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“Top Notch!”

San Diego Zoo Safari Park
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San Diego Zoo Safari Park
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San Diego Safari Park Transportation and Admission
Ranked #1 of 56 things to do in Escondido
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Step into an adventure like no other at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park! Your exciting safari experience includes seeing herds of rhinos, giraffes, antelope, zebras, and more roaming natural habitats, a choice of guided safari expeditions, and beautiful walking trails to see exotic animals. Come experience the excitement of getting up close and personal with rare Sumatran tigers at Tiger Trail, the Safari Park's newest experience!
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Reviewed November 8, 2012 via mobile

We thoroughly enjoyed our day here. Expect a fair amount of walking, and enjoy the very professional guides and trainers. Wonderful to see animals in a more natural setting, learn about their "stories", and find out about the many species brought out of the "endangered" category through the work of this nonprofit organization.

3  Thank Carhydancer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,573 - 2,577 of 3,352 reviews

Reviewed November 6, 2012

This is a lovely place to spend the day. Everyone was helpful. The tram ride was great. We took it twice and learned different things each trip. The restaurant is totally over priced with mediocre food. The grounds are lovely and well kept. Their breeding programme is outstanding. Easy to find with our GPS from San Diego.

1  Thank Chelseadoodles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2012

We loved our visit to the Safari Park, other than the heat and high food prices. We arrived at 10:00 a.m. and stayed until 3:00 p.m. We attended the bird show which was very good. Timing just didn't work out for us for the other shows. The tram ride was enjoyable, but our driver did not stop long enough to get good photos. The park is well laid out with a good variety of animals. I would have given this attraction a five star rating, but the extremely high food prices dropped it a star.

1  Thank happytraveler49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

I visited the San Diego Safari Park in October 2012 with my family (Children age 5 & 7), it was our first visit, and we all loved it. We all felt this was the best zoo/animal park we have ever visited.

The location is kind of isolated, about 30 minutes due east of Carlsbad/Legoland. The grounds are beautiful, and the animal areas all look large and very well maintained. The park is very large. We were there when the gate opened, and stayed until the kicked us out, and I think we saw about 75% of the park. There is a lot to see and do here.

There are numerous walking trails with animal exhibits and there is also a tram ride, which takes you to places you can’t see on the walking trails. There are also many adventurous activities also; a zip line, a rope course, the Cheetah run, a tethered hot air balloon ride, and something I can’t wait to do with my family, a sleep over in the zoo called the “Roar and Snore.” All of these adventures are more money (often a lot of money), but based on your adventure needs, may be worth it. I think on your first visit, just doing the walking trails and the tram will be plenty.

There is also an observation deck which gives an amazing view of the park, in the later hours, they serve drinks and food. It’s a great place to sit back and take a little break. You can also see the Cheetah run from there (make sure to get there early to get a good spot.)

They also have professional photographers in three different spots in the park. The Park entrance, at the tram ride entrance, and at the lorikeet exhibit. One of the best deals I found is that you can purchase all of your pictures on a jump drive they provide for $40. We had the photographer take a bunch of pictures at the lorikeet exhibit, and got some really special pictures from there of our kids with the birds. It was well worth the $40. You can buy this option when you first enter the park, then time the photographer to just snap away! You may want to tell the tram photographer that you have this option and not to print your pictures, because when you get off the tram they have your entry pictures all printed and ready for you to purchase. Same thing at the lorikeet exhibit.

The lorikeet exhibit was awesome. You enter a large caged area, and they have lots of the lorikeet birds that will land all over you, especially if you buy some nectar (lorikeet margaritas) for $3 before entering the area. If you are one of the first people in the morning you will be swarmed with hungry birds, and you can get some great pictures. If you are one of the last in the evening near closing time, they are all full, and you may get 1 or 2 birds to land on you. We got some really great pictures of our kids interacting with the birds.

Speaking of pictures, make sure to bring your telephoto lenses. Because many of the animals are in wide open areas, you can get a lot of pictures of animals without any cages, gates, fences in the back ground. They look like you are on a real safari. My family/friends could not believe the pictures were taken in a zoo.

The only negative I have about this attraction are the prices. The admission and all of the extras are a little pricy. If everything was about 25% cheaper I think it would be perfect. Regardless of the prices, it's still a good time.

In conclusion, this is a really great park/zoo to take the family/kids, you will have a wonderful day, and you’ll never look at a zoo the same way. I can’t wait to visit the Safari Park again with my family and do the “Roar and Snore.” I would highly recommend this attraction to all of my family and friends.

3  Thank SNAFU23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We spent the whole day here till closing. It closed at 5:00. The park is so big that we did not actually get to see the entire park. When you are travelling with a 4 year old, the pace is much slower. We also went on the behind the scenes tour (Cats and Critters). It took two hours and it was great seeing the tigers really close. We were about a foot away. The tigers seemed to really enjoy watching the children as well. Other than that, we did not get a close up of any other animals as they all seem to be in hiding that day. Although the tour was quite expensive ($70 each), I did not really mind the cost knowing that the money was going to help conservation efforts. Great place to watch animals in a natural setting. My son loved it.

2  Thank nedyaj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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