Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Two Paws Up for the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
We had just visited Legoland in June (pics still to come -- sorry, it's been a busy summer and I'm backlogged with blog posts), so for our August trip to San Diego, we decided to take the boys to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Armed with discount entry coupons via Groupon (of course!), we chose the standard African Tram Safari for our entrance -- which included, beyond roaming the park and seeing the caged exhibits, a tram ride through the park's massive open-air wildlife field, where giraffes, rhinos, antelope and more roam free. For more money, you can tour the open-air exhibit via a personal cart; watch the cheetah run up close; take part in a jungle ropes obstacle course; ride a zipline through the park; ride Segways around the park; spend the night in a tent camp; and more.
But the standard entrance and tram ride was just fine for us, and I think we got a good fill of the animals and exhibits. Opened in 1972 as an off-shoot of the San Diego Zoo, the safari park is nearly 3 square miles of exhibits broken up into sections, including a "gorilla forest," "lion camp," "elephant valley," "Condor Ridge" and more. The open-air "Asian Savanna" and "African Plains" are only accessible by tram or other safari tour vehicle. For kids, there are interactive water play stations, petting zoos, a jungle gym, a carousel, giraffe feeding, and more.
One of the highlights was the cheetah run, which featured the fastest land mammal sprinting up close. No children were eaten. For Blogger Toddler 2.0, I think he'll never forget standing just on the other side of window from a sleeping lion. Eventually the lion woke up, took one look at the toddler -- yes, they made eye contact -- and then immediately went back down.
Some pics from our visit: