Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, 500 Wildlife Pkwy., is home to more than 2,000 animals representing more than 350 species from around the world. Highlights include the African Plains, home to giraffes, zebras and ostriches; the Ndoki Forest, home to gorillas, elephants and meerkats; Koala Knockabout; the Birdhouse at Riverbanks; and Riverbanks Farm.
The Aquarium-Reptile Complex encompasses four display galleries: South Carolina; the Desert; the Tropics; and the Ocean, which features a 55,000-gallon Pacific coral reef tank. There are daily animal demonstrations, including the Wings of the South Bird Show; giraffe and lorikeet feedings; pony rides; the Wild Adventures rock wall; the Endangered Species carousel; Spot & Stripes Railroad; ziplines; and Sky-High Safari, a 4-story ropes challenge course.
Located along the Lower Saluda River, the Botanical Garden's 70 acres showcase more than 4,300 species of native and exotic plants. The garden is planted for year-round interest and can be accessed via tram or the Woodlands Walkway.
Picnicking is permitted. Food is available. Time: Allow 2 hours minimum.