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One of the highlights of our trip to San Diego was our visit to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Our family, no matter where our travels take us, we try to find an aquarium and/or zoo to visit. We drove the 2016 Jeep Wrangler Sport with the top down, of course, to the Safari Park. I believe it was fitting for where we were headed. The Safari Park was the perfect place to spend a warm and sunny day with my family along with the husband’s friend and his two kids.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a massive, 1,800-acre wildlife preserve that is home to over 3,500 animals across 260 species. Needless to say, we spent an entire afternoon wandering the grounds of the Safari Park until it closed.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Highlights of our visit to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park include:

Africa Tram

The Africa tram, which took us on a 30-minute tour allowing us to see animals in their natural habitats. Animals like herds of elephants, zebras, giraffes, rhinoceros, and other animals were seen just as they would live amongst each other in the wild. The tram guide was entertaining as he educated us on the animals we saw. Due to the time of day and the heat, a lot of the animals were sleeping or sheltering themselves from the sun, but we did manage to see a few babies. Baby animals are always cute!  The tram ride also offered us a short respite from all of the walking and hiking we had done through the park.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Africa Tram

Cheetah Run

The husband’s friend and children insisted that we had to visit the Cheetah Run because according to him and his kids, it was the most amazing thing to see in the park.  He was right.  The Cheetah Run is a 330-foot-long track where Amarah the Cheetah with her canine pal, Hopper in the lead, run to reach a maximum speed of 70 miles per hour. Seeing the cheetah run, and run as quickly as it did was beyond impressive, especially hearing the sound of her paws hit the ground.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Cheetah Run

Lemur Walk

Lemurs have always fascinated me. The Lemur Walk offered an up close and personal experience with the ring-tailed lemurs as you walk along a path inside the exhibit. This was a fun, and overwhelming. To be honest, I was scared lol. All I could think of was what if one jumped on me? It did not happen, and thank God for that.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Lemur Walk

Conservation Carousel

We ended our day by letting the kids enjoy a ride on the Conservation Carousel. It features 60 ride elements to choose from, many of which replicate rare and endangered animals like the giraffe, rhino, zebra, cheetah, and more. It costs $4 per person for one ride or $6 per person for an all-day wristband.

Take advantage of the free water!

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park offers free water available at any of the food stands or restaurants. This is important, especially if you are visiting on a hot day. For us, it came in handy. It was hot when we went, and trekking through the large park was exhausting.

Even though we stayed at the Safari Park until closing time, there was still a lot of the park to see, which means a return visit! Plus, we have tickets to the actual San Diego Zoo that we have to use by September 2017. We will soon visit again.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a must visit. Don’t believe me, check out what people have to say on TripAdvisor. It was the closest thing to going on an actual African Safari without having to visit Africa. Don’t worry, one of these days we will knock off experiencing an African Safari [in Africa] off of our bucket lists. Next time you are in the San Diego area, be sure to set aside time for a day trip to visit the Safari Park. You will not regret it.

Did you know?

Kids Go Free October: For each paying adult one child receives free admission. Additional child admissions will be charged at the gate. Only valid for travel in October.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park provides strollers, lockers, wheelchairs, and motorized wheelchairs to rent on a first-come, first-served basis near the entrance at Safari Outfitters.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Visitors can get an aerial view of the park on the Hot Air Balloon Safari.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

15500 San Pasqual Valley Road

Escondido, California 92027

Get Social with the San Diego Zoo Safari Park: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Visitors Tips

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Kim S.
Kim is the do-it-all mom (and wife) who not only works full-time and is a freelance makeup artist, but also blogs about her love of family, travel, beauty and skincare. Now that she has a kindergartener, Kim has added Class Parent to her resume. These are all tough jobs, but somehow, she makes them look easy.
  • OMG my boys would love this! Hubby is from Cali and the kids and I have never been so we want to take a trip. This will definitely go on our list of stops.

  • Jonna

    This looks like a lot of fun. The cheetah run sounds amazing. I’ve heard so many good things about SAN Diego, so I look forward t making it to the West Coast soon.

  • Melissa Velazquez

    I’ve never heard of this place before. JustaBXgirl would love it. Might have to add San Diego as a place to go this year.

  • TIff Tiff

    I loved the Safari Park, I went a couple years ago for my birthday. We paid extra to go on a safari and feed the giraffes. The little one looks like she had lots of fun..

  • Stephanie

    This looked like so much fun! My kids would truly love a trip like this! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • everythingcurvyandchic

    thanks so much for this post, I’m preparing my travel trips for 2017 and San Diego is on my list

  • Kirstin

    I would love to see the cheetah run in person. It sounds so wonderful and amazing. I’ll definitely have visit this zoo.

  • Ashvaughn

    Great tips for the park! Looks like you guys had an awesome time 🙂

  • Antoinette Cain

    This looks like such a fun trip. I love visiting the zoo with my children but this place is definitely notches above the zoo in our area. Thanks for sharing.

  • Donna Shana

    Great list of tips. I’m sure the family enjoyed, And you rode in style!

  • LeShelle Smith

    The San Diego Zoo sounds like great family fun. I’m not n outdoorsy girl, but I think I’d enjoy the African Safari!

  • I wanted to do something like this in my local area. It doesn’t sound as awesome as this place. Oh my gosh, my kids would have such a good time.

  • Kemkem

    What a fun time you all must have had. I’m pretty sure my favorite would have been the Cheetah run. I think they are incredible animals and look forward to seeing them in real like one of these days :-). Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Lemurs are interesting animals. My daughter loves the mouse lemurs and has been asking for one as a pet. LOL. Glad you guys enjoyed the safari park!

    • Lol omg do you live where you can have an exotic animal? That would be pretty dope if you got one.