Hedley Edwards

About Ardastra

In the heart of Nassau, more than four acres of lush tropical gardens are inhabited by a variety of animal species, including the national bird of the Bahamas, the Caribbean flamingo. The site of Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Centre was originally designed by Jamaican horticulturalist Hedley Edwards in 1937. He named the gardens Ardastra, from the latin words ardua ad astra, meaning “striving towards the stars” because he felt that it depicted a ‘utopia of peace, beauty and tranquillity’.  He developed the picturesque and exotic gardens as a nature preserve, later bringing in the endangered Caribbean flamingo from the island of Inagua in the 1950’s, developing what was to become a highly successful breeding programme.  Over time, the birds were trained to perform for visitors and Ardastra became their permanent home.  

In 1980, the gardens were purchased by Norman Solomon, whose passion for wildlife and conservation education inspired him to incorporate more animals into the gardens and create a boutique zoo. Today, thousands of visitors visit annually to marvel at the tranquil, restorative gardens; enjoy close encounters with our collection of over 135 animals; and admire the long-legged flamingo beauties National Geographic has called “Ballerinas in Pink”. The opportunity to enjoy this rare gem will be a highlight for visitors of all ages. Ardastra Gardens depends on philanthropic support from the public to meet its operating needs and to fulfill its educational and conserving missions.

Community & Support

Ardastra Gardens & Wildlife Centre depends on philanthropic support from the public to meet its operating needs and to fulfill its educational and conserving missions. 

Become a Member or Donate

Educational Experiences

Learn more about our Zoo to You program where we bring experiential learning opportunities to children in an educational setting. 

Private Events

Rent out our location for your premiere private event. Contact us below for more information. 

COVID-19 Best Practices

During Your Visit

At Ardastra, we are committed to putting our clientele and our team members first. So we wanted to take a moment to let you know the proactive steps we are taking to keep everyone safe. We have implemented and are enforcing the following guidelines to limit exposure and transmission of Covid-19:

Our Team Members:
  • Face coverings and gloves where needed
  • Frequent hand washing
  • Frequent use of hand sanitizer
  • Daily temperature and health checks
  • Safe health practices when outside of work and quarantining if necessary
On Property:
  • Social distancing signage
  • Sanitizing of high touch surfaces
  • Sanitizing of merchandise and goods with UV light
  • Sanitizing of tables and benches after each use
  • 50% maximum arena capacity
  • Plexiglass shields at registers
  • No animal interactions
Our Visitors:
  • Face coverings required (masks provided if necessary)
  • Temperature checks required
  • Social distancing throughout the property
  • Hand sanitizer provided and strong encouragement to use, especially before handling merchandise/products
Please know that all health and safety measures are in place, not only as mandated by government, but because we value and respect our clientele. We truly appreciate your support in adhering to the guidelines, as what protects one, protects us all.