You don’t need to go buy a plane ticket, pack your khaki bucket hat, and head out to the Serengeti or some other far-off place to experience an awe-inspiring safari. All across the United States are expertly curated safari parks aimed at humanely treating our four-legged, feathered, and reptilian friends and allowing us to get closer than we ever thought possible to exotic creatures big and small.
Self-Driving Safari Options in the US
Wild Animal Safari, GA
Created in 1988 by Ron Snider, a world-renowned big game hunter, the Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, Georgia, was created to be an affordable, family-oriented safari adventure. It gives visitors a chance to get up close and personal with over 65 types of exotic animals, including giraffes, bison, and watusi. Explore the 250-acre park by foot or take advantage of a guided bus tour. You can even rent a “Zebra Van” if you’d prefer not to use your own vehicle.
Lion Country Safari, FL
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Since 1967, Lion Country Safari has been a favorite South Florida attraction. As the only drive-through safari park in Florida, visitors travel from far and wide to experience this safari, which features 7 distinct sections with animals from across the globe. Lion Country Safari also features an exciting walk-though safari, where you can feed giraffes!
Virginia Safari Park, VA
This 180-acre drive-through safari focuses on animal interaction. Here, the animals are free to roam so you can drive your vehicle through the 3 miles of maintained gravel road and feed the animals through your windows! You can also participate in giraffe feeding, explore the free-flight budgie aviary, hang out with kangaroos in the walkabout, or have a more traditional experience with the park’s petting zoo.
Great Zoos With Safari Tours in the US
Out of Africa Wildlife Park, AZ
It’ll be easy to forget you’re not actually in Africa once you enter the 100 acre wildlife park. Home to hundreds of exotic animals from all over the world, you have multiple ways to interact with your scenic surroundings. Take a guided tour in a safari vehicle has you navigate the bush. Stroll around the “Serengeti” and the wildlife preserve. Out of Africa also offers exhibits and daily shows–including the wildly entertaining Tiger Splash!–aimed at educating the public about their new animal friends.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park, CA
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Not just your typical zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is 1,800 acres large, houses 3,500 animals (over 250 species) and is also a botanical garden. It also have a plethora of safaris for you to choose from and myriad ways for you to experience them. Rent a tricycle, brave a zipline, or travel in the back of a covered, open-air safari truck. You even have the option to spend the night with the aptly named Roar & Snore safari camping adventure.
Unique Safari Excursions in the US
Point Reyes Safaris, CA
Point Reyes National Seashore, located about an hour northwest of San Francisco, is home to incredible wildlife including bobcats, elk, coyote, otters and more. Point Reyes Safaris offers intimate safari tours limited to 4 people or fewer. Choose between a full day safari (10 hours) or a half day (5 hours). Your guide can adjust your safari based on your requests – if you want to glimpse the elusive bobcat, your whole day will focus on finding one.
Zapata Ranch Bison Tours, CO
Located moments away from Great Sand Dunes National Park, Zapata Ranch is home to one of the largest bison herds in America. This bison safari led by one of the ranch hands will take you into the 50,000 acre ranch to find the bison herd, which has as many as 2,000 members! With the Great Sand Dunes and Sangre de Cristo Mountains as a backdrop, the views of the bison herd from the ranch’s Suburban will be breathtaking.