Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Out and About: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

I've wanted to visit the San Diego Zoo Safari Park since I first heard of it, but decided to wait for cooler weather. Recently, some friends were in town and wanted to go as well. We lucked out: it was a cool, mostly cloudy day. And since it was the off-season, it was blissfully quiet.

Located at 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road in Escondido, the safari park is part of the San Diego Zoo system. A one-day adult pass costs $50 (parking is $12; there are a couple of electric charging stations). It includes access to all the walking areas of the park plus the tram through the African safari. There are other "safaris" you can pay extra for, such as a zip line safari, a balloon safari, and many more. My friends and I chose the one-day pass.

The park is enormous. I highly recommend you plan to spend your day there. We arrived about an hour after opening and stayed nearly until close. We did every walking section except for the World Garden, plus the Africa tram, but we only achieved that without stopping for food (my friends wisely brought snacks). When you visit, you should wear comfortable walking shoes, dress appropriately for the weather, and wear sunscreen & a hat.

We saw lots and lots of animals. Here are some of the pictures I took.

This one is pretty dark. There are at least three birds in it, and while I can't remember what they're called - laughing something; thrush maybe - I wanted to include it because they were SO noisy & it did sound like they were laughing.

Loved the colors on this bird but don't remember what it was called either.

The park had several of these trees with pretty pink blossoms. Notice the park map in the lower right corner of the picture.

Beautiful scenery in Escondido. It was so peaceful there. I loved it.

I love to take pictures of warning signs. I thought this one was a little poorly drawn. "No Cheetos for Eels" became our motto for the rest of the day.

Some animals.

The tigers were very vocal. The one nearest the camera is
the mom; the rest are her cubs.

Flamingos. They were cranky.

The silverback of the gorillas waiting for his lunch.

Lorikeet staring me down.

Bats chillin'.

The bats seemed to enjoy hanging from the air vents to
catch the breeze.

Elephants chowing down.

Lazy male lion.

The "prey" animals. This is the area our safari traversed.

Vultures. One of my favorite animals.

Rhinoceros. This one looked like it had a black eye.

This water area in the African Outpost was magical. That's the balloon safari in the background of the first picture.

On our way back through the lion area, a lady lion had come to perch near the glass. Being this closer to her, even with glass between us, was nerve-wracking. Her paws were as big as my head. Definitely not anything you'd want to stumble across in the wild. I wish my pictures weren't so dark but I did what I could. By the way, like the tigers, the lions were very vocal.

The balloon safari peeking out from behind a pole.

A male cheetah eyes me up after the cheetah run. You could pay extra to get up close to the cheetah after the run. I wish we'd done it, although it wasn't clear from the sign we saw what you got for the extra money.

Another view of the scenery after the sun came out.

This little fox, who we saw at the end of the day, accurately sums up how I was feeling.

I loved the safari park. It was a great experience. You should definitely visit the next time you're in the San Diego area. I know I'll be going back.


Patricia said...

Wow! That is a big entrance fee! It looks like it was worth it, though. I laughed at your sign commentary and that close-up of the female lion was great. I hope there will be more pictures when you go back.

balyien said...

I do think the admission is worth it, but I don't know that I would go more than once per year. Dan and I have looked into doing one of their "roar and snore" nights. They have yurts set up in the park (I saw them; they look nice) so you can stay overnight and they do special events while you're there. It sounds super fun but it's also very, very expensive, so it's a definite maybe right now.