Location: Wild Animal Park, east of Nairobi Village
Habitats/Regions featured: Asian plains, wetlands, prairie and steppe, African savannas and desert
Size: about 380 acres (154 hectares). The Railway visits about half of this.
Opening date: May 9, 1972; shorter route began May 6, 2006
Nearest dining facilities: Thorntree Terrace next to loading area for the Wgasa Bush Line Railway; Mombasa Island Cooker across from Railway unloading area; Okavango Outpost overlooks the East Africa field exhibit in the Park's Heart of Africa.
Be sure to look for…
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As far as the eye can see
You'll see different species of animals roaming together in our large field exhibits.
The expansive Field Exhibits at the Wild Animal Park house herds of exotic wildlife. There are several different and separate areas, based primarily on the geographic regions the animals come from in the wild. The only way to see all of these areas is to take a safari on the Park’s Wgasa Bush Line Railway, free with Park admission, or reserve an exclusive Photo Caravan Safari tour for a once-in-a-lifetime, up-close encounter with wildlife from a safari truck that will drive you right into the heart of our largest field exhibits.
The first field exhibits you'll pass on your railway tour are the rocky and remote Hillside Exhibits. These individual enclosures were designed for some of the animals that don't mix well with others, either because they are aggressive or shy. Look here for equine species like the eastern kiang and the highly endangered Somali wild ass. And you may even spy a unicorn—no, on closer inspection, it's an Arabian oryx, standing sideways so that its two slender horns look like one!
The Wgasa Railway takes you to the far reaches of our Asia and Africa field exhibits.
As the Wgasa Bush Line Railway moves up the valley, you enter the 60-acre (24-hectare) Asian Plains exhibit. You’ll find wandering groups of Indian rhinos, several Asian deer species such as axis deer and wapiti, and large antelope species grazing in their established territories. The animals here are varied and come from quite different parts of Asia, yet each group has found its niche.
The next encounter on your railway tour is East Africa, where you'll catch sight of a herd of southern white rhinos, groups of agile and fleet gazelles, fierce Cape buffalo, and towering Uganda giraffes in this exhibit. You’ll also discover several water-loving antelope, the long-faced white-bearded gnu, and the striking East African crowned crane, with its stately plumage and fancy golden headdress.
As you pass by the far end of East Africa, look to your left for a grassy knoll called Bonobo Hill. Here resides the Park's troop of bonobos, also known as pygmy chimpanzees. Their 2-acre (0.8-hectare) enclosure is designed with two parts, one in front of the hill where they can rest and view the Railway as it goes by (One wonders, who is watching whom?), and the other behind the hill, where the troop can enjoy a leisurely afternoon in privacy. Of course, you might spy some of the youngsters up in a palm tree trying out their agility and acrobatic skills.
The Wgasa Bush Line Railway concludes its tour of the Park's expansive field exhibits and winds its way back to Nairobi Village, passing by Heart of Africa and affording some views of the Park's state-of-the-art Paul Harter Veterinary Medical Center and the Beckman Center for Conservation and Research, home to the department of Conservation and Research for Endangered Species (CRES).
- The Wgasa Bush Line Railway provides a 3-mile (4.8-kilometer), 30- to 40-minute guided tour of the vast field exhibits. The Railway is free with Park admission.
- We credit the large size of these field exhibits with the successful breeding of endangered rhinos, oryx, Uganda giraffes, and many more.
- The entire San Diego Zoo could fit into the East Africa field exhibit at the Wild Animal Park!
- The Arabian oryx is one of the Park's most celebrated success stories. The species had become extinct in the wild, but through the efforts of the Park, the Phoenix Zoo, and other organizations it has been possible to reintroduce small herds of Arabian oryx to their native ranges.