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“No need to travel to Africa ... world class zoo with many extra's for children and Grandchildren of all ages!”

Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden
Ranked #1 of 109 things to do in Columbia
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is home to nearly 2,000 animals that represent more than 350 species from around the world. A visit to the Zoo will play host to an array of wild adventures from a diving expedition on a Pacific coral reef to a safari through the plains of Africa to an interactive Outback encounter with a flock of sociable lorikeets. The Botanical Garden boasts 70-acres of unparalleled beauty and is considered one of the America's best public gardens. Dramatic and themed gardens showcase more than 4,300 species of native and exotic plants, providing a living classroom for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. The Garden also is the gateway to natural river views and spectacular valley overlooks. In addition, guests can view structural remains dating back to the early 1800s with South Carolina's textile industry and the Civil War.
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“No need to travel to Africa ... world class zoo with many extra's for children and Grandchildren of all ages!”
Reviewed August 16, 2014

The new climbing walls and the ropes/zip line make a great addition to the animals ... we love the gorillas, elephants, and giraffes.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank Hal T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,188 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Irmo, South Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Love this place”
Reviewed August 13, 2014

I love this place my children enjoy it every time we come. The food is a bit pricy but besides that fun fun fun

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank BbvonWeber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Couples Day Out- Wonderful Time”
Reviewed August 8, 2014

My husband and I took a day and went to Columbia from Greenville, SC. The staff was very friendly, and the facilities/grounds were very clean. Naturally, in a tourist spot, the prices are a bit high, but we ate at the sit-down restaurant and were very pleased with the prices and quality of the food. We even had staff members in front of us in line that allowed us to order before them! We really enjoyed speaking with them and the gentleman that was exhibiting a snake out in the grounds. The snake handler was very knowledgeable, funny, and polite.
The only down-side to this zoo experience was the smell of the avian exhibit hall... We definitely didn't stay there long!
However, we fed the giraffes and had a fantastic experience! So much fun and so wonderful to be up close to such beautiful animals. They were very gentle and tolerated being gently stroked on the head- as long as you had food. :) One loomed right by my husband's head to get to our lettuce! The goats are also really fun to feed- very eager! We also really enjoyed the walk-through wallaby and kangaroo exhibit- again, the staff were very knowledgeable, very friendly, and willing to answer our questions or tell us fun facts. We are both teachers, and we had a very educational and very enjoyable experience!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank ejchastain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
161 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Brew at the Zoo”
Reviewed August 7, 2014

This was my first year attending the event and man what a setup. Arrive early as there are so many beers to taste and with only two and a half hours to do so, you can lose track of time socializing. Don't expect a lot of education from each brewery as the setup is designed for hoping from one line to the next for service.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Jeremiah D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
66 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Fantastic Place”
Reviewed August 7, 2014

This is the best attraction around. Even with the expansion going on, it is still a great place to see. Can't go wrong with the 4 male gorillas. Love feeding the giraffes. Even though they are doing the expansion and some animals are temporarily moved to other zoos, there is still so much to see and do. The zoo is big enough to really enjoy and yet small enough that children can walk it and enjoy it. Animals to feed and to pet.
There are pony rides and the train. Even big people love the train ride.
No trip is complete without taking pictures on top of the animal sculptures.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Heather K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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