Our First Time Together at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Last week Jeremiah & I visited the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, but before I talk about my experience, here are some tidbits.

A Few Facts

I know that there are people who are extremely against keeping animals in a zoo. I am against the mistreatment of animals, which is why you wouldn’t see me at Seaworld or Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park doesn’t do that, at least, from what I’ve experienced during our visit. I try to keep an open mind about sensitive topics before I make judgments. So, before judging the facility, here are a few facts about the park & what they do:

  • The Park is noted for its California condor breeding program, the most successful such program in the United States
  • The park houses the world’s largest veterinary hospital
  • The main purposes of this zoo is for species conservation & breeding
  • California condors in the park are the key force in the recovery effort for the species
  • The Safari Park has received several awards for its breeding programs & conservation efforts
information via Wikipedia
San Diego Zoo Safari is an AZA-accredited facility dedicated to conservation, education, & recreation. To learn more about which facilities in your area that provide the best in animal care, visit www.aza.org

For more information on the education of animals, please check out this Kid’s Oceanography Guide here.

If there is any article or reliable source out there that the park is mistreating animals, please link me so I can do research. I don’t want to support anything that mistreats animals.

Jeremiah & I got there a little after they opened, but we weren’t stressing too much about it because it isn’t as big as the San Diego Zoo.

We printed our Safari Park tickets at the self service station out in the front. We actually got our tickets weeks before our trip on Groupon for a really good deal.

After getting our tickets, Jeremiah & I roamed the park for a bit before heading to our 1:30 PM Safari Tour.

Gorilla Forest

We checked out the Gorilla Forest first, but they were sleeping.

They have a few souvenir shops throughout the park & I went to a small one to buy a giraffe ears headband because I thought they were really cute.

The park also serves alcohol at this location called “Rift Sand Bar”.

The park also has an hot air balloon tour.

& they have zip lining tours as well!

Safari Base Camp

Jeremiah & I headed back to the Safari Base Camp for our Caravan Safari tour. It was advised to be there early for check-in, so we arrived 15 minutes early.

African Plains

The first area we covered was the African Plains. We were able to see some monkeys before we entered the area, but I wasn’t able to get a good shot of them.

In several countries rhinos are being poached & their horns can be sold on the black market for up for $60,000 a kilo. In 2012, South Africa alone lost 668 rhinos due to poaching 😢
San Diego Zoo does not support the dehorning that is happening in several countries & built a rhino rescue center to assist reproduction & ensure sustainable white rhino populations in the future. (information via bisbeeconservationfund.org & endextinction.org)

baby rhino on the right!

Jeremiah & I thought that the tour was just going to take us around the park & learn about the animals from our tour guide, but we were also allowed to feed them! Everyone in the tour got the opportunity to feed the giraffe some leaves.

Asian Savanna

The second area we covered was the Asian Savanna.

We were also able to feed the rhinos some apples.

Our tour guide Danielle was awesome & extremely informative.

After the tour, we checked out the Cheetah Run, & then we checked out the other areas we didn’t get a chance to see.

Lion Camp

I’m always bummed whenever I get to check out the lions because they sleep throughout the day. They’re nocturnal animals so it’s understandable. I want to be able to see them be active at least once though!

Cheetah Run

We also checked out the Cheetah Run which was happening right after our tour ended. It was crowded with people. I honestly didn’t even see the cheetah run because it ran too fast. They had a dog do the run before the cheetah so you could compare the speed. It wasn’t even close. lol.

Savanna Cool Zone

They also have a little water zone for kids, which I thought was useful because I can’t imagine how hot it gets during the summer. It wasn’t even that hot during our visit, but the lack of shade & no breeze was pretty bad.

Elephant Valley

Jeremiah & I were excited to see some elephants, but they were off roaming a little far, so we didn’t stay long in this area. I remember seeing a lot more elephants at the main San Diego Zoo.

They also have bats, but I don’t remember where they’re located at. I found it a little creepy, so we didn’t stay long. The habitat they were in was also super humid & hot.

Tiger Trail

The last place we checked out was the Tiger Trail, but we were only able to see one tiger. It looked really intimidating & fierce.

Overall, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park doesn’t have as many animals as the San Diego Zoo, but I think it’s because their facility is mostly for breeding, conservation, & veterinary purposes. Getting tour tickets definitely makes the visit worth its while though. It was a great experience to see the animals up close & get the chance to feed them.

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