3Giraffe at Lion Country Safari by Verageek

Giraffe at Lion Country Safari by Verageek

 

Why not do something a little different this year? Instead of going to a traditional zoo, go on a safari! Although they are sometimes confused with zoos, Safari parks differ from traditional zoos in that the animals are free in a larger area that closely resembles their habitat, and visitors are in tour buses or jeeps.

Tongue by Hoaklm Erdfelt at Wid Animal Safari in Pine Mountain Georgia

Tongue by Hoaklm Erdfelt at Wid Animal Safari in Pine Mountain Georgia

At the Wild Animal Safari Park in Pine Mountain, Georgia guests can either ride in their own private cars or take the park’s zebra tour bus along the 250 acre property. The safari park is about five miles long. Animals at the park, include American bison, antelope, tigers, giraffes, and zebras.

Lion Country Safari is one of the first safari parks in America and the only safari park in Florida. Lion Country Safari has 900 animals milling around, and there are opportunities for visitors to feed the animals.  Don’t want to drive through the park, a walk-through safari park, too.

Terrifying at Virgina Safari Park by Katie

Terrifying at Virgina Safari Park by Katie

At the Virginia Safari Park, animals walk right up to your car.  The animals are free to roam through the park, which means that visitors can witness the animals’ interaction. Lucky guests might see babies or births right in the park.

Virginia Safari Park by Ted

Virginia Safari Park by Ted

The drive-through breeding area of the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas is a big lure for visitors, but Fossil Rim also has a picnic area, cafe, and a store in a area called the Overlook. By the way, people who wish to participate in a guided tour (on a bus) should make reservations at least 3 days before their anticipated arrival.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park actually has multiple safaris, including a Roar and Snore Safari (it’s really just a sleepover) in which guests can camp in the park, the Cheetah Safari (the cheetahs are definitely not roaming around free) the Cart Safari (really just riding a cart through a traditional zoo without contact or close encounters from the animals) the Behind the Scenes Safari (you do have a chance to feed an animal in this one) and the Caravan Safari (maybe your best chance for getting close to the animals, and hand feeding the giraffes) at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Safari Park by Chris Tillman

 

Claudine Williams

Claudine Williams

Editor-in-Chief at Somewhere Luxurious
Claudine Williams has been published in the New York Times, the Miami Herald, Hotel Chatter, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, the Huffington Post, and various other publications. Claudine has a master's degree in Information Design and Communications. She believes that everyone deserves a trip to Somewhere Luxurious.
Claudine Williams