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.
Highlights of our visit to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park include:
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.
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.
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.
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
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, California 92027
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