Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Flamingo Gardens and Wildlife Sanctuary

After departing Everglades Holiday Park was the Flamingo Gardens and Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the state of Florida, home to 21 tree specimens that are the largest of their species, 200-year-old live oak trees, and a wildlife sanctuary with more than 80 species of native animals and birds.

Flamingo Gardens, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

The first thing we did was get on a guided “train tour” – which was some golf-cart-type seating compartments attached together like a small train, and towed by a Jeep. The guide gave us a history of the Gardens, and a basic overview of the park, pointing out the various plants and animals of interest we passed.

Wray House and live oaks

The original Wray House and live oaks.

Flamingo Botanical Gardens

So strange to see common indoor plants from my region growing outdoors here.

Flamingo Gardens

A Banyan tree

A Banyan tree behind the Wray House.

Sapodilla tree in the Flamingo Gardens

Sapodilla tree – the origin of chewing gum.

Flamingo Gardens

Cypress knees in botanical gardens

Cypress knees.

A very large fig tree... the largest of its species.

A very large fig tree… the largest of its species.

After the train tour, we walked around a bit to see the rest the Gardens had to offer. We started with the flamingo habitat.

Flamingos and White Ibis

A panorama of the flamingos and white ibis in their habitat. (click to see a little larger)

Flamingo Stereotype

A very stereotypical-looking flamingo, haha.

White Ibis begging

This white ibis was quite hopeful that we would put a quarter in the food machine and give him some!

White Ibis

So, naturally, we did.

Hand-feeding a flamingo

One – only one – smart flamingo figured out what was up and came over to get food.

One smart flamingo

Om nom nom

Ferruginous Hawk

Ferruginous Hawk.

The gardens, aside from the ibis and flamingo habitat, also had a number of habitats for parrots and native birds, especially permanently injured birds of prey, and a large open-air aviary of other native birds that you could walk through. The aviary was very stinky and poopy, but according to the Flamingo Gardens’ website, the inhabitants of the aviary have produced more than 2,000 offspring that have been released into the wild. So it’s a good thing!

There were also amphibians, reptiles, and big cats, including the Florida Panther (which is quite endangered). They will also soon have a bear habitat and otter habitat, too.

The animals in the park get “adopted” by private individuals to help support their recovery, or care if they are permanently injured. The Flamingo Garden is a nonprofit, so this supplemental income helps them care for the animals they have and make new habitats to help more animals. Pretty neat.


Screech owl

This little guy was so cute! I think he is a screech owl.

Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill

The Flamingo Gardens may seem like a small and humble place when compared to big-city attractions like the Atlanta Botanical Gardens or Atlanta Zoo. And it is… parts of it seem kind of run-down, but it has a lot more history and soul than either of those places. Also, no crushing mobs of screaming children and their inattentive parents. Just sayin’.

We enjoyed our time there. And we got a pretty awesome strawberry-banana smoothie, too. We had such a good time there that we even took a cheery photo to remember it by.

The hubs having a great time, as usual!

The hubs having a great time, as usual!


Nerd. Foodie. Gamer. Homecook. Perpetual planner. Gardener. Aspiring homesteader. Direct response graphic designer. I use too many damn commas.