The Rhino Encounter allowed guests to get up close and in-depth with both white and black rhinos on the Serengeti Plain. The tour debuted in the summer of 2019 and did not immediately return after the extended closure in 2020. The encounter returned as a limited-time offering in celebration of World Rhino Day in September 2022 & 2023.
The Rhino Encounter tour was offered beginning in June 2019. The new encounter was introduced as a regular offering following two limited-time offerings of a similar Rhino Endangered Species Tour that also featured up-close experiences with a black rhino.
At its debut, the tour started at $59.99 per person, with pass member discounts available. Guests were required to be eight years old and a minimum of 54 inches tall to participate. The tour was not wheelchair accessible due to the walking required on unpaved surfaces and uneven terrain.
The 45-minute experience includes a behind-the-scenes look at the care for the park’s white rhinos, and an up-close encounter with Jody, the park’s endangered black rhinoceros out on the Serengeti Plain.
Guests who embarked on the Rhino Encounter on September 21 and 22, 2019, received a special rhino thermography photo in celebration of World Rhino Day.
Rhino Encounter remained available in early 2020, with the pricing starting at $59.99 per person.
Following the extended park closure from March 16 through June 10, 2020, the Rhino Encounter did not return to the available tour offerings.
In September 2022, the encounter returned as a limited-time offer from September 22 – 25 around World Rhino Day. It was listed as a 30-minute off-road experience with the opportunity to go behind the scenes and touch one of the park’s white rhinos, along with learning about their care and the challenges their wild counterparts face. Like the previous version of the experience, guests were required to be eight years old and a minimum of 54 inches tall to participate. The tour was not wheelchair accessible. Pricing started at $49.99 per person.
The tour returned again in September 2023, being offered for three days from September 22-24. The components of the tour remained the same as the previous year. Guests needed to be at least eight years of age, but there was no minimum height requirement listed. The tour remained inaccessible for guests in wheelchairs. Pricing started at $59.99 per person.
Twitter – @BuschGardens | Jun 18 2019 – accessed 12/15/2019
Twitter – @BuschGardens | Sep 18 2019 – accessed 9/18/2019
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay | Rhino Encounter – accessed 9/18/2019
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay | Rhino Encounter – accessed 1/11/2020
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay | Park Tours – accessed 12/4/2020
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay | Rhino Encounter – accessed 9/16/2022
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay | Rhino Encounter – accessed 9/16/2023
Last update: September 17, 2023