Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Centre
Stroll around under 5 acres of beautiful tropical gardens at Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Center. Watch world-famous marching flamingos perform at 10:30am, 2:15pm and 4:00pm daily. Guests are invited to feed the Lory parrots daily at 11am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm. There are also iguanas, snakes, monkeys, birds, including the rare Bahama parrot. Open daily 9am-5pm. Last admission 4:00pm.
Ardastra Gardens was first opened to the public in 1937. It was the brain child of Hedley Vivian Edwards, a Jamaican horticulturalist, who wanted to create a luscious garden here in the heart of Nassau. This was not an easy task as the area in those days was more of a marshland than a lush garden. He named it the Ardastra Gardens after the Jamaican defense force motto, Ardastra, which came from the latin, Ardua astrum, literally meaning "Striving for the stars".
In the 1950's flamingos in the Bahamas were nearly hunted to the point of extinction. The Government at that time brought flamingos to Ardastra Gardens as an experiment to try breeding them in captivity. The breeding was not very successful but the flamingos certainly became quite an attraction in the gardens. Mr. Edwards then decided to begin training the flamingos to do a march for his guests and they have been marching ever since. The flamingos were featured in the National Geographic magazine in the October 1957 issue as nobody had trained flamingos to be comfortable around people before and so people could come closer to the flamingos in Ardastra compared to anywhere else in the world.
The first zoo in the Bahamas
In 1982 the gardens were bought by Mr. Norman Solomon, a Bahamian, and it was then that the first zoo in the Bahamas was born.
Ardastra is situated only a few minutes drive from downtown Nassau. There are several ways to get to Ardastra:
Making your own way?
Visitors can take the #10 bus from Downtown or Cable Beach to Arawak Cay, and walk five minutes to the entrance. Or any of the numerous Taxis will take you right to the zoo for just a few dollars per person. For those making their own way by rental car or by scooter - the map below provides details of our location and as you approach Ardastra, you will be directed by our road signs. call us directly.
Arriving by cruise ship?
Most cruise lines sell an Ardastra Gardens/City Tour Combo. Please check with your ship's Shore Excursion Director for details.
Contact: Ms. Beverley J. Rolle
Ardastra Gardens, Zoo & Conservation Centre Details
Off West Bay St, Nassau, Bahamas