If you haven’t heard already, the San Diego Zoo is world-famous. It’s absolutely a must see attraction and I personally loved it. But with that said I’ve always had a love for Africa and a major bucket list item is to go on safari. With that in mind, my adventuring heart was dying to check out the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
The Safari Park is located about a 40-minute drive (depending on traffic) north of the San Diego Zoo in Escondido. 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 on the savannas of Africa.
Info About the Park
The free-range enclosures house wild and endangered animals from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. Here you can go on safari and get up-close views of rhinos, giraffes, elephants, buffalo and more!
This not-for-profit organization 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 Safari Park has received many awards for its breeding programs and conservation efforts.
Don’t miss the Africa Tram! Starting at 10am, this attraction is included in your general admission ticket and is so worth the ~30 minute wait. Here you’ll go on a 45-minute guided tour around the African field exhibit and enjoy beautiful views of the park.
There are many safari tours to choose from, but not all the safaris available are included in the park admission.
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.
Although this safari is included in your general admission ticket, you can receive better viewing and a private up-close encounter for an additional $50 fee.
ADDITIONAL FEE SAFARIS
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!
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 story and the animals who call the Safari Park their home. Here you can choose between an African or Asian safari.
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.
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.
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 the veterinary services at the park. With the Veterinary Medical Center.
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.
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.
Over to you! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!