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“A taste of Africa”
Review of Safari West

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Safari West
Certificate of Excellence
Foster City, California
Level Contributor
336 reviews
154 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“A taste of Africa”
Reviewed October 26, 2009

A wonderful experience with plenty of comforts. The tents are authentic to what they use in Africa but have been upgraded with indoor hot and cold running water as well as electric blankets which are definitely needed at night. The night sounds are very exotic but a little overlaid with road noises because we were in the tent closest to the road.

The staff is all very nice and some are extremely knowledgeable about Africa having traveled there many times. All are very happy to share their information. We took part in the behind the scenes tour as well as the safari ride - incredibly close to the animals.

Remember to take your flashlight with you when you go out at night - it is very dark!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MOBX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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175 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, CA
Level Contributor
147 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2009

We ended up going on the spur of the moment. What an amazing adventure to have just a couple hours from the Bay Area. We took a day tour (did not sleep in the tent cabins). Cost for a family of 4 (kids 12 and 9) was about $200, but worth every $. You ride in a giant jeep through the terrain of Northern California. Make sure you ask to sit on the roof of the jeep - the view is amazing from up there! Giraffes, water buffalo, ostrich, hutu, different gazelle and many horned animals and herds of zebra await you. You get THIS CLOSE (but no touching the animals - even if they stick their head into the jeep like a curious giraffe did!). The jeep ride lasts about 2.5 hours, then you take a walking tour and see cheetah's, monkeys, wild birds, and small other animals (the tortoises were in the same area as the cheetahs and they cohabitate together quite comically - the tortoise speeds past the cheetah, bumping in to him). This place is well worth the trip and the price!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank CharmChari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2009

This was one of the best experiences we had as travellers. The staff was very friendly, the cabins nice & clean, the scenery & animals beyond our expectations. Maybe it is a bit pricey, but we would highly recommend this to anybody.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kyron4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
62 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 199 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2009

My husband and I arrived June 8 with reservations for dinner, overnight lodging, and the vehicle tour next morning. The food at dinner was just ok and certainly not worth the $28 per person price. Plus, guests have to sit at communal tables, I guess, to encourage socializing. However, I was next to a couple of self-proclaimed wine experts with loud voices and their sulky teenagers. Long evening.

On to our lodging which is advertised as "luxury safari tents." The lodging is very pricey at Safari West, along the level of a luxury resort, so that's the kind of accommodations I expected. However, our tent had a large rip in it and the tip of the bathroom sink faucet was missing, causing water to spurt all over the front of our clothes. The bathroom is advertised as "ensuite bathroom with shower." While the little bathroom room IS connected to the tent, it's open to the outside air and completely unheated. Even though it was June, the temperature really dropped by evening. It was torture to shower in such a frigid room. The shower nozzle is directly overhead so, ladies, you'll need a shower cap ... which is not provided by Safari West, by the way. The floors are ice cold by morning, so slippers are also a necessity. The light over the sink was so dim, my husband had trouble shaving and I had trouble dabbing on a little makeup. The space heater in the sleeping area was too noisy, so we used only the electric blankets. On the plus side, the beds were comfortable. A big concern of mine is that there are no locks on any of the doors, which is something I definitely would have wanted to know in advance. I now realize the set-up is supposed to be part of the whole safari/camping experience, but the price really should reflect the accommodation level. Luxury it's not.

The only enjoyable part of our visit to Safari West was the vehicle tour, and that was worth every penny of its price. My husband and I scored the top seating for the first half of the tour which made for clear views of the wildlife and good photo ops. Ken, our guide, was friendly and helpful, although he didn't seem to be able to answer many of the questions posed to him and he really rushed us thru the walking tour afterwards. Also, I do have concerns about the lack of seat belts in these open trucks. The ride covered some very narrow, very bumpy dirt roads next to steep drop-offs. One little slip and there's a disaster waiting to happen. Safari West is completely committed to the safety and well-being of their wildlife, but they should be equally committed to their guests via seat belts, wider roadways, and locks on the doors.

Stayed June 2009
Helpful?
7 Thank KayinCal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2009

My husband has been wanting to go glamping for a while, so when we made plans to go to Napa for a few days, I knew we had to squeeze Safari West in. We are soo glad we did! We stayed in Tent 19. I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the tents were and the bathrooms are very modern yet rustic at the same time. Love that there was no tv. Added to the camping charm.
Unfortuantely it was rainy the day we arrived so we weren't able to sit out and enjoy the front porch overlooking catfish lake and the roads leading to the tent were muddy, but we made the most of it and the staff was great about driving us to our tent with the luggage.
Sitting on our bed and looking out the window was a treat as we watched the giraff stroll by and other animals on the main plain along with a very curious ostrich in heat! It was amazing.
We were warned that the evenings get cool in the tents, but the space heater kept us nice and toasty and the electric blanket ended up being too hot. We were very warm and cozy.
We opted to skip the barbeque dinner offered and drove into town for dinner. The town was pretty close, about 10 minutes aways and we enjoyed a wonderful thai dinner upon recommendation from the Safari staff.
The next morning, we enjoyed the great continental breakfast (free) through Safari West. Pleasant surprise and then the Safari tour. Lot of fun and full of information. The grounds are beautiful.
This trip would have been perfect had the weather cooperated and the roads weren't muddy. We look forward to going back when the weather is a little warmer.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Realpeeps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2009

My family of seven (five kids) just finished an overnight safari at Safari West. We also had Robert as our tour guide and had the EXACT opposite experience!! Robert demonstrated a vast knowledge of all the animals in the park. He also took the time to answer all the questions from our group. Robert is a kind and considerate individual with a true passion for his job, and is a true asset to Safari West.

The accomadations at Safari West were also top notch. The soft top tents are furnished with electric blankets, space heaters, wood floors and instant hot water. The night we stayed the temperatures were in the 20's and we stayed warm and cozy.

As far as the rest of the staff is concerned, all we can say is they were friendly, courteous, and knowledgeable. The employees closely follow the lead of owners Nancy and Peter sharing experiences with their guests and extending unheard of hospitality which made our family feel at home.

My family and I are making reservations to go back in the spring. We are going to request Robert as our guide again because of his expertise and interaction with our children. We also hope to visit with Mark in hospitality. Special thanks to Peter and Nancy for sharing your home and land. We will be back soon and recommend Safari West to all of friends and family!!

Helpful?
2 Thank Capebuffalotribe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
L.A.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 8, 2008

My family and I stayed overnight at Safari West this summer. The accomodations are as described--upscale tents with floors, fully furnished with an indoor bathroom. It was fine for what it was, but it was spartan. The food served was average. The staff was great and very helpful. The reason to go is of course the safari. This was well worth the trip. Even though there were no carnivors or elephants on the safari, there were numerous animals including giraffe, zebra, giselle, impala, the list goes on and on. Our guide was very informative. The tour is taken in an open jeep type vehicle and you were close enough to reach out and touch the animals--although that is discouraged.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank sosbh97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Safari West

Property: Safari West
Address: 3115 Porter Creek Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404-9655
Location: United States > California > Sonoma County > Santa Rosa
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Santa Rosa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Safari West 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape to Africa by way of Sonoma County…Come discover the Sonoma Serengeti.The classic African safari is a trip of a lifetime for intrepid travelers from around the globe - and, it is closer than you think!. Families who are curious and wild at heart can get close to nature...very close! Marvel under the gaze of a graceful giraffe or explore the Sonoma Serengeti alongside romping rhinos. Our guests enjoy enlightening African wildlife safari drives, and “glamping” tent cabin accommodations. The sounds of Africa will echo in your dreams. Stay one night in a luxury safari tent located on Giraffe Alley, meet some giraffes and go on Safari! Is Safari West Family Friendly?The entire Safari West experience is a kid-friendly adventure for families to enjoy together. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Safari West Hotel Santa Rosa
Safari West Santa Rosa, CA - Sonoma County

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