San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Jocelyn Murray December 29, 2010 1 Comment

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Entrance

Located about a 50 minute drive from Carlsbad, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (previously called the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park) is a family favorite. The park is located at 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, California 92027 (  With so many wild animals to see in a preserved replica of their own natural habitat, this park offers a fascinating view of the wild life there, including amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds and insects. We even went walking with a cheetah – just a few feet behind him and his keepers – as they took him for his daily stroll and exercise. How graceful and majestic he seemed! The children were absolutely riveted. 

Port Lympne Safari Park San Diego

Port Lympne Safari Park San Diego

We rode in a hot air balloon – high up above the park – and got a bird’s eye view of all the animals, including the large nests in the tree tops gracing the sprawling preserve. Although I am very much afraid of heights, I found the hot air balloon ride thrilling as my white-knuckled hands gripped the railing tightly. It was also reassuring to know that the balloon was secured at all times by massive ropes which keep it from floating away. After about 15 minutes of breathtaking sightseeing, the balloon descends safely back to the ground below.

Feeding the Birds San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Feeding the Birds

My children loved feeding the lorikeet birds with special nectar that we purchased at the aviary entrance.  This was a very up close and personal experience with those colorful birds, as they landed on our arms and hands to sip at the nectar.  These orange-beaked parrots are native to the rain forests of Australia and New Guinea.

Blue Parrot San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Blue Parrot

The Lion Camp gives one a taste of what it would be like to see these noble creatures in the African safari.  The exhibit is an open grassy plane with rocks and boulders on one side for the animals to lounge.  Thick large glass panels allow for close up viewing of these majestic beasts.

Rhinoceros San Diego Zoo Safari Park


We took the Africa Tram Safari guided tour where we learned a great deal about the environment and behavior of the animals at the park including rhinos, wildebeest, giraffes, gazelles, antelope, cape buffalo, ostriches, goliath herons, and other animals native to North and East Africa. The landscape offers some of the most beautiful views of the park, complete with a large waterhole that provides breeding sites for animals there.

Elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park


Dino Mountain was a big hit with our children who have studied dinosaurs growing up.  The various exhibits displayed life like robotic creatures that made you swear you were looking at the real thing!  Even without the help of the posted signs, my daughter was able to name a surprisingly large number of the dinosaurs.  The experience was educational besides being entertaining and awe inspiring.

Dino Mountain San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Dino Mountain San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Condor San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Condors at the Safari Park

Flamingos - Safari Park San Diego

Pink and Orange Flamingos

avatarAbout the Author:

Jocelyn Murray is a travel writer and historical fiction novelist. She holds two university master's degrees in both English and Education, along with a bachelor's degree in Economics and European Studies. She also has a teaching credential and taught at the elementary school level.

Tags: , Reviews, Travel Excursions
One Comments to “San Diego Zoo Safari Park”
  1. avatar Peggy Hofmeister says:

    We loved our trip to the Zoo Safari Park on Thursday! One question I had stands out in my mind — does anyone know the name of the 2 beautiful bright orange trees standing among lovely green ones near the stairway to the African Tram? They were so striking, and I’d love to know what they are. Thank you!