I was to the Astrada Zoo (I think that's what it is called) in Nassau about 10 years ago (I was 15 at the time). I loved it and still talk about it sometimes. While it isn't big like zoos in major cities in the US, the animals are amazing and the flamingo show was so fun. I have a picture of me with a boa constrictor around my neck and the flamingoes and peacocks just walked around in between the people.
We visited just after hurricane Michelle hit in '01, so naturally the gardens and grounds were in awful shape, but we did get in half price. I am sure it will have recovered by now.
Generally it seemed like a nice place to visit, the Flamingo show was mildly amusing. Lots of nice exibits, good photo opportunities. It was a nice quiet place to visit, food OK, good escape from the heat and activity of Bay Steet. Do not expect a "San Diego Style" establishment.
Thanks for the review Rob almost all I've read about this small zoo seems positive and to actually be able to interact with a few of the animals is a big reason to go visit for an animal lover like myself.
I went to Ardastra Gardens and Zoo, in Nassau, Bahamas, back in November of last year. It was nice. Especially if you are a nature or animal lover. I am not particularly into animals, but I did enjoy seeing the ones they had there. The had a variable assortment: Macaws, other parrots, monkeys, meercats(I think thats how they spell it; its that cute weasel-like animal that was friends with the warthog from the movie Lion King; I can't remember if his name was Teemon or Poomba), they had a large goat you could feed, they had a couple of giant Bahamian Boa Constricters (which are commonly called Chicken Snakes there),They had two beautiful jaguars, other animals, and let's not forget their "World Famous Performing Flamingos". About 20-30 of these beautiful pink birds in all. The highlight of the visit was a performance of these flamingos. They had a man who trained them. Everyone would have a seat in this round arena area. The trainer would march them all out to the middle of it. He would then shout out words like "Forward!" "About Face!" and they would instantly comply. Then they would invite people in the crowds to go out in the middle of the arena and pose with them (like a flamingo;with one leg raised and folded). Another thing, on the description of the shore excursion, it said that Ardastra Gardens would have "free roaming pheasants". I did see a couple, but there were confined to cages.
I am more into tropical plants. They had more than a few nice things. What I remember most was a beautiful dendrobium orchid they had nailed to a tree near the gift shop. I was lucky it was in bloom. It had strikingly beautiful deep purple flowers. Unfortunately, non of the staff could provide me any information on it.
So this Nassau zoo, called Ardastra Gardens and Zoo, was a nice little zoo. I did enjoy visiting it. I would describe it more as good rather than excellent, but none the less it was worth the trip.
So, I hope you have a good time in Nassau whenever you get there. Just beware of the pushy street vendors. Just say "No Thank You" and keep walking.
I'm contemplating the zoo myself. We have quite a long stay in Nassau so I was planning to walk around in the morning (go to the crazy pirate museum) and then have lunch on the ship and head back out to the zoo in the afternoon.
I like any zoo (unless the animals appear to be treated cruelly) so I am sure it will be fun.
RCI Sovereign of the Seas 2005
Caribbean Princess 2005
Carnival Paradise 2004
Since Im going in December I think it maybe cold to swim or snorkle, that is one reason I want to go to the zoo, plus it's reasonable, I thought I would go to the fish fry and eat local food (conch)for lunch before or after, and maybe take a horse and buggy ride in town.