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Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Experience at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo's Reptile Discovery Center


Aldabra tortois Get an extremely rare chance to go behind the scenes with National Zoo keepers at the Reptile Discovery Center! You will have the opportunity to see some of the most critically endangered species on the planet and learn how the National Zoo is working to save them. The more you learn about these animals, the more you will be fascinated. From the critically endangered Cuban Crocodile, to brightly colored poison frogs, to the long-living Aldabra tortoises—you will encounter all of these in the off-exhibit areas of the Reptile Discovery Center rarely open to the public.

The jam-packed tour includes the following:

  • An Aldabra tortoise feeding
  • An animal encounter
  • A continental breakfast in front of the crocodiles
  • A guided tour of the Reptile Discovery Center and the new Salamander Lab (each tour is limited to 10 people)


FONZ members will receive a special gift with their ticket purchase. Just enter your member number at time of purchase!
Salamander Ambassadors

Tours are on selected Wednesday and Saturday mornings from May through October. Tours start at 9 a.m. and last approximately 2 hours and are limited to a maximum of ten people. Available dates are listed below; please click "Show Details & Purchase" to buy tickets.

Please Note
You must abide by animal keeper instructions at all times.
Due to the nature of this tour, we cannot accommodate children under the age of four.
There is a four-person minimum for the tour to be held.
This is a rain or shine tour.
Tickets are nonrefundable.

Thank you for you interest in the Reptile Discovery Center. Check back later for new Reptile Discovery Center Tours.


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