San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Top of the morning Destination Vacation Family, Patrick here!

Just dropping in to talk about my recent trip to San Diego's beautiful Safari Park.

On a typical San Diego Day, crisp air and great sun, I drove towards the park getting ready to spend time with some real wild animals. 😂😜😂

I decided to walk the entire park, starting at Tiger Trail all the way to the Australian Outback, the weather was perfect for spotting animals.

I got to experience the cuteness of the brand new platypus habitat. NOTE: If you've never seen a platypus before you got to make sure to plan this point in your trip. With them being so new you have to approach a booth in which an employee provides a party of up to 6 with a return time much like a fast-pass at a theme park. It is worth the wait they are so precious!

The only concern I had with this set up is the space they provide for this service and the line only accommodates the width of 2 Patrick's (aka - its only a 2 lane highway). So it may be the ONLY time physical distancing isn't as observed as much other areas of the park but that's not to say they may improve it over time seeing as it is freshly reopened.

From there I went to Condor Ridge where I feel it is the best view of the park in its entirety. It really is a breathtaking view and a perfect photo opportunity. Plus, if you're like me and love birds, it allows you to really see how big these California Treasures are.

I went down into the Heart of Africa where I stopped for food. "The Watering Hole" is a food venue that overlooks the 'Open Plain' enclosure of the African Plains. The meal I had was quite unique - a Monte Crisco Sandwich paired with some baked purple potato chips, which was a fun surprise! Have you ever seen a purple potato? The menu rotates throughout the week providing guests with a different meal experience depending on which day they visit. Saturday and Sunday Offers an extended brunch menu.

Now the Heart of Africa is my favorite place for animal interactions. Up first are the Lions, the 2 female lions have been the only ones out lately - not sure where the big guy is. Following that is the Safari Caravans. Currently the regular caravans are not running, however, there are personal caravans for parties up to 6 that can range price wise of $425 to $499 depending on the day. This is great if you are looking for that extra bit of adventure.

Birds of Prey, and a variety of other African wildlife find there homes in this section of beautiful gardens. Did you know The Safari Park and San Diego Zoo are also recognized as Botanical Gardens?

After that we rode the elevator up and walked towards the ring tailed lemur exhibit. Normally this is one of the highlights of the park for me because it is an experience that allows for some up close and in person interaction with these extremely sweet and clever creatures (my favorite of the primate species). That pretty much wrapped up the day as peek heat hours came about and I knew both me and the animals would be very tired soon.

Below I have a small list of pros and cons for anyone who is thinking of visiting Destination.


1) Social Distancing.

Social Distancing is easy here especially due to the wide paths and open space exhibits. This allows you and your family to enjoy a vacation without having to sacrifice your personal health. Your safari park experience is not really hindered by any challenges of “indoor spaces“ outside of the shops. Plus all of the animals and staff are all wild to have you back!

2) Food Selection at the Watering Hole.

Good pricing for full portioned meals and can it can keep you satisfied with portions big enough for a Lion. The items are rather healthy and can starve off the cravings for most of your trip. It has its own Children's menu and a fully stocked bar with Custom Cocktails such as the "Cheetarita" and the "Charging Rhino" - which I had and it was a sweet citrus delight.

3) Parking Expectations

Due to max capacity being modified it made my personal trip more enjoyable and relaxed. There's no worry about overcrowding and allows for ease of exploration. With that - the need of finding a parking spot early in the morning is also guaranteed and this means you can park much closer.

4) COVID19 Resrictions

The Safari Park employees are dedicated to your enjoyment - ensuring safety and that cleanliness standards are met. Tables and chairs are wiped down constantly and they have even made a cute show with some "Flamingo" Friends who want to help remind you and your party of your Covid responsibilities. This is really good for your younger party members to remind them to "Cover their beaks!" - a reminder to cover both mouth and nose.


1) Up top remember how they specified covering the nose? It was for a reason. Unfortunately for me the most common Covid-19 error I saw was people with their noses sticking out of their mask. Its not a HUGE issue. As much as Park Employees try to enforce the rules, just be aware of you and your parties physical distancing. We want every to be as safe as possible at this amazing Destination .

2) Food outside of " The Watering Hole" tends to be less adventurous/healthy ,its limited to fast food type options such as Burgers,Chicken Sandwiches and Pizza.

3) Heat advisory is always something to be aware of .If you're not comfy in the sun the animals wont be either. It's always smarter to plan your Safari adventure for cooler days , Evenings and or Early Mornings as the park hours allow. Due to the fact this is inland the temperatures will vary from their coastal neighbors .

So that is it for now DVN Family. The San Diego Safari Park is open for business and we know the beautiful and strong creatures here are very excited for you all to visit them! It was honestly a real treat to get to walk around and see all these amazing exhibits again made life feel a little bit more normal.

I hope you all take advantage of this reopening and help fund the preservation of all the fantastic animals here . so tell me ,whats your favorite animal to visit?

Do you have any zoo stories to tell ? Give us a Roar on your stories and @ us on Instagram, DestinationVacationNetwork !

Signing off until next time!

Your Agent,

Patrick O'Connor

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