Dallas Zoo Serengeti Restaurant

The Dallas Zoo wanted to create an outdoor dining experience in the African exhibit area that could include maximum seating with a minimum number of vertical poles. Eucalyptus is a hardwood and is sometimes stronger than typical building materials. 

Dallas Zoo



Creating an outdoor dining option can be tricky since there are no walls. The challenge was to maximize outdoor seating while minimizing vertical poles. Additional challenges included:

  1. Tie into the African-themed environment of the nearby exhibits.
  2. Fabricate with materials that will last at least 15-20 years.
  3. Hide all bolts and screws at the joints.


The winning solution:

  • Eucalyptus was the hands-down choice for the timber. Since eucalyptus is native to Africa, it delivers the authentic look and feel of the region and conveys the African vibe.
  • Eucalyptus’ strength worked well to maximize the span between vertical poles.
  • Synthetic rope was used to lash all of the joints.
  • Both materials need minimal maintenance.


The African exhibit in the Dallas Zoo now has a secure and authentic outdoor dining area for guests to enjoy.  They love the authentic feel of the structure. Although the materials were sourced by amaZulu, Jeff Larmee @ Tiki King was the designer and fabricator of this project.

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