San Diego Zoo Safari Park
~ Our visit February 26, 2020 ~
My wife and I spent about 4 hours at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park the other day – it was a blast, and a gorgeous day as well…in the mid 70s.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park (formerly known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park) is an 1800-acre zoo in the San Pasqual Valley of San Diego in Escondido, and it’s well worth the visit. Of course the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park is a wonderful place to visit as well, and one of the more popular tourist attractions in our city.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is much more spread out than the zoo downtown, with some different animals and large areas – fenced, of course – for animals to roam. It’s easy to spend an entire day there in order to see everything, plus walk a few miles.
The Africa Tram was a highlight of our visit…a 25-minute ride through the African Plains exhibit with multiple species in natural habitats – giraffes, ostrich, zebras and a bunch of other 4-legged critters roaming about whose names I don’t recall. The Tram is free and well-worth taking, and doing so first in the morning (it opens at 10) because it gets crowded and the wait to ride can be 45 minutes, or more on a busy day.
Of course there are all sorts of caged animals – the bats were fun to see as was the Lemur Walk (you walk right in the cage with the lemurs) but we saw only a small part of the entire place.
There are a number of different shows (Shiley’s Cheetah Run, Tiger Keeper Talk, Frequent Flyers Bird Show) to enjoy along with special safari tours. We elected to watch the flying birds (predators) show in the bird amphitheater and it was great fun, with a variety of birds flying overhead demonstrating their skills, one by one.
The peregrine falcon (the fastest creature on earth, clocked at 240 mph!) was amazing to see in action, but I particularly enjoyed the Secretary Bird from Africa that runs to catch its prey.
This only scratched the surface of all there is to do – check out the San Diego Zoo Safari Park website for more information including hours, shows and more. You can also order tickets online.