Plains safari.

During this 3-night camp, students make enrichments for animals at the Nutrition Center and watch animal procedures at the care center.

Encounters with hippos, lions and hyenas, a trip to Adventure Island, and Busch Gardens are some other add-ons.

Zoo Apprentice 

Program for grades nine to 12 gives senior students the experience of being a zookeeper as they observe the work done by zookeepers to take care of the animals in the park.

In addition to features from the other overnight programs, campers in this one also learn important zoology concepts.

They get to train to care for wild animals like giraffes and hippos over three nights.

They then get to enjoy the park and also pay a visit to Adventure Island.

This program is priced at $405 per participant.

School Programs

These programs are purely educational, with no rides or shows included.

During these knowledge-filled tours, students learn about animals and the efforts involved in maintaining the park.

The various types of school programs offered are explained below:

Animal Expeditions

This tour is meant for Kindergarten through fifth-grade students.  

Students get a deep look into the ecosystem in the park and the habitats of different animals.

Animal encounters provide a thrill as guide educators share many fascinating facts about the animal in front of them.

Kids participate in fun and educational eco-challenge activities on this three-hour guided tour.

This program educates young children about animal habitats and behavior, fostering early development.

Forces of Nature

This is a three-hour program for classes 6th to 8th, where they have the opportunity to gain a plethora of scientific knowledge. 

They learn about diverse ecosystems, natural selection, and many other exciting concepts through live knowledge out on the field.

They also discover the power of nature and how to make a positive impact through conservation and respect.

Wild Careers

Students get a look into zoological careers and interact with animal experts.

They discuss the training required for animal care and supervise student interactions with wild animals.

This program is a treasure trove of knowledge, focusing on animal behavior and the advancements in veterinary science.

It is three hours long and intended for grades nine to 12.

VIP Experience

This program gives a VIP experience and is usually reserved for the best students. 

Expert guides at Busch Gardens curate a personalized tour for students, offering many additional advantages beyond those provided in the other three school programs.

Students eat lunch in restaurants, enjoy attractions, get close to animals, and learn unique wildlife facts. 

The top-of-the-class students who make this tour strengthen their knowledge even more while having fun.

This is a five-hour tour and is available for grades four to 12.

In addition to these four types of school programs, it is also possible to add some more fun features to your tour.

Stay and Playpark Admission

Students can also enjoy the amusement park, and park admission is priced at $37 per person.

The student group must be of at least 15 students for this addition. 

One chaperone is complimentary for every ten paid students, and an additional chaperone entry costs $37. 

School on the Serengeti add-on

A 30-minute safari can be added to the educational programs. 

Students can interact with animals and survey the Serengeti Plains with this add-on.  

The price per student and chaperone is $30. Attendees should be at least five years old. 

Community Programs

Discover the enriching community programs offered at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, providing engaging educational experiences for all ages. 

From school field trips to wildlife conservation initiatives, there’s something for everyone to get involved in and learn from.

Community Outreach Program 

At Busch Gardens, education programs cater to various age groups, emphasizing environmental conservation. 

The Community Outreach Program extends the park’s expertise to classrooms, offering engaging 30-minute sessions led by wildlife experts.

With up to 250 participants per session, students enjoy animal meet-and-greets and Q&A sessions, fostering interest across all grade levels in the Tampa Bay Metro area.

The program, offered on Mondays, consists of four session types, exclusively conducted in the morning.

This makes it a popular choice among schools for interactive and informative education directly brought to their classrooms.

Interactive Live Video Call 

This is another way students can explore Busch Gardens wildlife within their classes.

An interactive 30-minute session through a live video call teaches children the need to respect nature and conserve wildlife habitats. 

Animal experts conduct this session where students listen to them and see the Busch Gardens animals on the live call.

Taking place on Mondays, this session covers four topics predetermined by teachers.

Students have the opportunity to pose questions to the experts and witness live views of exotic, endangered, and captivating animals.


Groups of at least 20 people can arrange for an overnight stay in the park, starting at 5.30 pm and concluding at 9 am the following day.

Participants should bring sleeping gear and walking shoes. Flip-flops are not allowed.  

Guests receive free pizza dinner, continental breakfast, camp t-shirts, and water bottles.

Guests will lodge at the secure on-site location, Mzinga Lodge.

After the booking of a sleepover, a non-refundable deposit of $100 needs to be paid after three weeks, and the rest of the payment is due three weeks before the sleepover.

Sleepover Options are specified below:

Name (grades eligible)DescriptionPrice
Biodiversity Bonanza (grades 3-5)Observe animals at night in The Edge of Africa, meet animal ambassadors, trek across the zoo for a surprise in the morning$78
Endangerquest (grades 6-8)Endangered animal encounters, puzzles, games, scavenger hunts, relay races, interaction with zookeepers and tigers.$78
Survival of The Fittest (grades 9-12)Meet animals that adapt for survival, enjoy team games, and interact with elephants.$78
Jungala Jubilee (grades 2-6 recommended)A birthday party with a themed gift cake, photos with animal ambassadors, meeting zookeepers and tigers.$1200 for 20 guests, $78 each for additional guests

Youth Group Activities

Groups of visitors ranging from age three to grade 12 are classified as youth groups.  

They receive discounted tickets and various other benefits when they reserve group tickets.

The group activities for different ages among youth groups are as follows:

Safari and More Youth Tour (Grades 5+)

Youths on this tour can meet lions, hippos, hyenas, and other animals in the Edge of Africa area of Busch Gardens.

A special feature of this tour is an after-hours safari with rhinos and giraffes around. 

The day ends with a pizza party and interactions with animal ambassadors. Guests also receive a proper dinner meal.

The event lasts from 4.30 to 7 pm with an individual ticket of $45 and a minimum of 20 group members.

A $100 deposit is required at the time of booking. This tour is ideal for youth and scout groups, travel groups, and schools.

Cancellations should be made at least 3 weeks before the tour for a full refund. Cancellations after that can be rescheduled within the year.

Find Your Focus Scavenger Hunt

This youth event contains various activities where groups can have fun and enjoy team-building challenges along with the serene wildlife at Busch Gardens Tampa.

One highlight is a 3-hour photo scavenger hunt, where teams compete to capture the best wildlife photos while ensuring safety.

Other experiences include photo opportunities around the park, montage making, interactions with animal ambassadors, and much more.

Tickets for this program are priced at $25 per person, with park admission required separately. 

Discounts are available for youth group activities, but the program is non-refundable.

Programs for Teachers

Students aren’t the only ones with the opportunity to learn and have fun. There’s no limit to knowledge, and this program encourages educators to further their education.

Programs for Teachers is a special Busch Gardens educational program that includes off-site tours.

This program provides teachers with the opportunity to share their ideas related to nature and how to engage more people.

These programs include sleepovers, dinners, meals, and other amenities, with teachers lodging at an on-site and secure location.

Educators After Dark tour offers two types of teacher programs:

Animal Adaptations

In this program, teachers can inspect the park and its wildlife after dark, observe the behavior of nocturnal species, and learn things no book or TV show can teach.

Teachers can look at the animals exhibiting different and unique traits at night.

Zookeeper For A Night

Zookeeper For A Night program offers educators the opportunity to see and do the training that goes into taking care of the wildlife at Busch Gardens Tampa and keeping it safe.

Educators engage in enriching discussions about animal behaviors, habitats, feeding habits, group dynamics, veterinary care, and conservation efforts for exotic, rare, endangered, and amazing animals.

The tickets for this program are $58. Discounts of up to 10% are available for pass members. 

The program is non-refundable, and rescheduling requires at least a 45-day prior notice.

Featured Image: Buschgardens.com

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