You may be inspired and downright excited about the possibility of going on a safari vacation someday. Who can resist the allure of becoming one with nature, seeing exotic animals up close, and exploring new-to-you territories? If a trip abroad isn’t quite in the cards right now, though, you don’t have to put your dreams on hold. Some of the best safari parks in America offer similar experiences that put you in the center of all the action. Here are five you should consider for your next getaway.
1. San Diego Safari Park
You’ll likely be overwhelmed the first time you set foot on the grounds of San Diego Safari Park in Escondido, CA. There is simply that much to do, and there’s so much going on at any given moment that you won’t know where to start. Fortunately, the park makes it easy to explore at your leisure. It’s broken down into zones, so you can tackle several in a day or go through all of them over the course of two or more days. Gorilla Forest, the African Outpost, Nairobi Village, Tiger Trail, and Elephant Valley are just a few of the thrilling destinations where you can enjoy glimpses of incredible wildlife. Expect to see everything from antelopes and cheetahs to pelicans and tigers while you’re here. The next step is a guided tour on the Africa Tram so you can catch a glimpse of the animals up close. Then take a Balloon Safari that sends you 400 feet into the air in a tethered balloon. Designed to replicate the balloon tours in Serengeti, this incredible experience provides flawless views of the vast landscape and many animals that live in the park.
2. Safari West
Just 12 miles from downtown Santa Rosa, CA, is one of the best safari parks in America: Safari West. The 400-acre preserve is home to over 900 animals and more than 90 different species. Enjoy a face-to-face meeting with a white rhinoceros. Gaze in wonder at the awe-inspiring cheetahs before you. Learn about the stunning hoofed mammals that may be unfamiliar to you, including addax, bontebok, and bongo. Snap photographs of the graceful birds and ducks. There’s something to catch your attention at every turn! The dining experience here honors the South African tradition of braai, similar to barbecue but different in that the wood fire remains continuously lit even after the food is prepared. Thinking about staying the night? Book a tent on the property — they’re imported from Botswana, and they offer all the creature comforts of home while providing you with incredible views and the sounds of wildlife throughout the night. This incomparable experience is a rarity in the United States and something any outdoor enthusiast will appreciate.
3. Wild Animal Safari
You don’t need to have your own vehicle to enjoy a drive-through ride at Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, GA. The park is renowned for its 3.5-mile trek that provides stupendous views of more than 550 animals on the 500-acre grounds. You can expect to encounter everything from a zebra to an American bison, all from the comfort of the park’s own zebra van. It holds up to seven people at a time and is a great way to experience all that the park has to offer in a safe and efficient way. The beauty of this adventure is that everyone in the family can sit back and enjoy the ride, from toddlers to grandparents! Each excursion is led by a qualified tour guide who will share valuable information about the many animals on the grounds.
4. Custer State Park Resort
Situated in Custer, SD, in the Black Hills region, Custer State Park Resort offers an incredible safari experience for the most ardent outdoor enthusiasts. This is the ultimate location to indulge your passion for wildlife and beautiful scenery. In addition to the dramatic forests that canopy the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway on the bus ride to the resort, the grounds feature wide-open grassy landscapes, shimmering streams and lakes, and fantastic mountain views. Feeling adventurous? Join the buffalo safari jeep tour and explore views of the buffalo, elk, and pronghorns that populate the park. Because the grounds were designated a game preserve in 1913, it’s a natural habitat for the animals to reside. In fact, there are some 56,000 acres devoted strictly to the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve along the edge of the park. Here, you’ll spot plenty of animals as they roam casually, from mountain goats to white-tail deer.
5. Virginia Safari Park
The Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge, VA, offers visitors plenty of practical options to enjoy the wildlife and scenery. During the walk along the 10-acre Safari Village, you can feed the giraffes, watch the white Bengal tigers splash around in the pool, feed all the goats and pigs your heart desires, and observe the African penguins — an endangered species — as they play. You’ll even spot kangaroos taking relaxed naps in the sunshine! You can also opt for a drive-through excursion that lets you see more of the 180-acre grounds. Animals roam freely, so keep your eyes alert to all the action around you. The park also provides public wagon rides, along with a bucket of feed so you can toss some sustenance to the wildlife as you ride through.
Book Your Safari Excursion Today
What better way to enjoy an unforgettable vacation than to book a visit to one of the best safari parks in America? There are thousands of animals to discover and plenty of scenery to enjoy. Head to BusTickets.com and book your affordable bus journey today.