Camp for overnight visitors opens at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek

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By: Associated Press

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — A southwestern Michigan zoo has completed an African-style camp for overnight visitors.

Battle Creek’s Binder Park Zoo on Wednesday dedicated the Joe and Clara Stewart African Tented Camp and Zamani School. The camp consists of eight wood-framed structures built on stilts with a removable canvas tents, and the school includes a mess hall, meeting place and educational center.

Zoo officials say the complex — named after local donors and philanthropists — is part of a $3 million dollar capital campaign launched in 2013. The original Zamani School in South Africa was dedicated to the Stewarts.

The camp is on the northern edge of an 18-acre savannah, and visitors will be surrounded by giraffes, zebras, impalas and other animals.

The center’s aim is to boost African cultural and educational programming.