San diego zoo safari park travel guide and most important information.Now you can go right here in San Diego at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
World famous San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an expansive wildlife sanctuary that is home to more than 3,500 animals representing more than 400 species. Its renowned botanical collection represents 3,500 species and 1.5 million specimens. Over half of the Park’s 1,800 acres (730 hectares) have been set aside as protected native species habitat. It is located in the San Pasqual Valley near Escondido, California.
The Safari Park is a wildlife preserve that mimics the natural habitats of African and Asian animals. The Safari Park’s incredible Lion Camp features a natural exhibit with panoramic views of lions lounging in the grasslands while antelopes and giraffes mingle nearby and rhinos retreat to a watering hole. The 33,000-square-foot enclosure provides guests an opportunity to experience a face-to-face encounter with lions.
The Safari Park is an expansive wildlife sanctuary that is home to more than 3,500 animals representing more than 400 species. Its renowned botanical collection represents 3,500 species and 1.5 million specimens. Over half of the Park’s 1,800 acres (730 hectares) have been set aside as protected native species habitat. It is located 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of downtown San Diego in the San Pasqual Valley near Escondido, California.
Visit to San Diego Zoo Safari Park
A visit to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a safari into adventure. Featuring huge open enclosures with herds of African and Asian animals, the Park is a unique experience that brings people thrillingly close to wild and endangered animals. One of the best ways to experience the wild open spaces is by taking the Park’s Journey into Africa tour, an open-air, soft-wheeled vehicle inspired by the legendary safari trains of Africa. The experience brings visitors to eye level with animals such as white rhinoceroses, giraffes, Cape buffalo, Roosevelt’s gazelles, African crowned cranes and more. The tour vehicles run on biodiesel, a clean-burning alternative fuel made from renewable resources and travel 2½ miles around the Safari Park’s expansive African field enclosures totaling 213 acres.
Board one of the park’s trams, and hit the trails to get up-close and personal with African wildlife in a way that would only be possible in Africa! Your guide will spend time pointing out the various animals and habitats you’re seeing, and will let you know how it stacks up to what you might see in the wild. The experience will give you an authentic taste of a real African safari as you cruise the park’s large exhibits and gaze upon herds of curious giraffes, Cape buffalo, ostriches, African cranes, giant rhinos, gazelles, and horned antelope as they strut across their grasslands habitats.
Africa Tram Safari at San Diego Zoo does a great job of condensing the cultures and landscapes of Africa into a micro-experience that will give you a taste of the real thing. You’ll get an up-close look at exactly how large these animals really are and observe some of their more unique behaviors as seen in the wild. Visit the otherwise inaccessible areas of the park from the comfort of your breezy, open-air tram and watch as herds of antelopes prance alongside the vehicle, just as curious about you as you are about them.
The Safari Park exhibits include:
African Outpost – You will see warthogs, cheetahs, flamingos, and other African animals.
- African Plains – This is the largest field exhibit and is home to rhinos, giraffes, ostriches, zebras,and gazelles. This is also the starting spot for the Rolling Safari, Africa Tram Safari, and Cart Safari tours.
- African Woods – In this section you can see okapis, gerenuk, giant eland, and secretary birds. The Fisher-Price Jungle Gym play area is here for the young ones to enjoy.
- Asian Savanna – Here you can see greater one-horned rhinos, Arabian oryx, Przewalski’s wild horses, and a variety of deer species from Asia.
- Elephant Valley – You can watch African elephants from the viewing patio.
- Gorilla Forest – Watch gorillas in a natural habitat. See Hidden Jungle, a neotropical aviary and visit the Bird Show Amphitheater.
- Lion Camp – With a thick glass window between you and the lions, you can view the lions up close, safely. You can get a great view from above with a ride on Balloon Safari.
- Nairobi Village – See red river hogs, and ring-tailed lemurs. Visit the Animal Care Center, (where young or injured animals stay for extra care), and the Petting Kraal
- Tiger Territory – See the beautiful tigers which are the largest carnivores at the Safari Park. A large viewing platform overlooks this exhibit.
- The Grove – This area has picnic tables near a grassy hillside. You can cool off in the Savanna Cool Zone.The Roar & Snore campgrounds are located here.
- World Gardens – You can find a variety of flora including Conifer Forest, and Baja, Succulent, and Nativescapes gardens.
We have only been here once but it was an amazing experience being able to see these animals in a very natural habitat.
You have different options when it comes seeing the park:
- Photo Caravan – You ride in a flatbed truck into the Park’s open field exhibits. You are able to feed the animals and capture photos of wildlife in their natural setting.
- Africa Tram Safari – Guided tour rides depart 10 a.m.until 4:15 p.m. On peak attendance days it is busiest 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. See the animals up close during this guided tour in a brightly colored tram. We saw the park on this one and we had a great time.
- Rolling Safari – On this tour you see the park while riding a Segway X2. This is one that I have not done but would really like to do in the future.
- Ride on the Wild Side – This tour really takes you up close and personal while you ride in an electric cart.
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, CA 92027
From the North (Southbound): From I-5 (Orange County, Los Angeles), take the State Route 78 East and exit at Oceanside. Proceed East to I-15 South and exit at Via Rancho Parkway. Follow the signs to the Park. From I-15 (Riverside), exit at Via Rancho Parkway and follow the signs east to the Park. From the South (Northbound): From State Route 163 (downtown San Diego, Mission Valley), proceed to I-15 to the Via Rancho Parkway exit. Go east and follow signs to the Park. From I-5 or 805 (Mexico), proceed to State Route 163, then to I-15 North. Exit at the Via Rancho Parkway and follow signs east.
Africa Tram operates daily from 10:00 am
Closing times may vary.
Included African Tram Safari (includes unlimited use of Africa Tram with the Go San Diego Card. Offer not valid for parking, special ticketed events, or rides. Not responsible for lost or stolen cards/tickets. Hand stamp and ticket required for re-entry. The Go San Diego Card is valid from 9:00 am-5:30 pm. During all other times, standard admission will apply.