The Serengeti Flyer, the Iron Gwazi roller coaster, and the safari are some of the main attractions at Tampa’s biggest theme park. Apparently so is smoked barbeque food. Busch Gardens in Tampa was recognized by USA Today’s 10Best as a must-visit theme park restaurant destination.

This report details how theme parks have made a conscious effort to add higher-end cuisine options to their park experience. Finding good quality food at a reasonable price has been typically hard at such places. However, now it has become more common to have the opportunity to park the stroller and have a nice, sit-down meal.

To compile their Best 10, USA Today had a team name their top 10 restaurants at theme parks. From there, they asked readers to vote on their favorites.

Zambia Smokehouse

This barbeque establishment has everything from racks of ribs to a smoke brisket salad. Zambia Smokehouse describe their cooking as slow-cooked with hickory and oak wood. In addition, each order is served with seasoned fries or coleslaw. 10Best explains their Zambia experience by saying it is, “a casual dining eatery with an open barbecue pit that offers a variety of proteins, sandwiches, salads and sides.”


Zambia Smokehouse’s menu is concise but includes all your favorite barbeque selections. They have pulled-pork and brisket sandwiches, if you are looking for a quicker stop. For those desiring a full plate, smoked chicken, a plate of ribs or Texas sliced brisket are available to order. Finally, if you can’t decide, Zambia offers a sampler entrée that consists of all three. Furthermore, each order is served with a coleslaw or seasoned fries.

Other side items include mac and cheese, baked beans, green beans with bacon, pickles or fruit. Then, to satisfy your sugar rush, there’s a selection of desserts and soft drinks, as well.

Zambia Smokehouse is part of Busch Garden’s pay once, eat-all-day option. For $49.99, this all-day dining deal allows guests to buy a meal pass as an efficient way to navigate your day of adventure and food.

This Tampa Busch Gardens top rated restaurant can be found in the Stanleyville section of the park, adjacent to the SheiKra roller coaster.

3 Strange Occurrences We've Already Seen in Alligator Mating Season

In the world of Florida alligators, courtship typically begins during the month of April. May and June are the usual alligator mating season. Though we are only two weeks into the month, there have already been a handful of reports in the state detailing strange alligator behavior.

Alligator in stormwater pipe

Last week in Oviedo, a crew of public workers were surprised to find a five-foot alligator staring at them while examining a stormwater pipe. They had been tasked with looking into various potholes in Seminole County.

“Using a four-wheeled remote-control robot with a built-in camera, the team scrutinized the underground piping for any defects or blockages, only to discover a 5-foot alligator blocking the drains,” Newsweek reported. Apparently, the crew followed the alligator through the pipe. Eventually, their robotic camera got dismantled and the alligator roamed away. The Newsweek report has still of the incident.

Hissing gator

In the Fort White area, three women were casually floating down the Ichetucknee River on tubes. Suddenly, they were greeted by an alligator hissing at them. The alligator was resting upon a log. It was believed to be protecting its nest. Fox 13 secured some video clips of the strange sounds.

Pool party

Last week, a Kendall resident found a not-so-friendly alligator enjoying a swim in their backyard pool. UPI reported that wildlife officials responded to the call and attempted to capture the 10-foot gator. The pool was not screened in. There is also a body of water close by where they believe the alligator might have come from. A crew member who came to the rescue explained that any alligator captured over four feet will be put in captivity.

Finally, Field and Stream has footage of other recent strange occurrences that have happened during alligator mating season. These include one alligator bending a metal fence, one walking across the street in Naples, and one at the front door of a house.

Here are a few things to know about the May and June alligator mating season in Florida.

  • Mating Season = More Active Alligators

    You are more likely too see an alligator during mating season. Mating season aligns to this time of year partially due to the weather warming up. This in turn makes the alligators more comfortable with coming out. It was not uncommon for alligators to be seen more than usual this past winter due to the weather being warmer this year.

    Alligator out of water in Florida

  • Early Morning and Evening

    These are the times of day when an alligator is most active. They can be found in any body of water. They react to any splashing of water. At water’s edge, they likely think any movement is an animal. Lower water levels also increase their movement abilities.

    Alligator in low water

  • Beware

    There are some general precautions you can take during alligator mating season. You should never feed them. In Florida, it’s against the law to feed any animal living in the wild. It also makes them more comfortable around humans when you you feed them; it also teaches them to associate people with food. Keep your pets away from alligator friendly areas and bodies of water that have rising waters. Be aware that the size of the alligator does not matter in regards to how much damage it can cause. Smaller sized are also dangerous. If you were being chased by an alligator, it is best to run away in a straight line.

    Lastly, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission can always be contacted here, where you can also find additional information.

    Beware of alligators

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