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YOU'RE THIS CLOSE

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Open on Eclipse Day! 

Grab the family and some glasses and join the animals at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch for the eclipse.

We'll be open from 9am until 5pm on Monday, April 8!

CHOOSE YOUR SAFARI

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Self-Guided Tour

Take your own vehicle on a driving safari through our 500-acre wildlife park. See and feed over 500 animals from 40 different species at your own pace. 

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Guided Tour

Join one of our Safari Animal Rangers and meet animals from around the world. Learn unique facts and hear personal stories from your Ranger Tour Guide.

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Giraffe VIP Experience

Start your tour with an intimate encounter with giraffes led by one of our Safari Animal Rangers! Then, enjoy a guided tour of our 500-acre park. 

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Group Adventures

In the comfort of your own caravan or bus, witness animals from around the world, visit giraffes, meet a troop of ring-tailed lemurs, enjoy lunch, and shop.

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Educational Adventures

Take your class on a real safari where there's a learning adventure around every corner. Students will love being close to animals wilder than they are!

ADD AN EXCURSION

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Prehistoric Experience

Walk amongst dozens of dinosaurs that move, breathe, and can't wait for you to maybe get a little too close. This excursion is sure to be memorable!

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Aviary Experience

The only thing better than seeing our birds is feeding them! Come inside with food on popsicle sticks that dozens of budgies look forward to enjoying.

Conservation

The conservation of animals and ranchland is of utmost importance to us at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. We actively collaborate with organizations worldwide to promote a sustainable future for both animals and the land they inhabit.

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Wild About Education

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is the perfect place to go on safari. But it's also a place to learn about the wonderful, wild world of animals.  Click on the articles below or on "Read More" to learn something you didn't already know! 

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Wild Nature Institute for Education

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Teacher's Prompt: Conservation

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Horns & Antlers

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Deals for humans

Florida resident deals, military, first responder, and teacher deals.

(Four-person max, discount can be redeemed by booking over the phone or being refunded with proof of membership upon check-in. Combos and Half-Day Adventures are excluded.)

FHIA (Florida Hospitality industry association) DEALS

(Three person max)

AAA, TRAVEL AGENTS, SENIOR DEALS

(Discount can be redeemed by booking over the phone or being refunded with proof of membership upon check-in.)

safari park with car

THINGS TO DO

drive-thru safari park

Some road trips take you across the country, but ours will take you across continents., your safari adventure will be the wildest car ride yet..

Travel down gravel paths within our Drive-thru Safari Park and discover more than 150 native and exotic animals roaming freely. During your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals often only found around the world. Enjoy identifying species from as far away as the African savanna to others from the deciduous forests of North America, all from the comfort of your own car. (*Please note that your vehicle must have a top and that vehicles like convertibles or motorcycles are not allowed through the Drive-thru Safari.) ‍ Expanding across 170 acres of untouched scenic landscapes, our wildlife and safari park presents a unique opportunity to bring you up close and personal with wild animals such as giraffes, zebra, eland antelope, scimitar oryx, American bison, mouflon sheep, and more! As you travel down our four-mile “unbeaten path,” you and your family can enjoy an exploration just feet away from animals you normally only see on TV.

FUN TO BE HAD BEYOND YOUR DRIVE-THRU SAFARI.

The fun you’ll have isn’t confined to your car. Take your adventure to new heights and feed giraffes on our elevated giraffe feeding platform. (Talk about the perfect Facebook profile picture!) ‍ After you’ve had your “four-wheel-fun” inside our drive-through animal park, stretch those legs inside our Gator Park. Admission to our Gator Park is included in the price of our Drive-thru Safari Park tickets and allows your family to view more than 200 additional animals, as well as enjoy a variety of educational animal shows. Our drive-thru safari park is just a short drive from Orlando’s biggest attractions. Enjoy the scenic views of Florida’s natural beauty from the comfort of your car. It’s the perfect family-friendly activity for animal lovers of all ages.

know before you go

(All items served with your choice of 2 sides)

Chomp House Burger - Your choice of toppings

Chicken Tenders - Your choice of sauce

All Beef Hot Dog

The Wild One - 1/2 lb burger, pork, bacon, cheese & BBQ sauce

Pulled Pork Sandwich - Tender pulled BBQ pork on a bun

Philly Cheese Steak - Sliced sirloin, grilled onions & peppers and white American cheese

Grilled Chicken Sandwich - Your choice of toppings

Ham or Turkey Wrap - Soft wrap with lettuce, onion, tomato

Vegetarian Options:

(All items served with your choice of 1 side)

House Salad - Toppings cheese, tomato, cucumbers, croutons, *Add chicken

Veggie Burger - Blackbean patty with your choice of toppings

Platter Options:

(All items served with your choice of 2 sides & a piece of garlic toast)

Gator Platter - Fried gator nuggets served with aioli

Catfish Platter - Fried catfish fillets served with aioli

Swamp Platter - Fried catfish and gator served with aioli

Florida Platter - Fried gator, grouper, and shrimp served with aioli

Kids Menu Items:

(All items served with your choice of 1 side, 1 cookie, and 1 small drink)

2 Pulled Pork Sliders

Chicken Tenders

2 Beef Sliders

Baked Beans

Mac 'n' Cheese

French Fries

Premium Sides:

Onion Rings

Cheese Curds

Fried Pickle Chips

Coffee, Hot Tea, Hot Cocoa

*Ask about our daily chef specials

Family-Friendly Activities at Our Wildlife Park

Feed and learn more about baby animals at our petting zoo. Kids will love exploring our covered playground. Bird lovers will enjoy our Hawk Swamp, where owls often roost in the cypress tree-covered boardwalk.

Fun Facts About Our Drive-thru Safari

  • We have more than 150 exotic animals and native wildlife
  • You’ll see 170 acres of untouched, scenic landscapes
  • You can drive your own car down a four-mile unbeaten path

Airboat Tour Times and Best Times to Ride

Our first airboat tour leaves at 9:00 a.m. and our last airboat tour leaves at 4:30 p.m. In the summer months, the best time to book your airboat tour is at 9:00 a.m. During winter, 12:00 p.m. is an ideal time to ride.

Gator Park and Airboat Tours

Continue your adventure at our Gator Park before or after your airboat ride. You can hold a baby alligator or experience any of our animal encounters. Admission is included with each airboat tour. Make sure you visit our gift shop to pick up your souvenirs.

Reservation Availability

We are available to make reservations Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The park is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Directions to Wild Florida coming from Disney:

  • Go east on U.S. Highway 192 for about 20 miles to Saint Cloud.
  • Take a Right on Vermont Avenue heading south for 12 miles. Vermont will become Canoe Creek Rd after a few miles.
  • Turn Right on Lake Cypress Road heading west for 2 miles.

            OR

  • Go east on Osceola Parkway to the Florida’s Turnpike and go south (right).
  • Take the Turnpike to the next exit, #244 (Kissimmee-St. Cloud), for St. Cloud, and turn east on U.S. Highway 192 (left). Exit #240 is a SunPass Only exit and does not accept cash or credit cards.
  • Stay on U.S. Highway 192 for 5 miles and turn south (right) on Vermont Avenue for 12 miles. Vermont will become Canoe Creek Road after a few miles.
  • Turn right on Lake Cypress Road heading west for 2 miles.

Directions to Wild Florida coming from Orlando:

  • Go South on the Florida Turnpike to exit #244 (Kissimmee-St. Cloud) for St. Cloud, and turn east on U.S. Highway 192 (left). Exit #240 is a SunPass Only exit and does not accept cash or credit cards.
  • Stay on U.S. Highway 192 for 5 miles and go south (right) on Vermont Avenue for 12 miles.
  • Vermont will become Canoe Creek Road after a few miles.

Directions to Wild Florida coming from Melbourne:

  • Go west on U.S. Highway 192 for approximately 40 miles to Saint Cloud.
  • Take a left on Vermont Avenue heading south for 12 miles. Vermont will become Canoe Creek Road after a few miles.

To ensure a hassle-free trip to and from Wild Florida, consider scheduling your ride with Uber. Using the Uber app, you can book your transportation in advance, allowing you to enjoy your visit without worrying about parking or navigating. This convenient option provides a reliable and stress-free way to manage your travel plans, making your experience at Wild Florida even more enjoyable.

Come early!

Our park opens at 9:00 a.m. and there’s a lot to see. When traveling with a group, we recommend arriving early so you can experience everything our gator park, drive-thru safari, animal shows and encounters have to offer.

Book your excursions ahead of time

Make your travel experience a good one by planning ahead! You can purchase tickets for each of our attractions online, in-person, or by phone prior to your arrival.

Plan meal times and regroup

Lunch is a great time to rest, refuel, and regroup. You can bring in your own picnic baskets or savor some of the best barbecue and food the swamp has to offer from the Chomp House Grill. Wash it down with our Swamp Slushy – a frozen blend of mango, orange and passion fruit and you’ve got what we like to call a well-balanced meal.

Savor the delight of a refreshing Wild Florida icy slushie or indulge in the creamy goodness of an ice cream cone.

What to Do After Visiting Our Gator Park

More adventure awaits! Once you’ve taken in all of the sights, sounds, and wildlife encounters at our alligator park, take a ride on one of our airboat tours. Our world-famous airboat rides take you through the Headwaters of the Everglades, giving you an unforgettably close encounter of Florida’s native wildlife.

If you’re hungry, check out the Chomp House Grill and fill up on anything from catfish and burgers, to fresh salads and veggies.

When you’re ready to head home, don’t forget to stop by our gift shop. You might even spot a baby alligator on your way out.

What to Do After Your Wild Drive

Take your adventure to new heights. Stop and hand feed giraffes on our elevated giraffe feeding platform. This activity is family-friendly and a guest favorite.

Admission to our Gator Park is included in the price of our Drive-thru Safari Park tickets. Your family will find more than 200 additional animals, as well as enjoy a variety of educational animal shows.

Safety Precautions

Safety at Wild Florida is our number one priority, and we are committed to the health, safety and well-being of our guests, staff and animals. No job is so important and no service is so urgent that we cannot take time to perform our work safely to prevent accidents or injuries to our guests and animals. Here are a few safety points and plans for our guests and animals.

We provide life jackets and ear protection for all guests. Children five and under are required to wear a life jacket. For guests six years old and over, life jackets are available along with ear protection, but they are not required.

  • Wild Florida has a stellar reputation when it comes to our airboat tours. Our vessels are U.S. Coast Guard approved and inspected on an annual basis. On the vessels are life preservers for each guest, fire extinguishers, a flare gun and a throw ring if necessary.
  • In case of an emergency, we have an accident plan.
  • We have an incident report if needed.
  • Our loading dock is ADA Compliant.
  • There is always a way to communicate to home base and/or 911 anywhere on site or while out on an airboat tour.

Airboat Operations

  • One of the many things that sets Wild Florida apart from other competitors is our beautiful Gator Park. You can get up close and personal with many different animals including alligators, zebras and exotic birds. Our park is inspected and approved by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) , United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) , and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) , which makes it a safe and enjoyable experience.
  • In case of a snake bite, we have a snake bite protocol.
  • Our animals are checked regularly by a veterinarian.
  • We have a veterinarian on call at all times.
  • We have an accident plan for emergencies.

See a side of Florida you won’t see at the parks. Experience untouched landscapes and acres of wildlife. Whether you’re an adventure travel enthusiast, a group of avid bird watches, or a family on their dream vacation, you’ll leave with unforgettable memories at Wild Florida.

At Wild Florida, we have an on-site restaurant where you can dine during your visit. If you’re curious to try a taste of the swamp, stop by the Chomp House Grill. Whether cooling off with our signature Swamp Slushy or chowing down on some of the best barbecue around, a visit to Wild Florida isn’t complete until you’ve had a treat from our restaurant.

Whether you are an adventurous carnivore who wants to try our Swamp Platter featuring gator and catfish or you enjoy lighter fare like salads and fresh veggies, the Chomp House Grill has something to please every palate. Can’t find anything on the menu to your liking? Talk to our Executive Chef, and she can whip something up for you.

Enjoy our great food in a rocking chair on our patio, in the air-conditioned comfort of the Cypress Ballroom or in our shaded Gator Pavillion along the shore of Lake Cypress.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is your Gator Park located?

Our gator and wildlife park is near many of Central Florida’s most popular attractions. Most attractions are less than 1-hour away from us.

Can we feed the alligators?

If you’re looking to get even closer to our alligators, book one of our Gator Feeding Encounters.

How much are tickets for the Gator Park?

Tickets to our Gator Park are $15 for adults and $12 for children. Florida residents enjoy $8 admission for adults, and $6 admission for children.

Can you book an animal encounter with any animal?

We have a selection of animal encounters that you can choose from. You can get up close to albino gators, sloths, giraffes, reptiles and more.

Do I need my own car for the Safari?

Yes, you will need your own car for the Drive-thru Safari Park.

How much does the drive-thru safari cost?

For out-of-state visitors, each ticket is $34 for adults, and $24 per child. Florida residents can purchase tickets for $24 per adult and $19 per child.

Does the drive-thru safari include a guided tour?

Our drive-thru safari is self-guided and you’re able to drive at your own pace.

Can you feed the animals?

While you can’t find the animals on the drive-thru safari trail, you are able to hand feed giraffes on our elevated feeding platform. We encourage you to visit after your drive.

Are you nearby Central Florida attractions?

Wild Florida’s drive-thru safari is near many of Central Florida’s popular attractions, with most local attractions being a 30-minute to 1-hour drive away.

Are all of the wild animals from Florida?

You’ll find both exotic animals and native florida species on your drive-thru safari adventure.

What time does the park open?

The gates to our drive-thru safari will open at 9 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. with the last car allowed in at 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

What else is included in my drive-thru safari park ticket?

Admission to our Gator Park is included with each drive-thru safari park ticket. At our Gator Park, you can find even more exotic animals and you can even participate in one of our animal encounters.

Do you offer small group tours?

Our group rate is available to groups of at least 10 people.

Do you provide guided tours?

If you are interested in a guided tour, consider booking a VIP Safari Tour . There are also plenty of opportunities to learn from our wildlife specialists in our Gator Park. Attend one of our exotic animal shows to learn about exotic and native Florida animals.

How do I book a group tour?

Please contact us by filling out the form on this page to begin booking your group trip.

What amenities do group tours include?

Large groups can take advantage of several spaces throughout Wild Florida. Your group can have access to our 2,200-square-foot, air-conditioned Cypress Ballroom, 1,500-square-foot Gator Pavilion overlooking Lake Cypress or a collection of picnic tables on the shore of the lake.

Wild Florida offers group tours near Central Florida’s most popular attractions and we often meet visitors from all over the world who are visiting Florida on holiday or on business trips. You’ll find that we are just minutes away from Orlando’s popular resorts and parks.

Drive to your adventure

Book now to experience a journey through the wild side.

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Additional Activities

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GIRAFFE PAINTING EXPERIENCE

$145 Per Person – Suitable for all ages.

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VIP SAFARI TOUR

$175 Per Person –   Ages 12 and up. Limited to 4 guests per booking.

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FLORIDA RESIDENT DRIVE-THRU SAFARI PARK

Florida Residents – $24 per Adult / $19 per Child – Ages 13 and up are adults. Valid Florida ID required at check-in.

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Jun 14, 2021, our drive-thru safari is expanding with more animals and adventure, mar 27, 2023, get close to a florida gator when you visit our drive-thru safari park, jan 15, 2020, 9 exotic animals you can see in our drive-thru safari park, half-hour airboat tour.

Must check in 45 mins prior to tour departure time.

Reservations are required. Photos not included.

Florida Resident One-Hour Airboat Tour

Reservations are required. Proof of Florida residency required upon check-in.

One-Hour Airboat Tour

One-hour private tour, one-hour private evening airboat tour, drive-thru safari park.

Last entry is at 5:00 pm. Admission to our Gator Park is included in the price of our Drive-thru Safari Park.

‍ Last entry is at 5:00 pm. Admission to our Gator Park is included in the price of our Drive-thru Safari Park.

VIP Safari Tour

Start with an interactive experience feeding Wild Florida's tallest residents, Walter and Leroy. Afterward, you'll experience a 60-75 minute Drive-thru Safari tour, followed by a visit to our Gator Park to meet our ambassador alligator, Fluffy, and feed the alligators in our Gator Pond before concluding your journey with lunch and a signature slushy at our Chomp House Grill.

Reservations are required. Admission to the Drive-thru Safari and Gator Park is included. Your booking will be rescheduled for another date if you are late. Larger parties can be accommodated, call our Reservations Department for more information.

* All programs involving live animals are subject to change due to weather, availability, or unforeseen circumstances. Thank you for understanding.

Giraffe painting experience

During this encounter, you’ll be provided a blank canvas to paint with one of our giraffes on our giraffe feeding platform. You’ll also be given giraffe feed to further engagement by touching and feeding our giraffes while contributing to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation through a portion of your ticket price in this exclusive, limited, three-guest per encounter time.

Reservations are required. Admission to the Drive-thru Safari and Gator Park is included. Your booking will be rescheduled for another date if you are late. ‍

Customer Reviews

Things to do, buy tickets.

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Orlando on the Cheap

Deals, discounts and free and cheap things to do in and around Orlando

Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari Park

Buckle up for a unique animal adventure — from the comfort of your own car.

Wild Florida’s Drive-Thru Safari Park is a self-guided journey to get up close and personal with hundreds of wild animals.  

Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari: image of woman in her car taking a picture of a gazelle on the safari tour

Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari Park. Image: @wildfloridaairboats on Instagram.

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WILD FLORIDA’S DRIVE-THRU SAFARI PARK

You never know who you will greet you on your 2-mile trek through Wild Florida’s Drive-Thru Safari Park . The animals roam freely through the 85-acre park, home to more than 100 exotic animals and native Florida wildlife like white-tailed deer, bison, cracker cows, zebras, watusi, oryx and more.

Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari Park: image of a car filled with kids driving by buffalo at this safari attraction in Central Florida

Florida Resident discount at Wild Florida’s Drive-thru Park

  • Florida Residents: $23 adult, $18 per child.
  • Ages 13 and up are considered adults.
  • Valid Florida ID required at check-in.

Groupon deals

  • The attraction is also running special deals through Groupon for a limited time.

General admission cost:

  • $33 per adult, $23 per child.

Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari: image of boy looking at animals as he drives by in a car

Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari. Image: @wildfloridaairboats Instagram.

To keep the experience safe for all visitors, you can book online for Wild Florida’s Drive-Thru Safari Park and check in at an admission kiosk.

For the ultimate self-guided tour, download the safari scavenger hunt to see what animals you can find and the Wild Florida Drive-thru Safari Guide audio tour. 

The park is located 45 minutes from the Disney area.

Hours of operation: Monday – Saturday, 9am – 6pm.

NEW at Wild Florida! Wild Florida has doubled the size of its Drive-thru Safari, expanding by two miles bringing it to a total of four miles.

The current 85-acre Drive-thru Safari Park has expanded to a total of 170 acres. The trail will increase to four miles and eventually feature more exotic animals like gemsbok, kudu, and springbok.

In addition to the more than 150 animals already on property, Wild Florida has increased the population of some of the existing animals by adding new herds of wildebeest, water buffalo, watusi cattle, eland antelope, brahman cattle and zebra. They have also introduced five more Highlander cattle, two camels, three ostrich and an all-white elk.

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Safari cart transporting visitors

Cart Safari

$60 & up*.

Price is per person

At A Glance

  • $60 & up per person
  • Offered Daily

Age Range: All ages may join Cart Safari Africa and Cart Safari Asia . Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult. Limit of 2 children per adult per group. Ages 0-2 must sit on adult lap. Limit of two lap children per group. 

If anyone in your party requires the use of a wheelchair during the tour, after booking, please call 619-718-3000 so we can notate your order prior to your visit.

Rhinos

Deluxe Cart Safari

  • $90 & up per person
  • Offered daily
  • Asian and African savanna habitats

All ages. Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult. Limit of 2 children per adult per group. Ages 0-2 must sit on adult lap. Limit of two lap children per group. Strollers and child car seats not permitted on cart.

Change/Cancellation: Reservations may be changed up to 5 days before the program and will be subject to a $15 Administrative Change Fee. Less than 5 days, changes not permitted. Cancellations received 5 days before scheduled program are subject to a $25 Cancellation Fee. Less than 5 days, payment is non-refundable. 



Travel the world without leaving San Diego! Board a deluxe Safari cart, and see wildlife of the savannas of Africa and Asia, led by one of our knowledgeable guides. Step off the cart for a look at incredible wildlife, and snap some amazing photos as you experience this unique Safari. 

Admission is separate and required. If anyone in your party requires the use of a wheelchair during the tour, after booking, please call 619-718-3000 so we can notate your order prior to your visit.

Mother giraffe and calf

Cart Safari Africa

  • African savanna habitats

Sit back in the comfort of your deluxe Safari cart, as you enjoy a 60-minute guided tour of the Park’s spacious African savanna habitats, led by one of our knowledgeable guides. As you explore these habitats together, your guide will share stories about the plants and animals in our care, and how our conservation work is making an impact worldwide. Questions are encouraged! Step off the cart for a look at some unique wildlife, and snap some amazing photos as you enjoy this one-of-a-kind Safari Park experience.

greater one-horned rhinos

Cart Safari Asia

  • Asian savanna habitats

Sit back in the comfort of your deluxe Safari cart, as you enjoy a 60-minute guided tour of the Safari Park’s spacious Asian savanna habitats, led by one of our knowledgeable guides. As you explore these habitats together, your guide will share stories about the plants and animals in our care, and how our conservation work is making an impact worldwide. Questions are encouraged! Step off the cart for a look at some unique critters, and snap some amazing photos as you enjoy this unique Safari Park experience. 

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Two elephants nose to nose

Behind-the-Scenes Safari

These Safaris are guaranteed to thrill and amaze! Your guide will escort you to a variety of locations around the Park to see animals up close and share stories of wildlife care and conservation.  

Reservations

Let us answer your questions and create your day at the Safari Park!

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Top 12 Must See Drive Through Safaris in Texas

Note: This post may contain affiliate links! Check our disclaimer if you need more info!

safari park with car

Looking for a drive through safari in Texas? Or want to know all the dive through safaris in Texas?

This might come as a surprise but you can experience an African safari right here in the great state of Texas!  Granted, very little tops seeing these majestic creatures in their homeland but if you’re looking for a Texan substitute, we’ve got a list of all the places you can find a drive through safari in Texas.

Looking for more Texas fun? Check out this list of the best amusement parks in Texas !

Before heading out on your adventure to explore drive through safaris in Texas, please call to verify operating hours, animal availability, and all the other fun details!

Drive Through Safaris in Texas

Natural bridge wildlife ranch , san antonio.

Explore 450 acres of Texas Hill Country during this 1.5 hour Texas drive through safari featuring animals from all over the world.  Each car is provided a bag of animal feed with the cost of admission.  The animals in the ranch will come to your vehicle to eat and allow you an up close view of their beauty. You will see buffalos, zebras, and ostriches during your adventure.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch (@naturalbridge.wildliferanch)

Visitors can even explore the wildlife ranch on foot. You can relax at the on-site cafe and visit the lemur habitat and the giraffe center. Finish off your day by stopping at the gift shop for a nice souvenir of your day.

Aggieland Safari , Bryan

Want to visit a “traditional” zoo and experience a drive through safari in Texas all at the same time?  Aggieland Safari in Bryan is the place to be!  Admission includes entrance to their 250+ acre drive-thru safari.  For a small additional fee, you can receive a bucket of feed to share with the over 100 animals that call Aggieland Safari home.  Experience a personal visit from each of the animals on the safari without ever having to leave your car.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Aggieland Safari (@aggielandsafari)

But the fun at Aggieland Safari doesn’t stop there!  Admission to their Adventure Zoo is included as well.  This 20-acre area is meant to be explored on foot but still provides the opportunity for up-close experiences.  Want to feed a giraffe?  You can do that here.  Want to feed a tortoise?  You can do that too.  There’s also a bird aviary, a camel trek, a petting zoo, a kid-friendly playscape, a covered pavilion, and a gift shop!

Rocky Ridge Drive Thru Safari , Eustace

Enjoy a 1 hour drive through a safari right in the heart of Texas with a visit to Rocky Ridge Drive Thru Safari. View the park from the comfort of your own vehicle while traveling through this 200 acre wild animal refuge. The park features over 25 species of animals from all over the world.

Texas Drive through safari - Red ruffed lemur

With animals like buffalo, llamas, zebras, and even gazelles, this drive through safari in Texas is the perfect afternoon activity with family!

​ Franklin Drive Thru Safari , Franklin

Your entire family will have fun playing, feeding, and interacting with animals from across the globe at this drive through safari in Texas. Franklin Drive Thru Safari has over 100 acres filled with more than 1,000 animals. The petting zoo is amazing with new animals consistently being adopted. As you drive through the safari, you will see over fifty different species of animals meandering around the ranch. ​ Franklin Drive Thru Safari even has a ten-acre area for walking. There’s so much to do: visit baby giraffes, camels, anteaters, or kangaroos; purchase a cup of peanuts and make friends with the park monkeys;  take a private tour with the trained staff; visit the adorable baby room to play with exotic babies animals like coatimundis and lemurs, or explore in your car to feed camels and zebras right from your vehicle.

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center , Glen Rose

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is one of the largest drive through safaris in Texas.  The ranch consists of over 1,800 acres and features nearly fifty different species among the 1,100 animals on the property. You can spend hours driving through the park looking at all of the different animals.

But the fun doesn’t stop there!  You can go on a bike tour or even a murder mystery tour.  Fossil Rim Wildlife Center also has photo workshops, an on-site cafe, and overnight lodging [bunkhouses, anyone?].

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In addition to being a drive through safari in Texas, they are also the biggest cheetah breeding facility in the world.  Between eighteen and twenty cubs are raised here every year.  Many endangered species, such as the scimitar-horned oryx, have also been reintroduced to the wild thanks to the efforts of the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center.  They are truly a drive through safari dedicated to the well-being and conservation of their animals!

Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari , Jacksonville

Visit this 5-mile drive through Texas safari to see Rupert the camel and Minnie the yak. Your two-hour drive includes a free feed bag, 300 acres, 35 species, and 700 animals. Make friends with capybaras, zebras, alpacas, bison, and more as they approach your vehicle.

There is also a fenced-off enclosure with six alligators you can feed. The variety of wildlife present at Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari is simply amazing.

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There is an open habitat with two dozen endangered and exotic species and open savannahs. Drive along the different roads to spot an African longhorn cow, an Indian antelope walking across a lush field, or a mother and her calf grazing by the pond. You and your family will make great memories feeding, photographing, and observing these gorgeous creatures.

Grapeland Safari , Grapeland

The Grapeland Safari offers 59 acres and 25 different species. Grab a bucket of feed, drive through this Texas safari, and enjoy these amazing creatures. Your kids will love the petting zoo. They can visit numerous animals including zebras, axis deer, emus, and yaks. Bring your grill and spend some quality time together enjoying a cookout in the picnic area.

The guests of honor at the Grapeland Safari are their camels.  They feature two different types of camels: Dromedary and Bactrian.  Each has its unique features [one hump or two?] and both types at Grapeland Safari are a hit with visitors due to their incredibly friendly nature.

Exotic Resort Zoo , Johnson City

Instead of driving through this Texas safari, you can relax and enjoy all 127 acres from the comfort of a tram. You will learn about the forty different species and 600 animals including the kissing camel [named Gomar], ostriches, and blackbucks.

There are endangered and exotic animals too. You can feed the friendly animals right out of your own feed bucket. Your family will laugh as thirty or forty animals surround your tram hoping for tidbits.

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After your tour, visit the two petting zoos, the fishing pond where you can catch and release the fish or spend the night in a cabin and enjoy a roaring campfire. Visit the charming gift shop for a memorable souvenir, the private penned areas, and the caged enclosures. The tour guides will ensure you know a lot more about the animals when you leave than when you arrived.

Lonesome Dove Drive-Thru Safari , Jefferson

The Lonesome Dove Drive-Thru Safari is home to over eighty animals. During your visit, you’ll enjoy wildebeests, camels, donkeys, red deer, bison, and more. The animals roam freely around the 65 acres. Follow the signs to drive to the exotic animals while seeing zebras and fallow deer along the way. 

Your entire family will enjoy the field filled with braying donkeys.  There’s a really good chance that the more social animals will approach your car to say hi!

If you want to get even closer to the animals, visit their on-site petting zoo.  Be sure to stop by their office to purchase buckets of food to share with the animals.  While you’re there, pick up a branded t-shirt and a souvenir to take home! You can take incredible photographs and visit the petting zoo.

North Texas Safari Park , Bonham

If you want to view exotic and endangered species from the comfort of your car, then North Texas Safari Park is the best drive through safari in Texas for you! Located about an hour north of Dallas, this drive through safari in Texas has all sorts of animals.

Experience more of the animals by partaking in their optional activities like feeding the giraffes, exploring their exhibit dedicated to Australian animals, petting animals in the petting zoo and more!

Busy B Ranch Wildlife Park , Jefferson

See exotic animals in their natural setting right in the middle of East Texas at this drive through safari.  Busy B Ranch Wildlife Park consists of 125 free-range safari acres. Drive the 3 mile loop in the comfort of your own vehicle while you see the animals naturally and up close.

With over 20 years of experience caring for exotic animals, this ranch works hard to ensure the wonders of the animal world are well preserved. Make sure you bring a camera to capture the incredible animals and bring home unforgettable souvenirs!

Buena Vista Wildlife Safari and RV Park , Evant

This drive through safari in Texas is a little different than others.  The entire safari is housed inside of a RV park. Their goal is to not only provide amazing animals for your viewing pleasure but to provide an overall family adventure – an economical one at that!

With over 23 animal species from 10 different countries, there are plenty of animals to see!

Have you visited a drive through safari in Texas?  Leave a comment below!

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Montoya (Monty) Hudson is the founder and primary voice behind The Spring Break Family. She has created informative travel content for families since 2018 by providing practical advice, easy to follow itineraries, and addressing the real challenges of family travel. Since the creation of her family travel blog, she's inspired thousands of families to travel the world with their kids.

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Drive Thru Animal Safari Near Dallas and Fort Worth

We're open for the holiday season!

At Rocky Ridge, we put the wild in wildlife.

Less than an hour south of the DFW Metroplex, Rocky Ridge Drive Thru Safari is a 200 acre wild animal refuge and drive-up safari.

We selected the location of Rocky Ridge specifically for its diverse terrain and natural beauty. Our safari park is home to a variety of animals from around the world living in their indigenous habitat.

  • Enjoy a 1-hour drive-thru safari

Feed the animals from your car

  • No reservations required!

Click below to view pricing, hours of operations, nearby attractions, and more.

Plan A Visit

Drive-thru safari

1-hour drive thru safari

Feed animals from your car

No reservations required

We’re more than just a zoo..

At Rocky Ridge, you’ll experience nature without bars or behind glass. Our animals roam free, as nature intended.

Your family can expect to learn about the animals in their natural habitat.

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway, look no further.

Up-Close and Personal - A Drive Thru Safari in the Dallas Area

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Bring your family to Rocky Ridge and get up close and personal with animals from around the world. Our drive up zoo features over 25 species of animals nestled in the beautiful East Texas.

A free bag of feed comes with each ticket purchase, and our animals will walk right up to the car to get a bite. You’ll be able to see the majestic creatures from mere feet away.

Our drive thru zoo is the perfect place to spend the day with family. Enjoy experiencing wildlife from the comfort of your own vehicle with your windows down.

Our Most Popular Attractions

American Bison (Buffalo) The king of the American Great Plains, our park features the Buffalo--or American Bison. A majestic creature, the bison were hunted by nomadic Native American tribes that followed herds across the nation.

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Andean Llama One of our most popular animals, llamas originate from South American around the Andes Mountains. They’re prized for their wool and frequently used as beasts of burden. They’re also smart! They can learn tricks and repeat actions just like a dog.

Mountain Zebra Native to Angola, Namibia and South Africa, the Mountain Zebra is our favorite black-and-white-striped furry friend. More solitary than the plains Zebra, the Mountain Zebra forms into small family herds on display at Rocky Ridge.

Arabian Camel Standing nearly six feet tall, the Arabian Camel is a majestic creature used for centuries as beasts of burden in the arid regions of the Middle East. Noted for their temperament, our camel is as friendly as they come.

Customers love our drive thru petting zoo. We feature animals from around the world from Red Tail Deer indigenous to East Texas to the majestic Gazelles all the way from the Serengeti.

Come See Us

Rocky Ridge promises to give you and your family an unforgettable experience the whole family will enjoy. Our drive thru zoo, near Dallas, is only a quick drive.

Skip the zoo this weekend and come to Rocky Ridge for a safari.

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Journey into our 200 acre animal oasis to experience up-close and intimate encounters with over 25 species through the diverse terrain of Rocky Ridge.

Send Us An Email Map & Directions © 2024 Rocky Ridge Safari GroupM7 Design™

THE 5 BEST Moscow Safaris

Safaris in moscow.

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  • Good for Couples
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  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

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1. Rybokhotsoyuz

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2. Easy Russia Tour Guide

alizain1985

3. UTS GROUP

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4. 365AltaiMongolia

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5. #1 Russia -Tanzania | Zanzibar, Serengeti Safari & Kilimanjaro Agency | BURIGI CHATO SAFARIS CO LTD

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6. Aviashop.Ru

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7. Transsib Moscow

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8. BASK TOUR

  • Easy Russia Tour Guide
  • #1 Russia -Tanzania | Zanzibar, Serengeti Safari & Kilimanjaro Agency | BURIGI CHATO SAFARIS CO LTD
  • 365AltaiMongolia

OPEN DAILY - 365 DAYS A YEAR

9:30am - 5:30pm.

(last car admitted into the preserve at 4:30PM)

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The Lion Country Safari Experience

Lion Country Safari is situated on nearly 600 acres of natural area and home to hundreds of animals. Explore one of Florida's wildest attractions and one of the top things to do in Palm Beach County. 

Drive-Through Safari

Large herds of animals roam wide-open, naturalistic habitats in the drive-through wildlife park!

What you will see

Close up of male lion face.

Adventure Park

Experience the thrill on one of our amusement rides! Rides are complimentary with park admission.

Cool off on safari at the water sprayground!

Water Attractions

Get up close and personal with incredible animals at our feeding encounters.

Feed The Animals

Shop, dine, and more in Safari World!

Get More Information

Lion Country Safari Claims Spot Among Top 10 Safari Parks in the Nation

Lion Country Safari Welcomes Male Rhino Calf

Rare White-handed Gibbon Born at Lion Country Safari

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Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari Park Admission

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Additional Info

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Infants and small children can ride in a pram or stroller
  • Service animals allowed
  • All areas and surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Suitable for all physical fitness levels
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitised between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitised
  • We are following CDC guidelines in regards to social distancing by marking any areas where there may be a line to 6-foot distancing, airboats will be limited to 10 guests.

Six Flags Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure: An Interactive Zoo Experience You Won’t Want To Miss

If you ever thought of going on a safari, here’s your chance— in NJ. The wildly popular Six Flags Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure in Jackson opens the weekend of April 1 and is teeming with over 1,200 exotic animals from six continents ready to greet you and the whole family. Drive your car down a winding path where African elephants, reticulated giraffes, and red rhinos pass by your window (and maybe even stop traffic) in areas that mimic their natural habitats. Ready to go? Scroll down for all the details for going on a wild adventure at Six Flags Wild Safari—no passport needed. ( Feature Photo Credit: Six Flags Safari )

The zebras show off their stripes during the Six Flags in New Jersey. Photo Credit: Six Flags Safari

All the animals at Six Flags Wild Safari Drive-Thru

Six Flags Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure is unique because you never have to leave your car. The drive-thru is separated into 12 sections to show how animals live in distinct natural habitats. You’ll have the opportunity to watch a Roosevelt Elk run in The Americas, see an ostrich peck at your window in Afrikka, or view an African Lion at rest in Kingsland. As you wind around the loop, slow down by Baboon Village. This fan-favorite is where you can watch this rowdy troop jump all over a large metal piece in their exhibit (this metal piece is actually from “Lightning Loops,” a Six Flags Great Adventure rollercoaster that was deconstructed years ago). And not to worry, the baboons are no longer allowed to jump on your car like they were years ago ( whew ).

See animals in their natural habitat from the safety of your vehicle. Photo Credit: Six Flags Safari

Here’s what to know about the Drive-Thru before you go

The Six Flags Wild Safari Park is a total of 4.5 miles of paved road, and the drive-thru timing depends on the animals’ behavior (if they are out and about) and the traffic since you drive through super slowly—but expect it to take at least an hour. To make the experience even better, you can download a guide for all the details on the animals and facts. During the tour, you will see gates with signs that say “checkpost” to guide you to where you are and what you will see. Safari team members are available at many of the gates to help you with anything you might need during your adventure. And the animals can be temperamental (especially in crummy weather), so be prepared that you might not always see specific species. Whether you’re planning to go for the day or even just a quick visit, you’ll want to purchase tickets online and reserve a time and date to go. Tickets start at $24.99 for adults and $19.99 for seniors and children under 48″. 

Six Flags Wild Safari Drive-Thru is only part of the park

If your family is still up for an adventure, New Jersey’s largest and most popular theme park, Six Flags Great Adventure , is right next door with rides, restaurants, and hours of entertainment. Six Flags Great Adventure’s main park has plenty of thrilling and tame rides for all ages and lots of special events planned for 2023. This Spring Break, visit Six Flags in New Jersey for Scream Break from April 8-15 for a frighteningly good time that includes some of the features from Fright Fest, like haunted houses, a scare zone, ghouls, and nighttime rides. If you’re thinking about going this summer, you’ll want to head over to Six Flag’s water park, Hurricane Harbor, and spend the rest of the day sliding and splashing on the lazy river and in the pools—a perfect ending to a day “on safari.” New this year, there will be lots of tamer options for younger kids, including a treehouse splash park and 7 new colorful slides that spin and whirl smaller riders. And good to know if you want to add this to your day— Six Flags Great Adventure and Hurricane Harbor require separate ticket purchases from the Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure.

Six Flags Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure 1 Six Flags Boulevard Jackson, NJ 08527 (732) 928-2000

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About Author

Melanie Bodner has always had a love for writing, but now she has a new love…being a mom. Before having her kids, Melanie was no stranger to writing or working with children. She wrote for a local newspaper as a reporter and taught English and Dance in a public school. Now Melanie enjoys spending time with her kids, doing yoga, writing and decorating her home. Check out her Instagram @burlapbythebeach.

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Tennessee Safari Park LLC

NO outside animals allowed NO exceptions.

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WELCOME TO TENNESSEE SAFARI PARK

Feed Cup Pricing $3 each or four Cups for $10

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Orlando Family Fun Magazine

Camels, Cows and Emus, Oh My! – A Review of Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari

Where can you see camels, cows, bison, and bobcats, all without leaving your car? At Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari Park , in Kissimmee, which boasts an engaging and entertaining wild animal drive through safari. From emus to alligators, you will be able to see many different animals as you drive through this Florida safari park.

wild florida airboats

How it works

The premise of the drive-thru safari is simple. You enter the park and drive around the park on an unpaved road. Do not leave your car, as you will find yourself right next to the animals. As we drove through, we saw several animals come right up to our window to say hello (and we saw one emu that went from car to car pecking into the windows). As you drive along the curved 2+ mile road, you’ll find lemurs, alligators, and other animals alongside the road, and even in front of your car. On our visit, several cows caused a traffic jam.

Tip: As you enter the park, you are given a checklist, so ensure that you have a pen ready. Your kids can use it to check off the animals that they see as you drive through the park. 

On the checklist that kids are given at the entrance, there is a fun fact about each animal that the kids can read to you and to each other. Most of the trail that you drive surrounds the park so many (but not all) of the animals will be on the driver’s side. However, if you feel like your kids didn’t get to see everything equally (or you just really liked it) as you exit, there is a turnaround that lets you re-enter the safari, and same-day re-entry is included in the ticket price. You may want to have the kids switch sides first, though and you can make a quick stop in the parking lot to do that.

Orlando Parents Recommends: If your kids love safari animals, check out the National Geographic store at ShopDisney . You can get stuffed safari animals, books with fun animal facts and more.

Be prepared to go slowly

Depending on how many cars are driving through at the same time, be prepared to stop frequently. The speed limit inside the park is 5 miles per hour but when we went, we were usually going even slower than that. Several families had their sun-roofs open and let taller kids stand through them to see everything. You need to stay alert while driving as the animals will cross the road as well.

Orlando Parents Recommends: I use Rakuten to get rebates on my everyday shopping online and then use the money that I have saved to go out to dinner with the family.

Other things to do at Wild Florida

Wild Florida also has a walk-through exhibit where you can learn more about alligators, zebras, watusi, and other animals, as well as talk to the staff about how they keep the animals safe and healthy. There is a playground here so kids can play and run around in a safe environment. For kids who can’t keep their hands to themselves, there is a petting zoo where they can pet and feed baby animals.

And if you don’t feel like staying on land, Wild Florida Airboats (part of the greater Wild Florida complex) also offers exciting airboat rides. Normally, these rides are scheduled for either a half-hour or hour, but you can book private tours as well. As the boat flies along Cypress Lake, the tour guide will help you find alligators, eagles, and other animals that live along the marsh. This all-ages ride is sure to excite every member of your family, from the littlest kids to the biggest. That’s if the little ones don’t fall asleep from the vibrations in the boat.

Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, both the walk-through exhibit and airboats are closed until further notice, but this gives you a good reason to return. One fun activity that is still open is the giraffe feeding. As you finish your drive, you can park your car and pick up some leaves at the giraffe feeding stand. Hold them out and the giraffe will come and pluck the leaves from you using its prehensile tongue. It’s a lot of fun, but depending on the timing, you could be closer to people than you want to be. It is something you should do with caution.

Tip: While the temptation is there to keep the windows down the entire time to see everything better, you should be warned that especially on a hot day, the outside smell can become overwhelming.

Overall, Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari Park is a great way to get out of the house and explore and see some exciting animals without having to come in contact with too many other people. Kids will be very excited to see cows, water buffalo, and bison on and around the road and both alligators and crocodiles in ponds. 

Related Posts: 7 Places to See Animals in Orlando Backyard Activities to do With Kids 11 Things to do on a Day Trip to Cocoa Beach With Kids

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Tickets and Hours

Spend an hour or stay the day! Your paid admission grants access to the Safari Drive-Thru & Safari Village Walk-Thru for the entire day. Present your receipt to re-enter the park.

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Ticket Prices

Law enforcement, active duty, and retired military receive a $4.00 discount on each paid admission *.

Law Enforcement, Active Duty, and Retired Military must show valid identification

KEEP IN MIND

No Animals Allowed

No Outside Animal Feed Allowed

No Smoking or Vaping Allowed, except in the designated area

Minivan Sliding Doors MUST Remain Closed in Drive-Thru Section of the Park

Guest must stay in vehicles at all times while on the Safari Drive-thru.

2024 Park Hours

Our season will end on sunday, december 1, 2024.

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Wild Florida Drive-Thru Safari Park

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SAFARI PARK TICKET

Some road trips take you across the country, but ours will take you across continents.

Buckle up for your wildest car ride yet! Travel down gravel paths within our Drive-thru Safari Park and discover more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely. During your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals often only found around the world. Enjoy identifying species from as far away as the African savanna to others from the deciduous forests of North America, all from the comfort of your own car.

Expanding across 85 acres of untouched scenic landscapes, our wildlife and safari park presents a unique opportunity to bring you up close and personal with wild animals such as giraffes, zebra, eland antelope, scimitar oryx, American bison, mouflon sheep, and more! As you travel down our two-mile “unbeaten path,” you and your family can enjoy an exploration just feet away from animals you normally only see on TV.

But the fun you’ll have isn’t confined to your car. Inside our drive-through wildlife park, you can meet, greet and feed giraffes on our elevated giraffe feeding platform. (Talk about the perfect Facebook profile picture!).

After you’ve had your “four-wheel-fun” inside our drive-through animal park, stretch those legs inside our Gator Park. Admission to our Gator Park is included in the price of our Drive-thru Safari Park tickets and allows your family to view more than 200 additional animals, as well as enjoy a variety of educational animal shows.

Meet Crusher, our biggest American alligator (weighing just over 1,000 pounds). During the Crusher Show, you’ll learn more about American alligators and how Crusher stands out from the congregation. Watch a hands-on demonstration with some of our favorite Wild Florida residents during our Exotic Animal Show. And witness the power and speed of the American alligator during our Gator Feeding Show as you learn how strong their bite is along with how high they can jump out of the water.

Whether you’re a Florida resident or just visiting the Sunshine State, our wildlife safari park will give everyone in your family the opportunity to explore their wild side.

Additional Information: *Hours: 9.00am to 6.00pm *Tours do not operate on the following days: Sundays or Christmas Day, Easter Day and Thanksgiving Day

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Explore The Wild Without Leaving Your Car At Safari Wild, A Drive-Thru Safari Park In Mississippi

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Daniella DiRienzo

Though Daniella was born in New York and has lived in a couple of other states, Mississippi has been her home for more than 30 years. After graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi, Daniella began to hone her writing skills through various internships. In the years since, she’s had the privilege of having her articles appear in several publications, such as the Mississippi-based Parents & Kids Magazine. She’s also had the honor of interviewing actress Sela Ward for The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience.

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Have you gone stir crazy yet? If so, we’ve got a great solution – Safari Wild Animal Park and Preserve. Despite everything that’s going on, the safari park is still open, and that’s because you can tour the entire park without exiting your car. Instead, you’ll stay in your vehicle and commandeer your own safari adventure. So, are you ready for a wildly good time? Read on for all the details.

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Safari Wild Animal Park and Preserve is open daily. Visit Monday – Saturday, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Remember, cars are permitted to enter until 4 p.m. For more information, call (662) 526-0001 . You can also check out the Safari Wild Animal Park and Preserve website or Facebook page.

So, did you know about Safari Wild? Ever visited? If so, what’d you think? Tell us in the comments section.

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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Central Florida - Wild Florida Drive-thru Safari Park

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Buckle up for your wildest car ride yet! Travel down gravel paths within our Drive-thru Safari Park and discover more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely. During your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of animals often only found around the world. Enjoy identifying species from as far away as the African savanna to others from the deciduous forests of North America, all from the comfort of your own car. Expanding across 85 acres of untouched scenic landscapes, our wildlife and safari park presents a unique opportunity to bring you up close and personal with wild animals such as giraffes, zebra, eland antelope, scimitar oryx, American bison, mouflon sheep, and more! As you travel down our two-mile “unbeaten path,” you and your family can enjoy an exploration just feet away from animals you normally only see on TV. But the fun you’ll have isn’t confined to your car. Inside our drive-through wildlife park, you can meet, greet and feed giraffes on our elevated giraffe feeding platform. (Talk about the perfect Facebook profile picture!) And, if you’re feeling brave enough, you can take your adventure to new heights… literally! Opening in spring 2020, embark on an aerial experience where you can ride our world-class zip-line through the animal park and see the real side of Florida in a wild new way.

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US tourist killed after bull elephant toppled safari vehicle in Zambia

Four others were wounded in the attack at Kafue national park, in which the animal barreled into the side of a truck

An elderly US tourist was killed and four others hurt when an aggressive bull elephant charged and toppled their safari vehicle during a game drive in Zambia .

The attack at Kafue national park, in which the large pachyderm ran from a wooded area and barreled into the side of the truck, was captured on video and posted to social media by ABC News. It identified the tourist as 79-year-old Gail Mattson of Minnesota.

Keith Vincent, executive director of the safari operator Wilderness, told the network in a statement that the elephant’s charge was unexpected, and the driver had no opportunity to escape.

“Our guides are all extremely well trained and experienced, but sadly in this instance the terrain and vegetation was such that the guide’s route became blocked and he could not move the vehicle out of harm’s way quickly enough,” he said .

“This is a tragic event and we extend our deepest condolences to the family of the guest who died. We are also, naturally, supporting those guests and the guide involved in this distressing incident.”

Wildlife officials and local police say they are investigating Saturday’s incident, which took place in the national park about 220 miles north-west of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. Covering almost 8,700 square miles, Kafue is the country’s oldest and largest national park, and is popular with tourists for its abundance and variety of birds and animals.

Wilderness said four other guests in the vehicle were treated for minor injuries.

Family members of Mattson, who also had a home in Arizona, told Minnesota’s KSTP News that she was “living life” on the game-watching holiday. Photographs of her in a safari truck clutching a flower, taken on the day of her death, accompanied the network’s report.

John Longabauth, a friend from Arizona, told the outlet he would miss her adventurous spirit. “She had told us that this safari was going to be her last big adventure,” he said. “Because her birthday is in the summer, she was going to be 80, she felt like she would start slowing down.”

Zambia’s neighbor Zimbabwe has expressed recent concern at a growing conflict between humans and elephants from a rising elephant population, especially one that is migrating more as the climate crisis disrupts animals’ access to food, water and cover, in Africa and around the world.

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Harrowing video shows elephant charging truck during African safari, killing American tourist

S hocking video captured the moment a 5-ton bull elephant in Zambia charged at a safari vehicle — flipping it over several times and killing an 80-year-old American woman during an expedition.

The unidentified woman was among six tourists with the group Wilderness Zambia who were out on a photography tour Saturday when they came under attack by the crazed beast, the Telegraph reported.

“At around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning the six guests were on the game drive when the vehicle was unexpectedly charged by the bull elephant,” Wilderness Zambia CEO Keith Vincent said in a statement.

One international client killed by elephant in Kafue National Park from lufupa Lodge during Safari. Two injured and being evacuated to Lusaka. Full details being awaited from the operator through the Senior Warden Kafue Region. Very unfortunate indeed. pic.twitter.com/4ntbyhec1G

Distressing footage captured by a passenger shows the elephant barreling toward the vehicle as it cruises along a bush-lined road before suddenly stopping when its path was blocked.

The passenger continues to record as the animal lunges at the vehicle and flips it over.

The elderly woman later died of her injuries while another woman remains hospitalized.

The other four guests were treated for minor injuries after the violent attack.

“Our guides are all extremely well-trained and experienced, but sadly in this instance the terrain and vegetation was such that the guide’s route became blocked and he could not move the vehicle out of harm’s way quickly enough,” Vincent said.

Kafue National Park’s management sent a helicopter to the scene to evacuate the victims.

 “This is a tragic event and we extend our deepest condolences to the family of the guest who died. We are also, naturally, supporting those guests and the guide involved in this distressing incident,” Vincent added.

The group was reportedly staying at the luxurious Lufupa Camp in the Kafue National Park, the largest game reserve in Africa.

African Parks, which manages the park, also controls 22 other wildlife sanctuaries in Africa.

The tour group was making arrangements to return the woman’s body to the US, the Nigerian Bulletin reported.

Harrowing video shows elephant charging truck during African safari, killing American tourist

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Elephant attacks safari vehicle, killing american tourist; video, share this article.

Footage has surfaced showing the harrowing moments last Saturday as a massive bull elephant chased and flipped a safari vehicle in Zambia, causing the death of a U.S. tourist.

The accompanying footage , shared by Andrew Cash, shows the elephant closing on the vehicle, which had run out of road moments before the attack. As tourists express alarm, a guide repeatedly yells “Hey!” in an attempt to ward off the elephant.

Details are slow to emerge, but Wilderness Destinations issued a statement in the aftermath of the incident in Kafue National Park. It reads, in part:

“Wilderness can confirm that an 80-year-old female American guest was tragically killed by a bull elephant while on a game drive at its Kafue National Park destination in Zambia on Saturday.

“Another female guest was also injured in this incident, when an aggressive bull elephant charged the vehicle carrying six guests and a guide who were on a game drive from Lufupa Camp. The injured guest was taken to a private medical facility in South Africa while the other four guests received treatment for minor injuries.”

Elephant attacks are rare, but the docile-looking animals are unpredictable and should always be treated with respect.

Wilderness Destinations expressed “deepest condolences to the family of the guest who died” and addressed remarks on social media regarding why the vehicle had stopped:

“Our guides are all extremely well trained and experienced, but sadly in this instance the terrain and vegetation was such that the guide’s route became blocked and he could not move the vehicle out of harm’s way quickly enough.”

A helicopter was involved in the rescue of the injured tourists. Several agencies are involved in the investigation.

–Elephant image is generic

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Charging elephant kills an American woman on 'bucket list trip' in Zambia

An American woman who was on what she had called her "last big trip" was killed when a charging elephant flipped over the car she was traveling in at a national park in Zambia .

The “aggressive” creature buffeted the vehicle carrying six tourists and a guide, tour operator Wilderness said in a statement Tuesday. It said the 79-year-old victim died after Saturday's incident on a game drive at the Kafue National Park in western Zambia.

The company did not name the victim but Rona Wells, her daughter, identified her as Gail Mattson in a post on Facebook. She said her mother died in a “tragic accident while on her dream adventure.”

A video circulating on social media apparently showing the incident shows a large elephant running toward a car, which slows down as the animal approaches its left side. The elephant then flips the vehicle over and the passengers can be heard gasping as the car rolls over.

NBC News does not know the condition or identity of the person who filmed the video.

Photos shared online of the car, which is emblazoned with the logo of the tour operator, show it tipped onto its side after the incident, with a deep dent in two of its side doors.

Wilderness, which describes itself as a “leading conservation and hospitality company” operating in eight African countries, including Zambia, did not respond to NBC News when asked to confirm the authenticity of the video and the photos.

But the tour operator’s CEO, Keith Vincent, said in the statement that the company’s “guides are all extremely well trained and experienced.”

"Sadly in this instance the terrain and vegetation was such that the guide’s route became blocked and he could not move the vehicle out of harm’s way quickly enough,” he added.

Gail Mattson, during a safari in Zambia

Another woman was also injured in the incident and taken to a medical facility in South Africa, the Wilderness statement said, adding that four others were treated for minor injuries.

“It’s extremely rare to see an elephant that irate,” Marlon du Toit, a wildlife photographer and safari guide, told the “TODAY” show Thursday. “Across Africa, there are thousands and thousands of guests on safari on a daily basis with no negative consequences.”

The exact cause of Mattson’s death was unclear, but the company said her body would be repatriated to her family in the United States with the support of local Zambian authorities and the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Lusaka.

“This is a tragic event and we extend our deepest condolences to the family of the guest who died,” the statement added.

NBC News has reached out to Mattson's family for further comment.

Kafue National Park is Zambia’s largest and oldest national park, according to its website, and spans an area of more than 8,000 square miles. Vast regions of the park remain unexplored and the website says it is home to a variety of untamed wildlife.

A 'bucket list trip'

Mattson spent her winters in Sun City West, Arizona, playing bridge and cards, but during the rest of the year, she "travels all over the world," her friend Brenda Biggs told NBC News. Biggs and her husband, John Longabauth, became friends with Mattson when they moved to the area 6 ½ years ago.

Longabauth said Mattson spoke to the couple about her upcoming safari trip about two weeks ago, and called it "one of her bucket list trips." He said she was very excited for the adventure.

Before she left, she gave the couple concert tickets for a show that would happen while she was traveling, telling them to enjoy the concert and "I'll see you when I get back," Longabauth recalled of the conversation.

Biggs said Mattson, who was almost 80 years old, told her that the African safari was her "my last big trip." She said Mattson was "super excited because it was like the culmination of all the trips that she had gone on."

An avid traveler, Mattson took to trips to Europe and Asia, Longabauth recalled, noting that she might have been to South America, too.

Biggs called her friend "flamboyant," "friendly" and "fabulous" and said she loved bright colors. Mattson had taken over Biggs’ job as the event planner for their 200-member bridge club, she said.

"Gail was one of the more up people you'd ever want to meet," Longabauth said. "She was always up. She was always optimistic. She was always seeing the good side of everybody."

safari park with car

Yuliya Talmazan is a reporter for NBC News Digital, based in London.

Rebecca Cohen is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.

Tourist killed by rampaging elephant on Zambian safari

Animal in Kafue National Park runs towards car carrying tour group before flipping vehicle over twice

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An 80-year-old American woman has been killed while on safari in Zambia after an elephant charged at her car and flipped it over several times.

She was part of a group of six tourists staying at the luxurious Lufupa Camp in the country’s Kafue National Park , the largest game reserve in Africa, with a tour company called Wilderness Zambia.

The group were out on a photography tour last weekend when the elephant charged.

Footage posted online shows the vehicle cruising along a bush-lined road where a bull elephant – the largest land-living mammal on Earth – can be seen walking in the vegetation.

But when the elephant apparently spots them, it breaks into first a trot and then an all-out run.

Just as the elephant catches up with the car, the vehicle suddenly stops. A statement from Wilderness said the route was “blocked”.

The passenger in the car continues to film as the elephant turns towards the group and flips the vehicle over twice.

‘Tragic event’

The 80-year-old woman, who has not been named, later died from her injuries. Another woman in the group was also injured and hospitalised. The four other guests received treatment locally for minor injuries.

“At around 9.30am on Saturday morning the six guests were on the game drive when the vehicle was unexpectedly charged by the bull elephant,” said Keith Vincent, Wilderness Zambia’s chief executive officer, in a statement released to local media.

“Our guides are all extremely well trained and experienced, but sadly in this instance the terrain and vegetation was such that the guide’s route became blocked and he could not move the vehicle out of harm’s way quickly enough.”

Mr Vincent says Kafue National Park’s management dispatched a helicopter to the scene.

“This is a tragic event and we extend our deepest condolences to the family of the guest who died. We are also, naturally, supporting those guests and the guide involved in this distressing incident,” Mr Vincent said.

Kafue National Park is the largest game reserve in Africa and is managed by African Parks, which also controls a further 22 wildlife sanctuaries in Africa.

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  26. US tourist killed after bull elephant toppled safari vehicle in Zambia

    An elderly US tourist was killed and four others hurt when an aggressive bull elephant charged and toppled their safari vehicle during a game drive in Zambia. The attack at Kafue national park, in ...

  27. Harrowing video shows elephant charging truck during African safari

    S hocking video captured the moment a 5-ton bull elephant in Zambia charged at a safari vehicle — flipping it over several times and killing an 80-year-old American woman during an expedition.

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    Feature Vignette: Analytics. Footage has surfaced showing the harrowing moments last Saturday as a massive bull elephant chased and flipped a safari vehicle in Zambia, causing the death of a U.S ...

  29. Charging elephant kills an American woman on 'bucket list trip' in Zambia

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