The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a must see the next time you find yourself in the beautiful city of San Diego. This safari park stretches over 1,800 acres. The beauty of this park is seeing animals in their own habitats and not behind bars or in cages.
My kids said this park was one of their favorites, in fact they said this was their top zoo. We felt like we were transported to another place enjoying our own safari searching for animals.
This zoo covers a great amount of land so wear your walking shoes. Bring your strollers if you have younger kids. I also recommend taking plenty of water and snacks because it’s a long day there and temperatures can be warm.
Activities at the Safari Park
Climb aboard a safari vehicle and start exploring African animals. This ride takes approximately 25 minutes. You can explore and get closer and in-depth look at animals in their own habitats.
There are many different opportunities to see animals unclose. You can also learn about how their trainers work with them and train them. A few of these encounters include Tiger Keepers Talk, Animal Ambassador Stage, Petting Kraal, Lorikeet Landing, and Lemur Walk.
This yellow balloon rises above the zoo up to 400 feet. This ride costs extra but is worth the views. You will be up in the air for approximately 10 minutes. The balloon is attached so you are never unattached but you still feel like you are in a hot air balloon.
I don’t know about you guys but my kids love carousels, so we have to ride one everywhere we go. For only $6 you can ride this carousel unlimited times.
This park is full of fun play areas that are shaded to get relief from sun. One area has water elements but they are turned off during the fall/winter months. Play areas are a great way for kids to run around and be “kids” for a little while.
My kids love going to shows and watching animals in action. A few of our favorite shows were the bird show, cheetah run and tiger keeper talk. Check your map when entering the park for showtimes each day.
All of these tours cost extra.
The park offers a variety of behind-the-scenes safaris. These safaris let others enter areas that the public are not allowed to see. These safaris are an extra cost on top of your park ticket. Here are the behind-the-scene safaris to choose from elephants and friends, roos & mates, tiger and friends, cheetah and friends, lion and friends, rhinos and friends, and veterinary medical center.
You get to climb aboard an open safari truck to explore the Africa safari with a tour guide. You will get an opportunity to feed giraffes on this tour.
Have you ever wanted to see a cheetah up close and even have him/her walk by you? Well this safari was my daughters dream and she loved second of it. You will experience watching the cheetah run from prime seating on the side lines, then you will be able to meet a cheetah up close for 15 minutes. The minimum age for this tour is 10 years old.
You can feel like you are a jungle animal swinging from the treetops and climbing through safari courses. You can enjoy this challenging ropes course for 90 minutes. This course is very safe because you are in a harness connected during the whole adventure. The minimum weight for this course is 50lbs.
Sleeping in the safari park…. count me in… that’s every animal lovers dream. A sleepover at the park includes after hours encounters with animals, dinner, a snack, a campfire with a program, and breakfast in the morning.
The safari park is open every day of the year including all holidays. They are open from 9a-5p.
One Day Pass
- Adult 12+ $56
- Child 3-11 $46
Two Day Pass
- Adults 12+ $89.60
- Child 3-11 $79.60
An annual pass includes unlimited admission the Safari Park or the San Diego Zoo. If you live in California this pass is offered at a lower rate.
- Adults 18+ $112
- Child 3-17 $56
If you are an active duty member in the U.S. military the zoo and the safari park offer free admission, all you have to do is show your military ID when entering the park.
I don’t know about you but I am always on the hunt for good. This zoo offers great food choices and I have a few tips for you. First of all if you purchase the large drink that comes in a reusable plastic cup, don’t throw the cup away after you are done. You can refill the cup during for stay at the zoo and every time you come back to the zoo for $1.09. You can also take your cup to any drink stand and they will fill it with ice cold water for free.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park offers a large selection of different types of food. You will find everything from sandwiches, pizza, hamburgers, fresh salads, African inspired cuisine, and so much more.
If you have a gluten intolerance they offer gluten free selections at every location. There is also a great selection of coffees, beers, alcoholic drinks and quick eats.
I hope this helps you plan your next trip, and it includes the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The weather is also great and most of all the zoo is full of trees, flowers, and lots of places for shade.