Guest Services

Whether you’re admiring a garden, catching an animal presentation or talking with a member of our staff, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden strives to provide a consistent, excellent and memorable experience for all of our guests.

Accessibility

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is dedicated to creating a high-quality recreational experience for all our visitors.

A complete list of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden’s services, presentations and attractions can be found on the visitor’s guide/map. If you need assistance during your visit, please ask any uniformed employee. For additional information prior to your visit, please call 803.779.8717.

Access

All exhibits, restrooms, trams, restaurants and gift shops are wheelchair accessible; however, the upper portion of the Woodlands Walk nature trail is not.

Wheelchair-accessible restrooms and drinking fountain locations:

  • Botanical Garden Visitors Center
  • Carousel Plaza
  • Discovery Center
  • Ndoki Plaza
  • Palmetto Plaza (behind the Wings of the South stage)

Admission

All Riverbanks guests are required to pay general admission fees or obtain a membership for entry into the Zoo and Garden.

First Aid/Public Safety

Public Safety and First Aid are located next to the Elephant’s Trunk Gift Shop. In case of emergency, please notify a uniformed employee or Public Safety at 803.602.0814.

Parking

Handicapped parking spaces are available in the Zoo’s visitor parking lot and the Garden’s visitor parking lot. Official state handicapped parking permit is required.

Service Animals

  • Pets are not allowed inside Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Guests who rely on service animals may bring them into the Zoo, provided that the animals remain properly leashed. A copy of our service animal policy may be obtained through Public Safety. Guests are solely responsible for the care and control of their animals.
  • Kennels are not available for those who need to leave their service animal during their Zoo stay.

Transportation

  • A complimentary tram runs every 10 to 15 minutes between the Visitors Center in the Botanical Garden and the scenic Saluda River Footbridge that leads to the Zoo. The tram is accessible to wheelchair users, and the bridge spans the Saluda River for approximately 800 feet.
  • Electronic convenience vehicles (ECVs), wheelchairs, strollers, and wagons are available for rent at the Palmetto Outpost just inside the Zoo entrance.

Rentals

The park is handicapped accessible except for the upper portions of the Woodlands Walk. Trams are wheelchair and stroller accessible. For the convenience of Riverbanks guests, wheelchairs and strollers are available for rent at the Palmetto Outpost in the Zoo’s entrance plaza. All rentals are first-come, first-served based on availability. No advance reservations are accepted.

  • Single Stroller — $8.00*
  • Double Stroller — $11.00*
  • Wheelchair (manual) — $8.00*
  • Electric Mobility Scooter (limited qty) — $33.00*

*All rentals are also subject to a $5.00 fully refundable deposit upon return and taxes.

Amenities

Trams

Complimentary tram rides are offered every 10 to 15 minutes between the Visitors Center in the Botanical Garden and the scenic Saluda River Footbridge that leads to the Zoo. The tram is accessible to wheelchair users, and the bridge spans the Saluda River for approximately 800 feet.

Picnic Area

A wooded area with picnic tables and trash facilities is located at the west end of the Zoo’s parking lot. There are no restrooms in the picnic area. Visitors may leave the Zoo for picnics and return to the park without any additional charge by presenting the original admission receipt. For the safety and comfort of our guests, the following items are not permitted in the picnic area: open fires, grills of any type, pets (except service dogs), fireworks, firearms, radios, alcohol or smoking.

Restrooms

Riverbanks’ restrooms can accommodate large groups and are located in the Carousel Plaza just inside the Zoo’s temporary entrance, in the main plaza between the Aquarium and the Birdhouse, and across from the elephant exhibit. There are also facilities in the Bog Garden plaza at the Botanical Garden entrance, as well as inside the Visitors Center in the Garden. A family restroom is located between the Farm and Safari Camp.

ATM

Two ATM machines are conveniently located in the Zoo.

Lost & Found

Lost & found is located at the Zoo’s main entrance.

First Aid

First aid can be obtained at the Zoo’s main entrance or by asking any uniformed staff member.

Visiting Groups

Group discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. For the best rate, pay online in advance or make reservations two weeks prior to your visit.

Private Functions

Facility rentals and catering are available for private corporate events, family reunions and weddings.

Park Manners

  • Riverbanks does not allow pets, food, drinks, coolers, skates or radios in the park. Exceptions to this rule may be granted for guests with special needs. Please inquire at the front gate.
  • Please do not feed the animals.
  • Riverbanks is a smoke-free facility.

Café & Snacks

Ape Island Snack Bar

(open seasonally)

Fresh Hand battered Chicken Tenders with Sweet or Salty ’Tots, Popcorn, Pretzels and ICEE.

Base Camp Provisions

(open seasonally)

ICEE, Pretzels, Popcorn.

Carousel Ice Cream Shop

(open seasonally)

Hand-scooped Blue Bell Ice Cream, Soft Serve Ice Cream, ICEE, Popcorn, Cotton Candy and Starbucks coffee.

The Cone

(open seasonally)

Soft Serve Ice Cream, ICEE, Popcorn, Cotton Candy.

Dippin’ Dots

(open seasonally)

Hand-scooped Ice Cream of the future.

ICEE Hut

(open seasonally)

‘Mix It Up’ ICEE, Popcorn and Cotton Candy.

Ndoki Pizza

(open daily from 9:00am–5:00pm)

Stone-fired Pizza, Made-to-order Salads, and Artisan Sandwiches.

Plaza Café

(open seasonally)

Starbucks Coffee, Soft Serve Ice Cream, and ICEE.

Tuskers

(open year round at 9:00am)

Fresh made-to-order salads, hand-battered chicken tenders, 100% Angus beef burgers, Artisan sandwiches and pizza. Starbucks Coffee and iced coffee drinks also available. View menu. (PDF)

Shops & Souvenirs

Carousel Ice Cream Shop

(open seasonally)

Have a sweet tooth? This is the spot for you! Enjoy a variety of candy and hand-scooped Blue Bell ice cream or milkshakes. Offers kid selection of Riverbanks keepsakes.

The Elephant’s Trunk Gift Shop

(open year round at 9:00am)

We have an enormous selection of Riverbanks keepsakes! Clothing, hats, stuffed animals, toys, film, souvenirs and more.

The Garden Gift Cart

(open seasonally)

Stop by for souvenirs, toys and film.

Palmetto Outpost

(open seasonally, but also offered at the Elephant Trunk Gift Shop)

This creatively themed stopover in the Zoo’s entrance plaza offers stroller and wheelchair rentals, souvenirs and drinks.

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