Experience a World of Wonder at Wildlife Explorers Basecamp
From up-close encounters with a myriad of wondrous wildlife, to the treehouse and “splashy” water play area, the San Diego Zoo’s Wildlife Explorers Basecamp isn’t meant to be seen—it’s to be experienced. The most significant expansion in the Zoo’s 106-year history, this immersive new world takes you into four unique ecosystems— and introduces you to the species that call them home. Additionally, Jake’s Cool Critters Herptile House and the McKinney Family Spineless Marvels Invertebrate House offer the chance to come nose-to-nose (or beak, or snout…) with crawly and slithery creatures of all kinds.
Climb rocks, explore caves, and play in a desert wash in Desert Dunes, where you can discover wildlife that use burrows to beat the heat—including the fennec fox, prairie dog, desert tortoise, and burrowing owl. In Wild Woods, step into a waterfall grotto, and look out for splashing jets that unexpectedly fill a stream. Then, pick a path to climb the ancient oak tree—a rope bridge, a spiral staircase, or a fallen branch. Nearby, squirrel monkeys and coatis play in the same way that Wildlife Explorers do. Marsh Meadows begins with a trek into the marsh, where the waterline rises as you head deeper down the shore. Observe our crocodiles and turtles as they take to the water. And as the marsh grows deeper, it teems with more wildlife. Venture into Jake’s Cool Critters Herptile House to discover a watery world and a moving river of light that ripples mysteriously overhead in the underwater-themed environment. Spot the rare Fijian iguana, South American lungfish, axolotl, and Chinese giant salamander. Check out the microscope stations, where you can take a snapshot and share it. Maybe you’ll meet a conservationist and some of our favorite scaly friends.
In the Rainforest, a multilevel outdoor environment with caimans and tortoises awaits your exploration. This mixed habitat is also home to our wildlife ambassadors and the McKinney Family Spineless Marvels Invertebrate House.
Our two-story greenhouse abounds with butterflies, grasshoppers, bees, and other invertebrates. Explore dark caves and inspect an entire colony of leafcutter ants. There is more excitement just outside Wildlife Explorers Basecamp, where you can see the largest living lizard in the world at Kenneth C. Griffin Komodo Kingdom; as well as witness astonishing flights of fancy in the William E. Cole Family Hummingbird Habitat.
Wildlife Explorers Basecamp must be seen—and experienced— to be believed. Start planning your visit now!
Get a jump start on your adventure by purchasing gear inspired by the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Explorers Basecamp! From drinkware and puzzles featuring the Wildlife Explorers Habitats to t-shirts, sweatshirts, backpacks, and plush showcasing your favorite basecamp wildlife and animals. Love bees, fennec foxes, or axolotls? Be an advocate for future conservationists with merchandise from our "Wildlife Explorers Basecamp" collection here.