Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Lion cubs

Special thanks to the SunTrust Foundation for their generous support.

Summer Safari Day Camp is accredited by the American Camp Association.
Summer Safari Day Camp is accredited by the American Camp Association

2009 Parents' Pick Nominee

Smithsonian Campaign Goals

2016 Camp Descriptions

For Campers Entering Grades 4-5

Dr. Zoolittle: Zoo MD

Week 1: June 20-24

Imagine what it takes to care for a toothy tiger or slimy salamander. How do you x-ray a stingray or give a shot to a shrew? Zoo veterinarians have one of the toughest jobs around. Visit How Do You Zoo?, our one-of-a-kind role play exhibit, and practice caring for our animals (Campers do not come in direct contact with live animals or assist with animal or veterinary care).

Critter Camo

Week 1: June 20-24

Now you see them, now you don't! Camouflaged creatures will certainly catch your eye in this colorful camp. Explore the many different ways animals use camouflage and color to survive, whether they are hiding in the shadows or standing out from the crowd. Look closely, you won’t want to miss this camp!

Diary of a Not-So-Wimpy Animal

Week 2: June 27-July 1

There is really no such thing as a wimpy animal! It takes skill, savvy, and even a little trickery to survive in the wild, especially when you’re not at the top of the food chain. Crack open your field journal, you'll want to put this camp on the record!

African Safari (Formerly Out of Africa)

Week 3: July 5-8 (no camp July 4)

There's no need for a passport when you can explore the savanna at the National Zoo! Take part in activities, experiments, and crafts as you learn about African animals and culture. We're not lion, it's going to be a wild time!

Amazing Asia

Week 3: July 5-8 (no camp July 4)

Join us on a wild expedition to the world's largest continent while learning about the animals that call Asia home. Explore the island of Sumatra, the cloud forests of China, and many habitats in between. We don't want to incite panda-monium, but camp is seriously amazing!

Dr. Zoo-euss: Zoo MD

Week 4: July 11-15

Repeat Camp. See Week 1 description.

Calling All Cats

Week 5: July 18-22

Looking for a camp with cattitude? Hunt with lions, pounce with tigers, race with cheetahs, and leap into fun with clouded leopards. Meet all of the Zoo's favorite felines and learn what you can do to protect them. We're paw-sitive you'll agree. This camp is purr-fect!

Aquatic All Stars

Week 5: July 18-22

From sea lions and otters to arapaimas and amphibians, we're diving into the watery worlds of the Zoo's bubbliest animals. The incredible Washed Ashore sculptures, on temporary exhibit throughout the Zoo this summer, will introduce us to some of the "current" threats to these fragile ecosystems and show us what we can do to help!

Mythical Creatures

Week 6: July 25-29

Centaurs, dragons, and unicorns can all be found at the National Zoo (all you need is a little imagination). Take a magical journey with the fantastic creatures from the world's legends and myths and visit the real animals behind the mysteries.


Week 6: July 25-29

Mutant and proud! Animals have developed incredible mutations that help them compete and survive in the wild. Looking for Magneto, Mystique, Beast, and Wolverine? Their animal inspirations are right here at the Zoo. Animals Unite!


Week 7: August 1-5

Ready to get your hands dirty, slimy, or sticky? We're digging into the animal behaviors and adaptations that are weird, gross, and downright ewwww-some!

Extreme Animal Athletes

Week 8: August 8-12

Animals are built for survival. They can live deep in the sea, high in the sky, or in the driest desert. Learn about the amazing adaptations that make these animals winners.

The Fast and the Furriest (formerly Survival: the Ultimate Challenge)

Week 8: August 8-12

It takes skill, strength, and smarts for animals to thrive, but they still need your help. Even some of the fastest racers and the most furious fighters are in danger of extinction. Discover what you can do to be a species survival champion!