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Confused about San Diego Safari park

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Bermagui, Australia
posts: 1,764
reviews: 81
Confused about San Diego Safari park

OK this may seem weird but i'm really confused about this park. On their website they have around 5 different "safari's" you can take all costing various amounts of money. Can you not just walk around the park and see the animals? I know that the tram etc would take you "inside" the enclosures but they run for around 30mins according to their website and there is no other information on their about how you get around the park and their map is difficult to read because it is too small to see the tracks and roads.

I'd love to visit as it sounds similar to an open plain zoo that we have here in Australia, but I really only want to go if we can get around on our own as well as taking one of their safari rides.

West Hollywood...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
posts: 25,560
reviews: 51
1. Re: Confused about San Diego Safari park

The 'safari areas' are on the right side of the map on the Park's website (African/Asian). Only 'safari vehicles' are allowed in these areas. You cannot walk there. The rest of the Park is similar to a conventional zoo (some areas have regular cages, others don't). There are viewing points where you can look down on the 'safari areas'.

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 16,205
2. Re: Confused about San Diego Safari park

Yes, you can walk around the park with the cost of admission and see some of the animals. Many from a distance. But, No, you can't just walk around the park and see all the animals. That's why they sell the extra safari tickets. The animals you can see up close aren't as varied as those that you can see if you do a 'safari tour'

The Park is spread out and you may not see the variety of animals that you'd like if you don't purchase the extras that are offered.

To get closer to the animals and experience up close and personal and/or interaction you do have to pay extra. Some think it's worth it and some can't afford it.

It's not like our Zoo where you can walk around and see all the animals. The SD Zoo is one admission price and you can see all the animals - the best time of day is when the Zoo opens and the animals wake up and it's cooler and they've just eaten. And again in the evenings when it's again cooler and time to eat. Although in the cooler climate the animals are likely to be more active throughout the day.

At the Safari Park you'll see the animals in their more natural habitat but in many cases it's from a distance.

Edited: 2:52 am, April 06, 2013
So Cal
posts: 3,990
reviews: 64
3. Re: Confused about San Diego Safari park

Well...actually, you can walk around and see almost all of the animals on foot. You just need to do a lot of walking, and perhaps a lot of waiting.

True, you can only go as far as the western edges of the Africa/Asia areas. But you can see a lot from the edges (and more if you have even small binoculars, or use their pay telescopes). The animals wander wherever they want inside their enclosures, often quite close to viewing areas. Other enclosures, such as the lion and elephant habitats, are designed to give them space and still give us plenty of viewing.

The Africa Tram is included as part of your ticket. It's worth the ride, as it does take you back behind into areas where you can't walk. I've never done any of the other extras (my budget never runs to it), and I've enjoyed every visit. Even after a full day, there are always things I didn't get to.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 46,607
reviews: 61
4. Re: Confused about San Diego Safari park

Everyone has different opinions! I think the only way to really get the most out of your experience at the safari park is to pay for one of the extra inside the animal enclosure safaris.

It IS quite expensive for a family!

IF you don't do that then you take the tram ride which goes around the outside of the big natural animal areas and then you walk around to see other animals in more traditional zoo/like enclosures. You can also see the animals in the natural enclosures but there is no guarantee that they will be close to the fenceline.

Baltimore, Maryland
posts: 5
5. Re: Confused about San Diego Safari park

Just came back from our trip to San Diego and going to Safari Park was one of our favorites. We purchased Go San Diego Card through Costco which included the admission to Safari park along with tram ride - no need to pay extra! It was great! We went later in the day and it was less crowded and the animals were very active.

San Diego...
posts: 891
reviews: 27
6. Re: Confused about San Diego Safari park

It is interesting to see all the opinions! Personally, I think that if your goal is to view animal up close, and see lots of animals, then our San Diego Zoo is the place to visit. If you want to see some animals in their more natural habitat then the Safari Tram (general admission) ticket at the Safari Park is good. If you are looking for an up close and personal encounter with animals in their natural habitat then you would need to upgrade to a Safari Tour at the Safari Park.

Bermagui, Australia
posts: 1,764
reviews: 81
7. Re: Confused about San Diego Safari park

Thank you everyone. We will be doing both parks and have decided to get an upgrade to one of the better tours of the safari park, we probably won't be coming back to San Diego again so may as well make the most of it - bring out the credit card!!

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 16,205
8. Re: Confused about San Diego Safari park

galaga - I see from your other post that you will not be renting a car because you don't want to drive here. How are you planning on getting to the Safari Park? It is at least a 40 mins drive from Downtown San Diego. Unlike the Zoo which is only a few minutes from downtown.

http://goo.gl/maps/CHXdi

If you've found a tour please let us know because many people come here and want to go to the Safari Park and don't realize that it's so far. It would be nice to give them an option for a Tour.

Bermagui, Australia
posts: 1,764
reviews: 81
9. Re: Confused about San Diego Safari park

We were going to get transport from a tour company. We are getting the passes seperatly but the travel there and back is around $33, i'm not sure if there is a cheaper way, i'm positive a taxi isn't an option due to the distance involved. Here is the link to the transport www.allsandiegotours.com/body.asp…

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 16,205
10. Re: Confused about San Diego Safari park

I'm glad you found a way to get there. Since I've never heard of this company I did a internet search to look for reviews and could not find one review. I'm not trying to be a wet-blanket on your plans - Really. I just find that odd. So, I hope you come back and tell us your experience with it. And maybe post a review on Trip Advisor and / or yelp.com (a popular review site.) I (we) would really like to endorse and pass on to other travelers about good tours.

At first I thought you had typed Another Side of San Diego Tours which is a well regarded tour company (at least from what I've read / heard.) I see that they do a tour to the Safari Park as well and need to remember that in the future when people ask. But, I do see that they don't have a good cancellation policy and they don't post where the tour leaves from or times and you have to contact them for that info. Which make me think that not a lot of people know / use them to get to the Safari Park.

Just skimming their reviews it looks like the majority of them are for their Segway & Downtown area tours.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60750-d11…