San Diego Zoo Safari Park
This outstanding zoo
is one of the largest tourist attractions in Southern
California. It is
located in Escondido, California and it 35 miles from
the Sand Diego Zoo. It is approximately 1800 acres and has more than 3,200
animals including an array of wild and endangered
species from the continents of Africa, Australia, Asia,
North and South America, and Europe.
What makes this park special is that you can
experience the animals in their habitat. Tours are
available, for an additional fee, where you can venture
into remote areas on special open air photo safari trucks, Segways or even soar above them on a flightline.
In addition, for the real adventurers you can choose
from a variety of overnight experiences. The wonderful
exhibits will bring to life lions, elephants, exotic
birds, lorikeets, bighorn sheep, gorillas and more.
the Nairobi village for shops, restaurants, animal
activity centers. The kids will enjoy the
Conservation Carousel, Discovery Station, and the
Petting Kraal. The Mombasa Lagoon, which is in the
center of the village, is surrounded by paths and
walkways where you will find pelicans, storks, ducks,
birds, meerkats, antelopes and then ultimately the
Africa Tram Tour
The park is known
for its 25 minute tram tour that ventures through the
large African exhibit. You will encounter rhinos,
giraffes, gazelles, and impalas wandering free in their
habitats. To get up and close with the animals for
photos or feeding you must take the photo caravan tour
for an additional fee. There is much more than the
tram tour but the exhibits are spread out so wear comfy
shoes and be prepared for a lot of walking.
The Lion Camp is
an exhibit that lets you get extremely close to the
lions, through tick glass windows, where you can enjoy
them lazing in their boulder area. The lions were raised
amongst people so they will come right up to the glass
Landing you will find if you arm yourself with a cup of
nectar that the green-naped lorikeets will swoop down
and land on you to dine.
The Wings of the
World Aviary is home to over 140 birds of varying
species that are in free flight.
overlook allows you to get a closer look at the parks
elephant families in their habitat.
Kilimanjaro Safari Walk
is a two mile trail filled with beautiful gardens and
The Hidden Jungle is a
tropical greenhouse filled with plants, exotic birds,
Condor Ridge is home to
North American animals like the California condor and
You can take a thrilling hot air balloon ride where you
will venture high above the park for about 15 minutes to
get a wonderful view of the animals and the sites.
Shows that are
included with your admission include: Frequent
Flyers Bird Show, Have you herd? with Robert the Zebra
and Animal Encounters. Frequent Flyers lets you
view a variety of over bird species in full flight
including the East African crowned crane. Have you
herd? with Robert the Zebra is a chat with an
interactive Zebra. Robert talks about zebra life,
asks questions and cracks jokes. Animal Encounters
is an interactive program that allows you to converse
with trainers to ask questions about their animal
ambassadors such as a cheetah, alligator and other rare
species. This occurs at various locations and times
throughout the park.
If you decided on the
Photo Caravan Tour you can photograph exotic animals such
as rhinos and giraffes in their habitat. At
times they are just inches from you and you may even
have the opportunity to feed them. These
adventures can run from 2 to 3.5 hours depending on the
package that you select. It is like
experiencing an real African safari.
The flightline allows you to soar from a cable 160
feet above the ground over exotic animals and open
exhibits for 2/3 of a mile. This experience from
orientation and training to your flight will take
approximately 1 hour.
Rolling Safari allows you to see the park aboard an
off road Segway. Once trained in how to use it your
guide will lead you on an incredible adventure on both
paved and dirt paths around several of the park's field
Center Tour allows you to take an inside look at the
state-of-the-art facility. Tours are available on
Saturdays only so advance reservation are recommended.
Hours of Operation
The park is open every day
of the year, including all holidays. It opens at 9
am and will close at 5, 6 or 7 pm depending on the time
of the year.
There is a fee to park your vehicle and the price
varies for members and non-members.
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road,
Escondido, California 92027-7017
You can purchase single day, multi-day or multi-park
tickets. Single day tickets cost approximately $40
for adults and $30 for children age 3 -11. The
multi tickets vary in price based on the package
selected. For further information visit the
Safari Park Website Ticket Page
The park has a
wide variety of food including snacks at various
food stands and carts throughout the park. You
will find the the Throntree Terrace offers sandwiches,
salads and burger. Mombasa Island Cooker serves
Italian and Asian specialties as well as salads and
burgers. At Okavango Outpost you will find hot dogs,
sandwiches, salads and Kid's Meals. Samburu
Terrace offers burgers, hot dogs, fries, chicken
sandwiches, kid's meals and South of the Border entrees.
Congo Kitchen serves hot dogs, nachos, and kid's meals
NORTH (southbound): From Interstate 5 (Orange County,
Los Angeles), take the State Route 78 East exit at
Oceanside, proceed east to Interstate 15 South, exit at
Via Rancho Parkway (Exit 27) and follow the signs to the
Park. From Interstate 15 (Riverside), exit at Via Rancho
Parkway (Exit 27) and follow the signs east to the Park.
SOUTH (northbound): From State Route 163 (downtown San
Diego, Mission Valley) proceed to Interstate 15 North to
the Via Rancho Parkway exit (Exit 27). Go east and
follow signs to the Park. From Interstate 5 or 805
(Mexico), proceed to State Route 163, then to Interstate
15 North, and then exit at Via Rancho Parkway (Exit 27).
Follow signs east.
EAST (westbound): From Interstate 8 (Imperial County,
Arizona) take Interstate 15 North to the Via Rancho
Parkway exit (Exit 27). Follow the signs east to the
Visit the Petting Kraal when the park opens because
first thing in the morning the keepers let the nursery
animals out in the Kraal to exercise them so you are
likely to see more baby species.
Allow a full day for visiting this park.
Best time to visit is in the Spring and Fall on
It can be expensive for a family of four to visit
this park with all of the additional tours that are
available. Plan your trip to the park in advance
so you know what you want to do and how much it is going