Happy Monday everyone! This weekend I took Cooper on a little trip to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park! We have been members of the park for the last 4 years so I try to go there every few months. For those of you that haven’t been, you should check it out if you’re in the area! It’s really one of my favorite places to spend the day.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, it’s not actually in the city of San Diego. It’s name is a bit misleading- it sits in the city of Escondido which is in Northern San Diego County. So it’s about 30 plus miles away from the downtown city area of San Diego. It’s kind of in the middle of no where, but definitely worth the drive.
Admission prices vary depending upon whether on not you purchase a single day visit pass, a two day pass, or a membership. But the prices are definitely reasonable.
We like to get the membership pass because we usually go a minimum of 4 times a year so it’s cost efficient. Also, we get to use our pass for entry into the San Diego Zoo as well! Plus it gets us free parking, a discount on merchandise, two free passes and two 50% off admission coupons to share with our friends.
Regardless of the pass you purchase, every tickets gives you entry to the entire park and access to the Africa tram and all regularly scheduled shows. There are Safari Tours you can purchase for an additional fee. We have only done an additional Safari once, and it was neat…but pricey. Also, there’s an age minimum for many of the Safari’s. I’m honestly happy without spending the extra money and just enjoying the animal exhibits and the (included with admission) Africa tram.
This place is so interesting! I swear I learn something knew every time we come. If you’re an animal lover you will be in heaven. The exhibits are huge, so the animals have so much space to roam and be comfortable. You can also feel great about spending your money here, because San Diego Global is a not-for-profit and they are committed to saving species worldwide. My favorite animals to see are probably the gorillas. It’s been fun to watch a couple of the babies grow up over the last few years.
This handsome guy is Winston. He is the Silverback of the troop, and he is fascinating to watch. The little gorillas are so funny too- I could sit and watch these guys for hours.
Cooper is also a fan- I try to measure him once every 6 months or so against this gorilla picture:
Here he is in the Fall of 2017:
He he is in the Spring of 2018:
I also love the Africa tram tour. It takes you all around the Africa Plains exhibit so you get to see Giraffes, Rhinos, Ostrich, Zebras and more. The animals have a HUGE area to roam about. This giraffe with in a separate enclosure because of a health issue they were resolving. I can’t resist the giraffes! They are so gorgeous!
This picture below is from the Africa tram looking down onto the African Plains area- to give you an idea of the space the animals have, and they beauty of the land.
One of Cooper’s favorite things to do at the Safari Park is ride the Carousel. It’s $6 per ticket, and that gives you unlimited carousel rides for the entire day. He likes to switch from animal to animal…
We have a great time at this park! We have made lots of memories here over the years. I really think it’s important that I foster a love and appreciation for animals within my child. I want him to grow up caring about animal conservation and protection from extinction. And this place teaches that for sure. I highly recommend you check it out!
Some travel tips:
-This place is huge!!! WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. Do not kill yourselves trying to look cute in high-heels ladies. You will be hating life.
-Pack food if you have picky eaters. They let you bring in your own food and drinks here. There are guidelines to what you can bring in of course, but it’s pretty reasonable. The food choices are pretty basic, and to be honest I haven’t really loved anything I’ve eaten here. So we usually pack snacks and then go grab a meal on our way home.
-They serve alcohol at different spots throughout the park and there’s also a coffee bar. The dining options are listed here.
-It gets really hot here in the summer and it’s a lot of walking, so be aware if bringing people who aren’t used to being active. Also, pack a stroller for any little ones who get tired easily.
-There’s a splash pad area for the kids to play in(no extra charge) so you might want to bring an extra change of clothes and water shoes if your kids are into splash pads.
-The Cheetah Run happens every afternoon at 3:30pm and it’s really neat to see, but people start gathering around the fenced area pretty early. Be aware that if you don’t grab a spot ahead of time you might not be able to see much.
-If your child wants a souvenir, there are reasonably priced options. This trip Cooper picked out a little zebra jeep(you can see him holding it in my pictures) and it was only $3.95 which I thought was a fair price. Of course there’s also the ever popular pressed penny. They have the machines throughout the park.
So that’s my review! Hope it’s helpful, and I hope you enjoyed reading through it. I also hope you check this place out if you haven’t already. It’s fun and educational. We even witnessed a Gerenuk give birth a couple years ago! There’s always something new to see here.
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you all have a great week!