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“San Diego Wild Animal Park”

San Diego Zoo Safari Park
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San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Ranked #1 of 54 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
A TripAdvisor Member
“San Diego Wild Animal Park”
Reviewed January 17, 2006

Look at all the animals, lots of Rinos

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Level Contributor
33 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 309 helpful votes
“An experience unlike any other”
Reviewed August 30, 2005

What's fantastic about a park like this is the breeding programmes they are conducting to raise numbers of endangered animals. Take the Rhino for instance. At one stage there was a breed of rhino in which there were only 50 left in the world. These animals were taken into captivity but they would not breed. When the Wild animal Park here in Escondido opened in the 1970's they took 20 of these rhinos and managed to be the first park to successfully breed the rhino. From those original rhino there are now 13,000, most of whom have been released back into the wild under armed guard. That fact alone makes me think that money spent visiting the park is going to good causes.

The wild animal park is huge - covering 1800 acres. Most of it can be covered by the guided tour train which is most informative and educational. There are currently 3 golden eagles in the park which can often be viewed from the train as when the train travels it scatters rabbits chipmunks and ground squirrels so the eagles soar high above using the train as a hunting tool. Other creatures which can be viewed from here include tigers, giraffes, gazelle, apes, ostriches and of course rhinos.

When you leave the train and tour the park (good walking shoes and suncream a must) you really do get up close an personal with the animals. The gorilla exhibit is great and the lion enclosure was stunning (see pictures). We also enjoyed feeding the giraffes - not something you do every day is it?

Well worth a trip here, but I wouldn't discount the San Diego zoo as it simply offers an alternative kind of park.

27 Thank Wicks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
“Loved the cultural music playing.”
Reviewed August 16, 2005

We loved the cultural music playing, how clean the park was, the environmental awareness of San Diego Wild Kingdom Park, the many shops (including the herbal garden and plants we could buy) and of course the animals! The food was great but overpriced for us as a family.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, FL
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2005

I went to the San D zoo 5 or so yrs ago, and while it was better than the average zoo, I came away wondering what all the fuss was about. Fast forward five years - this past week my girlfriend and I went to the Wild Animal Park, and what a difference! We did the 3 3/4 hour (with a 15 min break in the middle) photo caravan, which is not cheap (I think $130 on top of admission) but is really worth doing.

We were able to feed the giraffes (at one point we had four big giraffe heads under the canopy of our vehicle, plus a baby nosing around) and the rhinos, which surprisingly you can pet! That was lots of fun, the guides (Alex and Pat?) were great, and it is really neat to see the different animals roaming around together in the different regions. I would also recommend feeding the Lorakeets. We didn't have time to do the petting zoo, but that looked fun, as did the aviary. If you are going to take the photo caravan, call ahead, and get there early so you have time to do everything!

As I said, not an inexpensive vacation, but at least it is a non-profit organization so all of the money you spend goes to helping support the park. I would consider it a "must do" in southern CA.

24 Thank doughboy41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
131 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
“One of the best days of our lives”
Reviewed July 10, 2005

You simply have to go and see the lions at the San Deigo Wild Animal Park. When I say that my husband and I had one of our best days out EVER, I really mean it. We loved the zoo, but the WAP was so much more; and besides it had half the human traffic there, better facilities. We were only half an hour (stunning mountain drive!) from Escondido, so we were there early, and it never got crowded. Birds all around you, you can buy food for the ducks and other water fowl. You can buy leaves to feed the giraffes, and ‘nectar’ for the lorikeets was $2 a pot. Animal encounters… we saw a ‘glider’, a pretty, tiny creature, and in the afternoon, a serval, a kind of spotted wild cat. It’s set up like an African safari, and included in the price is a trip on a monorail train around the whole compound, or you can pay extra to go in a truck on a ‘photo safari’. Someone near us in the train said that you saw more of the animals than on safari in Africa. Here are photos of the lioness and her mate. He’s gorgeous. She was SO beautiful, and interested in us, too.

27 Thank Ms_Moggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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