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The Ultimate Guide to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

June 1, 2017
The Ultimate Guide to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Are you planning on making a trip to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park? The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, is north of San Diego, and includes a spacious 1800 acres for the animals to roam freely. I’ve always had a love for Africa and a major bucket list item is to go on a safari. So as you can tell, my adventuring heart was dying to check out the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Here I’ve put together everything you need to know for a trip to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, enjoy!


The Ultimate Guide to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park


San Diego Zoo Safari Park


San Diego Zoo Safari Park: General Info

Location: Google Maps

15500 San Pasqual Valley Road

Escondido, California 92027-7017


The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is located in Escondido, about a 40-minute drive (depending on traffic) north of the San Diego Zoo. With roughly 1,800 acres of land and a semi-arid environment, it truly feels like you’ve left San Diego and have gone out adventuring in the savannas of Africa.


Hours: Open everyday (including holidays) 9:00am – 5:00pm


Ticket Price:

  • 1 Day Pass – Adult (ages 12+) $52, Child (ages 3-11) $42
  • 1 Day Pass Plus -(Adult $58, Child $48) Also includes one 4-D Theater experience. 
  • 2 Visit Pass – (Adult $83.25, Child $73.25) One visit to San Diego Zoo and one visit to San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Or, two visits to San Diego Zoo – or – two visits to San Diego Zoo Safari Park 
  • Go San Diego Card – (Adult $199, Child $179) 3-day, all-inclusive attraction pass with free admission to the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, LEGOLAND, SeaWorld San Diego, and 35 other attractions.


San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Giraffe - San Diego Zoo Safari Park


Info About the Park

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park consists of free-range enclosures that house wild and endangered animals from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. Here you can go on safari and get close-up views of rhinos, giraffes, elephants, buffalo and more!


The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a not-for-profit organization that began is a species conservation and breeding facility for the San Diego Zoo. The idea was to provide the ability to see these beautiful animals in a more natural environment, rather than in cages. Since opening in 1972, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has received many awards for its breeding programs and conservation efforts.


San Diego Zoo Safari Park


Gorilla - San Diego Zoo Safari Park



There are so many safari tours to choose from! But it’s important to note that not all the safaris available are included in the park admission.


San Diego Zoo Safari Park


Free Safaris

  • Cheetah Safari – At the Cheetah Safari you have the opportunity to watch a cheetah go from 0 to 70 mph in just a few seconds as they magnificently race down a 330-foot-long track.

Note: The Cheetah Safari is included in your general admission ticket, however for an additional fee ($50) you can receive a private up-close encounter with much better viewing.


Cheetah Run Safari - Africa Tram - San Diego Zoo Safari Park


  • The Africa Tram -The Africa Tram is a 45-minute guided tour around the African field exhibit. It’s nice and relaxing, and you can enjoy beautiful views of the park. The Africa Tram is technically not a safari, however it is free so I lumped it in this category. It opens at 10am, and I would recommend getting there right when it opens, maybe even a little bit before it opens. If you don’t, it’s likely you’ll wait approximately 30 minutes or more, but regardless it’s definitely worth the wait.


Africa Tram - San Diego Zoo Safari Park


Safaris with Additional Fees

  • Caravan Safari ($111 and up) – The Caravan Safari is arguably the most popular and exciting safari. However for an additional $111 fee, I had to pass. On this safari you have the opportunity to travel inside the field enclosures on a covered, open-air safari truck and get up–close views of these amazing animals. The cherry on top is you get to feed giraffes from the truck!


Caravan Safari - San Diego Zoo Safari Park


  • Cart Safari ($50 and up) – The Cart Safari is a 1-hour ride with a guide where you’ll learn more about the park’s beginnings and the animals who call the Safari Park their home. Here you can choose between an African or Asian safari.


Elephants - Africa Tram - San Diego Zoo Safari Park


  • Balloon Safari (Price subject to change) – The Balloon Safari was modeled after the hot air balloon tours of the Serengeti, and you’ll rise up to 400 feet over the park for a bird’s eye view! This safari’s availability is subject to wind and weather conditions.


Balloon Safari - San Diego Zoo Safari Park


  • Jungle Ropes Safari ($50 and up) – The Jungle Ropes Safari is for the daredevils and adventurers! You’ll use a belay system as you walk across rope bridges and aerial tightropes through the jungle treetops.


Jungle Ropes Safari - San Diego Zoo Safari Park


  • Behind-the-Scene Safari ($80 and up) – With the Behind-the-Scene Safari you can spend 2 hours getting up close and personal to the animal of your choice. Here you have the option of choosing between rhinos, tigers, lions, cheetahs, or learning about the veterinary services at the park. 


Rhino - San Diego Zoo Safari Park


  • Flightline Safari ($75 and up) – On the Flightline Safari, harness yourself in and soar 130 feet above the field enclosures for a bird’s eye view of the park.


  • Roar & Snore Safari ($140 and up) – Pack your bags because the Roar & Snore Safari includes a sleepover in the safari park. Here you can camp and take a look at the wildlife after-hours.


Pink Flamingos - San Diego Zoo Safari Park


  • VIP Ultimate Safari ($690 and up) – The VIP Ultimate Safari is your dream come true, in the safari park experience. You can get a completely customized itinerary depending on your interests for seeing exclusive off-exhibit areas of the park and your very own personal tour guide.


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The Ultimate Guide to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park


What safari did you do at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park? Love to know below!



Tiffany created Lavender Vines as a place to share her love for Jesus and adventures from around the world. She has a slight obsession with salted caramel lattes, Japanese kimonos, and an ongoing love affair with NYC and Paris.



  1. AK

    June 1, 2017 at 2:41 pm Reply

    They have a WHOLE OTHER PARK? Mind blown. <3

    1. Tiffany Nicole

      Tiffany Nicole

      June 28, 2017 at 11:52 am Reply

      Haha I know, right! Amazing. <3

  2. Estella Catron

    June 18, 2017 at 2:46 pm Reply

    Wow!! I didn’t know there was so much you could do at this zoo!! Amazing. Thank you for sharing!

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