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Let us answer your questions and help create your day at the San Diego Zoo!  Search our extensive FAQ, or chat with our 24-hour virtual assistant.  

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2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

From Interstate 5 (Los Angeles and Orange County), take the Pershing Drive exit and follow the signs. From Interstate 15 (Escondido and Riverside), take State Route 163 south to the Park Blvd./I-5 South exit. Exit at Park Blvd. Turn left on Park Blvd. and head north; Zoo parking entrance is off Park Blvd. at Zoo Place.

From Interstate 5 (Mexico), take the State Route 163 north exit, then the Zoo/Museums (Richmond Street) exit and follow the signs to the Zoo parking lot.

From State Route 94, proceed into downtown San Diego to 11th Avenue. Turn right on 11th Avenue and proceed north to A Street. Turn right on A Street, and then make a quick left onto Park Blvd. and head north; Zoo parking entrance is off Park Blvd. at Zoo Place.

Parking is free in the lot in front of the Zoo. Additional free parking is available throughout Balboa Park. For your convenience, the Zoo is offering additional free parking at the Inspiration Point parking lot (located at Park Blvd. and Presidents Way, just 5 minutes south of the zoo).

Ride our FREE SHUTTLE directly to the Zoo entrance from the Inspiration Point parking lot at Presidents Way. Our shuttle will run from 11:00am to 9:00pm weekends beginning May 25 through September 1 (except 6/15/24).

It’s easy to get here on public transit. Rapid 215 and Route 7 stop at the Zoo and are an easy connection in downtown from Amtrak and COASTER trains at the Santa Fe Depot, downtown hotels, the Cruise Ship Terminal, Blue, Orange, and Green Line Trolleys and other MTS bus routes. For fare and schedule information, call 511, or visit sdmts.com.

Families Save on MTS Family Weekends! On Saturday and Sunday, two children (12 and under) ride MTS Bus and Trolley routes FREE with a paid adult (18 and over)!

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San Diego Zoo App

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Apple iOS download here ▸ Android download here ▸

Visiting the Zoo has never been easier, with the San Diego Zoo app! Discover dining, activities, and more with the GPS-enabled map. Get ready for your visit by importing tickets and memberships to the digital wallet, adding your must-see wildlife to the day planner, viewing today's schedule, and much more.

San diego zoo map.

View the San Diego Zoo's classic illustrated map on your mobile or desktop browser. Find your favorite wildlife, plan your visit, and check out all the San Diego Zoo has to offer.

Download the PDF here ▸

Rex the lion sculpture at the San Diego Zoo entrance.

Guest Services

Our Guest Services booth is located inside the Zoo, to the left of the Bus Tour entrance. Open daily to closing.

Guest Services information ▸

Guests walking through Africa Rocks.

Guests with Disabilities

The San Diego Zoo welcomes all guests. We have several services to help our guests with disabilities enjoy their visit. The Zoo provides dedicated parking, restrooms, and access to experiences, tour buses, and habitat areas for guests with disabilities. Please note there are steep grades in parts of the Zoo.

Our ADA shuttle service is available on an on-call basis for our guests with mobility-related disabilities and can accommodate all standard wheelchairs and the types of electronic conveyance vehicles (ECVs) allowed on grounds.

Contact any Zoo team member or volunteer to request service and get directions to the nearest pickup location. Space is limited and reserved for those who need it most. Guests who use mobility assistive devices may also refer to the Zoo map for ADA pathways and elevators.

Guest accessibility services and policies▸

Download Accessibility Map for Guests with Disabilities (PDF)▸

Directions & Parking

Safari Park

15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, California 92027-7017

The Safari Park is the San Diego Zoo’s sister park to the northeast in Escondido. Distance between the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is 35 miles. Please allow 45 minutes to 1 hour travel time.

Purchase a two-visit pass ▸

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San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Jambo a safari adventure in san diego.

 Welcome to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where life-changing moments happen daily. Set out on safari and discover 1,800 acres of sprawling savannas teeming with wildlife as well as world-class botanical gardens—there’s no place like it on Earth. Encounter rhinos, giraffes, wildebeest, and large herds of wildlife roaming together. Journey through bamboo forests and come face-to-face with Sumatran tigers. Hop alongside kangaroos and dive underwater to meet the only two platypuses outside of Australia. And experience the awe-inspiring giants of Elephant valley. When you’re here, you’ll discover adventure is in every moment. And a moment can change a lifetime. 

Safari Park

Neighborhood: North Inland

15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd Escondido, CA 92027-9614

Contact Info

(619) 718-3000 Toll-Free: (800) 407-9534

Please check our website for current hours.

More To Know:

  • Located 30 miles north of downtown San Diego - and well worth the trip!
  • The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is open 365 days a year
  • Plan a full day & bring walking shoes, sunscreen and water for your adventures
  • Safaris do fill up; book online ahead of time to ensure your spot
  • Lovely facilities for catered weddings, parties and other group events!

Special Events:

  • Marvel at eagles, owls and an Andean condor at Frequent Flyers
  • Visit the World Gardens to see amazing and rare plants
  • Autumn Festival On The Weekends From 10/7 -10/29
  • Kids Free month with free admission for kids 11 and younger during October

More Information

  • Destination Weddings
  • Historic Landmark
  • General Admission - Adult
  • General Admission - Child
  • Parking (RV)

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san diego safari park rides

How to do San Diego, from Beaches to Zoos.

13 San Diego Zoo vs Safari Park Differences-Which is Best?

Which is better to visit, San Diego Zoo or Safari Park? I’ve compared more than a dozen factors for you including park size, ticket price, what’s included, animals, tours, and more to help you make up your mind.

Visit San Diego Zoo instead of Safari Park if you can’t see both. They’re each worth it. But the Zoo’s a better deal because parking’s free. You’ll see more animals in less time. It’s closer to downtown, has better food & weather. However, go to Safari Park if you want different, unique experiences.

If you make purchases through the links in this post, I may be compensated. Read my Advertising Disclosure for more info. Thanks! ~ Nancy

* Save with a secret promo code on each San Diego Zoo or Safari Park 1-Day Pass. Go any day. Go directly to the gate. Click  HERE  to get your code, instructions & discounted tickets by email. By clicking the link above you agree to receive an automated email message. Valid only at aRes Travel , San Diego’s local authorized ticket seller. Read my full privacy policy .

Table of Contents

  • Which Is Bigger, San Diego Zoo or Safari Park?

Ticket Prices Are Equal…Almost

  • Which One’s Worth It?
  • Better Tours?
  • Least Time to Visit?
  • Closer to Downtown?
  • More Animals?
  • Easier Walking?
  • Better Food?
  • Best Weather?
  • Better for Toddlers?
  • Best for Babies & Infants?
  • Where Will You Have the Most Unique Experience?

Which is better, San Diego Zoo or San Diego Safari Park?

As a long-time member of San Diego Zoo Global (I remember when Safari Park was Wild Animal Park), and a certified animal nut I know that a quick summary is not going to convince you one way or the other. So I’ve gone into detail in this article about the major differences between both zoological parks. Because your time is precious and you deserve to have a wonderful time in San Diego.

Get $20 off! Buy 2-Visit Passes for San Diego Zoo & Safari Park. (Save $10 per park visit)

Safari Park’s Bigger

san diego safari park rides

Safari Park is much larger than the San Diego Zoo. The raw land area figures are:

  • Safari Park is 1800 acres
  • Zoo size – approximately 100 acres

But don’t let the HUGE size of Safari Park make you think that it’s too much to see in one day.

You’d think that if it takes 3 to 4 hours to see the 100-acre Zoo, it should take a LOT longer to see the 1,800 acre Safari Park. Right? But the San Diego Zoo Global FAQ” says, “we recommend a minimum of three to four hours to see some of the Zoo and a minimum of four to six hours to experience a portion of the Safari Park.”

Why recommend such a short period of time to see Safari Park?

Because the area accessible to the walking public in Safari Park is only about 20% larger than the Zoo . I outlined the perimeter of the public areas for both the Zoo and the Safari Park on Google Maps. And then I let the Google Maps tool calculate the two areas.

san diego safari park rides

  • San Diego Zoo Walking Areas = 65.44 acres (2850575.23 ft²)
  • Safari Park Walking Areas = 79.2 acres (3,451,313.63 ft²)

Safari Park is very large. Half of the land is set aside in perpetuity for habitat conservation for local wildlife and plants of the highly endangered Southern California Coastal Sage Scrub .  

san diego safari park rides

And of the remaining 900 acres, only about 80 are open for the public to walk in. The other 780 acres are their famous large field exhibits that are only accessible via guided truck tours or the Africa Tram. Or they are closed to the public entirely.  Safari Park (San Diego Wild Animal Park) was established as a breeding and conservation facility and the land use reflects this. 

san diego safari park rides

Ticket prices at the gate for both San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are equal. The major difference between the two is that parking is free at the Zoo. At Safari Park there’s a parking fee.

If you’re interested in finding authentic discounted tickets, passes, and coupons to either attraction, I’ve written two pages for you:

  • 30 Best Ways to Save on San Diego Zoo Discount Tickets – with chart
  • Top 30 San Diego Safari Park Discount Ticket Deals | 2023 – with chart

Here are the most recent ticket prices that you’ll pay at the gate:

  • $71 for adults (age 12 or older)
  • $61 Children (aged 3 to 11)
  • Children under 3 are free

But you don’t have to pay the full gate price. Ares Travel , my favorite local San Diego authorized ticket seller sent me a discount coupon code to share with you.

Click HERE and I’ll immediately email the code and the links where to use it. This is a one-time-only email. You are NOT signing up for a million emails, or ransoming a Nigerian prince.

They’ve also got discounted package offers. One of them is the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park & SeaWorld San Diego Ticket Combo Deal . Buying this bundle gets you into all 3 of the major San Diego animal attractions and saves $35 per adult off the price if you’d booked them all separately.

San Diego Zoo’s More Worth Visiting

What's included with San Diego Zoo and Safari Park tickets?

San Diego Zoo tickets are a better deal. There are a greater number of exhibits featuring animals and plants from all over the globe and there are more “rides” free with your admission. But Safari Park is well worth a visit also because it’s not the usual zoo experience. It feels more spacious. You wander through the animals’ habitats rather than observing them in cages. For more on why I feel that way visit my “ Is San Diego Safari Park Worth It? ” page.

What Do You Get With Your San Diego Zoo Ticket?

FREE PARKING . Parking is free at the San Diego Zoo. I suggest you get there early in the morning because otherwise, you might be parking rather far out in the free parking area. If for some reason you are arriving later (maybe the Summer Nighttime Zoo?), there’s overflow parking by the Navy hospital. A free shuttle will take you from that location to the Zoo and back to your car.

There is also valet parking available. On a busy day, it might be worth it.

San Diego Zoo's free guided bus tour is highly recommended.

GUIDED BUS TOUR

I highly recommend the guided zoo bus tour. It takes 25 to 35 minutes. It will give you a quick overview of the zoo. 

There are two situations where I wouldn’t recommend it. The first is if you have a very active toddler. They probably won’t want to sit still that long. 

The second is if you have a favorite animal that you want to photograph first thing in the morning. In that case, run over to the animal that you want to take pictures of and then return for the bus tour.

KANGAROO EXPRESS BUS

The Kangaroo Bus is a time and energy saver. It starts running at 10:30 AM. It goes in a loop through the middle and along the outer edge of the park closest to Hwy 163. The route goes from Urban Jungle down the steep Center Street hill where the bears are. Then from stop #2 by the snow leopards, it will take you up the steepest section of Park Way to stop #3. That’s at the edge of the Northern Frontier. Between stops  #3 and #4 by the meerkats, the terrain is flat. 

SKYFARI AERIAL TRAMWAY

This gondola ride takes you from nearby the Children’s Zoo across the canyon to Elephant Odyssey. It’s got great views of the Zoo, Balboa Park, and the Downtown San Diego skyline. It’s also a great way to rest and cool off.

KEEPER TALKS

These free-with-entry talks are given by the keepers and cover many species from polar bears and lemurs to giraffes. Unfortunately, their scheduling has been disrupted by the Zoo’s efforts to prevent COVID-spreading crowds. Check for the schedule at the Guest Services/Ticket & Tours booth near the Zoo entrance just across Front Street.

San Diego Zoo Guest Services/Ticket Booth map location where you can ask for Keeper Talks schedule.

ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS

These presentations are an opportunity for you to see some of the Zoo’s animal ambassadors. You never know what type of animal will appear. I’ve seen huge Eurasian owls, cheetahs with their dog companions, chatty parrots, and many others. 

These presentations take place in two spots. One location’s at the Front Street Stage which is on your left as you enter. The other is at the Rocks Box stage within the Africa Rocks exhibit which takes about 25-30 minutes to walk to from the entrance.

The San Diego Zoo is divided into eight “Zoo Zones.” They are designed to bring together both animal and plant species that live in specific types of climates and habitats throughout the world.

Outback – the stars of this zone are cute koalas. But there are also kookaburras, Tasmanian devils, wallabies, and other exotics from the land down under.

Asian Passage –  Don’t skip this just because the giant pandas went home to China in 2019. Go there to see the red pandas which are like upscale, fashionista raccoons. They were always a lot more active than the giant pandas and I never really understood why they didn’t get more attention. And then spend some quality time admiring the beauty of the Amur and snow leopards. They nap a lot as all cats do. But they’re so elegant, even when they’re asleep. 

Africa Rocks This exhibit really does. There’s so much to see here. I love the lemurs and their fossa predators. Plan to spend lots of time watching the penguins zoom around the local leopard sharks in the underwater viewing area of the aquarium in their Penguin Habitat at Cape Fynbos. The space is cool and shaded with plenty of benches. It’s very popular on hot days. And sometimes the penguins are curious enough to stop and watch the children. 

Lost Forest This area’s biggest stars are the troop of western lowland gorillas. But my favorites are the orangutans. When they’re relaxing and having a snack they look like orange-haired gurus contemplating the secrets of the universe. But there’s much more to see here; Malayan tigers, exotic okapi, the occasional spot-necked otter, and Allen’s swamp monkey playing tag.

Urban Jungle There seems to be very little rhyme or reason to the types of animals that you’ll find here. It’s home to a grab-bag of animals including the cheetah animal ambassadors and the endangered one-horned rhino. It’s also the location of the interactive “Animals in Action” paid experience where you’ll get a chance to interact with different types of critters, sometimes even rhinos. Click HERE for daily discounts on “Animals in Action”.

My favorite in this section is the Masai giraffe herd exhibit. This is one of the only giraffe exhibits that I’ve seen where you are standing very close to them — on the same level. As you tilt your head back, and back, you realize just how TALL these gentle giants are. You can also feed them for a very reasonable cost.

Northern Frontier The west Skyfari boarding point is here. It’s also home to the rulers of the tundra, polar bears. But they aren’t very regal, they’re clowns. They enjoy diving off rocks and surprising each other, batting around enrichment items, and eating junk food. Ok. Their “junk food” is carrots. But since the polar bears can’t digest them, it’s like us chewing sugar-free gum. The arctic foxes are adorable too.

Elephant Odyssey Take a trip back in time to California’s Pleistocene epoch 12,000 years ago through animals that exist today. Some died out here but thrived elsewhere. See how elephants, lions, jaguars, condors, secretary birds, condors, camels, and capybara are all connected by their ancestral roots here in San Diego. There are great opportunities for unique photos of your kids (or you) riding a 10-foot long ancient lion or about to be eaten by a huge predatory bird. 

Discovery Outpost – This is the most varied section of the zoo. Skyfari’s east boarding point is here. View entertaining and informative animal shows at the Wegeforth Bowl. You’ll find tiny jewel-like hummingbirds next door to 8-foot-long Komodo dragons. Many more reptiles can also be found here.

Until the Children’s Zoo and Wegeforth Bowl renovations are complete there are only limited presentations outside of the Bowl. 

The 4D Theater is a paid experience that many think is not worth the price. The presentation is SHORT, less than 15 minutes. The 3D screen’s small, so you’re likely to be way off to one side or the other. The 4th dimension is smell, temperature changes, and getting water squirted on you (worth it on hot days?). The seats don’t move, they vibrate. And the wait can be up to an hour on peak days. 

What’s Included With Safari Park Tickets?

To sum it up, your Safari Park admission ticket includes anything that doesn’t have “Safari” in its title. Any activity or experience that does is something that you will need to pay extra for (the exception is riding the Conservation Carousel which requires an additional $6 fee). That’s the short explanation. I’ve written EVERYTHING you need to know about it here at, “ What’s Included In San Diego Safari Park Admission Tickets? ”

Parking Costs Extra – Unlike at the Zoo, parking is $20 per vehicle; $30 for RV parking. Preferred parking is available on weekends and holidays for $48).

Save with a secret San Diego Safari Park promo code on each 1-Day Pass. Go any day. Go directly to the gate. Click HERE to buy. Enter the code at checkout. You will get your tickets by email .

*By clicking the link above you agree to receive an automated email message. Valid only at aRes Travel , San Diego’s local authorized ticket seller. Read my full privacy policy .

Here’s a list of exhibits and activities that are included with your Safari Park Admission ticket:

Animal exhibits.

One of the great things about San Diego Safari Park is the way that they’ve gone to great lengths to blur the boundaries between you, their animals, and the landscape beyond. Here are some of my favorites:

Lion Camp – I love watching the lions watching the antelope watching them from the large field enclosure next door. These lions aren’t the usually bored cats you see at most zoos. They’re either fully engaged in observing the potential ‘meals’ in the fields or they’re napping. And when they’re snoozing they are sometimes right up against the glass where you can take great selfies or compare the sizes of their paws to yours. 

Tiger Trai l – It’s lush and beautiful. It’s more like you’re in the cage rather than the kitties. If you’re lucky the tigers will be stalking YOU. I spend way too much time here. If you want to know why you should spend time there read my page on the “ 11 Coolest Reasons to See San Diego Safari Park Tiger Trail ”

Walkabout Australia – The platypuses are a San Diego Safari Park must-see! They’re the only ones on exhibit outside of Australia in the entire world. This exhibit requires a bit of patience and careful observation. They’re quick. And almost everyone is surprised by how they look and move.

They also have tree kangaroos. Heck, I didn’t even know that kangaroos lived in trees.

Bob and I were lucky enough to be there the day that the 2nd Matschie’s tree kangaroo born at Safari Park ventured out of Mom’s pouch.

Photo of tree kangaroo and joey at San Diego Safari Park. Species is Matschie's tree kangaroo. Photo taken by Bob Ulrich

Arona, her mother, welcomed her offspring Kidori into the world after a gestation period of 44 days. At birth, the joey was just about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in size, fitting snugly in Mom’s pouch. It took nine months for Kikori to venture out of her mother’s pouch.

These long-clawed, mahogany and cream-colored tree kangaroos weigh 25 pounds at the most. Their whorly, dense fur sheds water easily. And their superpower is that they can jump an amazing 60 feet to the ground without injury.

But wait, there’s more to Walkabout Australia. Wander into the Kangaroo Walk and you’ll be surrounded by a mob of ‘roos, wallabies, and cute baby joeys. There’s nothing that brings smiles to faces faster than a young bounder with a case of the “zoomies”. They’re ricocheting furry ping-pong balls. 

It may be possible to pet the wallabies and kangaroos . It depends upon whether the COVID restrictions have been lifted. Ask if it’s ok. And if it is don’t wander off the paths chasing them. You’ll never catch them anyway.  Be patient and let them come to you. And yes, they’re as soft and woolly as they look. For more information, check out my page on touching or holding the animals at San Diego Zoo and Safari Park . 

San Diego Safari Park Activities and Rides

AFRICA SAFARI TRAM

I love the Africa tram. I could ride it all day.  It takes you on a 25-30 minute ride through several of the large open area enclosures. These enclosures have multiple different species in them and they interact as they would in the wild. One of the things you will see is how all the animals look to the giraffes to be their lookout. Once the giraffes start running, everybody runs. And you then see this wave of animals flying over the hills and then they all just stop for no apparent reason. 

There are no predators in the large enclosed exhibit fields. But the herbivores can see, hear and smell the nearby lions and cheetahs. It keeps them on alert and surprisingly appears to help to increase the number of babies.

CHEETAH RUN

This used to be an event that was free with admission. But during COVID they switched the format to a paid tour. However, I highly recommend it as an add-on to your visit. Seeing these cool cats go from zero to almost 60 mph in three strides never gets old.

FREQUENT FLYERS BIRD SHOW

This free-flying bird show never fails to amaze me because the birds can fly away any time they choose. And they don’t. 

I like it because you get to see large birds in flight close enough overhead that if you stretched up your hands you’d touch them (specifically NOT ALLOWED by the way…) You’ll enjoy it. And the birds seem to be having as good a time as the audience. Spoiler Alert: The star of the show is not a bird. But you’ll love him anyway. 

TIGER KEEPER TALK

The Sumatran tigers get pampered with treats while showing off their impressive teeth, claws, size, and other adaptations. Keepers that know them best will clue you in on how they safely work with these big cats. If you’re lucky you’ll see a tiger standing at a full vertical stretch just a few feet away from you. Even though the Sumatran subspecies is one of the smallest of tigers, they’re unexpectedly intimidating when they’re on their hind legs going for a treat.

TRAINING TALK

This short training session for the longer Frequent Flyers Bird Show is well worth your time. It’s always a smaller, more intimate group than the bird show. You never know which birds will be brought out for training, so it’s never the same. I’ve seen everything from silently flying owls to scurrying guinea hens. Sit down and put your feet up. It’s a good break from walking. 

Safari Park Has Better Tours?

san diego safari park rides

San Diego Safari Park has a larger variety and number of tours than the Zoo . They range from traditional relaxed guided walks to the adrenaline-pumping Flightline Safari zipline.  This makes it a better destination for those who may be bored with traditional zoos, like teenagers.

San Diego Zoo Tours – How Many, Prices, Descriptions

Guided zoo tours that require a fee in addition to the admission price are called “Upgraded Experiences” by San Diego Global.

San Diego Zoo Tours Price Range

  • $55 and up per person.
  • Prices are variable by season and days of the week. Zoo admission fee is separate and required for all tours.

How Many San Diego Zoo Tours Are There?

There are 6 different types of tours available at the Zoo. To find the best tour for you, check out my article HERE it has more in-depth descriptions and comparisons

San Diego Zoo Tour Descriptions

Inside Look Tour – ($89+) 90 minutes. There are 6 different Inside Look Tours focusing on different Zoo Zones and animals. Check HERE for daily discount deals for SanDiegoing readers from aRes Travel — San Diego’s local authorized ticket seller.

  • Surprise Tour
  • Polar Bears and Friends
  • Giraffes and Friends
  • Baboons and Friends
  • Wild Canines and Friends
  • Penguins and Friends

Animals In Action Experience – ($89+ per person) 1 HOUR. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at some animals that are not on exhibit to the general public. You’ll also have some feeding and training opportunities. Unfortunately, you’ll probably not be able to touch the animals .

Click HERE for daily tour discounts for SanDiegoing readers from aRes Travel.

Crazy About Cats – ($92+ per person) 90 minutes. See the zoo’s most amazing felines before they start their cat naps! You start this morning tour at 8:30 AM before the official Zoo opening. You may see a jaguar, lion, tiger, mountain lion, fishing cat, leopard, ocelot, or serval. No guarantees about which particular species you’ll see. Hey, they’re cats after all. But you will be able to meet one special wild cat up close!

Early Morning Cheetah Experience ($92+ per person) 90 minutes. See one of the cheetah animal ambassadors up close while they run and play with their trainers. This cart tour will also visit other African animal exhibits at the zoo as well as some off-exhibit areas. 

Discovery Cart Tour ($55+ per person) 1 HOUR. If you don’t have much time, but want to see the plants and animals at San Diego Zoo through the eyes of an insider, this is the tour for you. This 60-minute tour takes you through 70% of the park in a small covered cart. Ask as many questions as you’d like and stop for better views and photographs of your favorite animals.

Exclusive VIP Experience – Spend up to 5 hours ($675+ per person) in a customized tour that is built around your interests by zoo professionals. Explore off-exhibit areas. And if you wish you can have many animal interactions. Just tell them what you want.  And yes, a sit-down lunch is included. 

Safari Park Tours – How Many, Prices, Descriptions

Guided tours within San Diego Safari Park that are offered for extra payment in addition to your admission fee are called ‘Safaris’. 

How Many Types Of San Diego Safari Park Tours Are There?

There are 7 types of paid tours, called Safaris, available at San Diego Safari Park. Some have different options that allow you to concentrate on your favorite animals or habitats. Altogether there are more than 15 different tour variants. 

Price Range

  • $55+ per person. Some Safaris are priced by the group.
  • Prices vary by day of the week and season. Safari Park admission fee is separate and required for all tours.

SAN DIEGO SAFARI TOUR DESCRIPTIONS

I’m going to write a short description of each tour type here. But for more information on which of the many different options is best for you please read my article titled,  “ What’s the Best San Diego Safari Park Tour ?” It includes reviews of each tour plus a chart that compares them all by price, duration, and age limits.

Wildlife Safari Tours – (1 HOUR for $89+ or 90 minutes for $109+ per person). There are 3 different types of tours that take you into large African and Asian multi-species animal enclosures in an open-air covered truck.. There’s always a shade cover, plenty of seating, and almost too many great photo opportunities. You also may get a chance to feed giraffes. The different options are: Wildlife Safari (1 hour), Twilight Wildlife Safari (90 minutes), and Deluxe Wildlife Safari (90 minutes).

Click HERE for discounted tour deals for SanDiegoing readers from aRes Travel, San Diego’s local authorized ticket seller.

Sun-Up Cheetah Safari Tour – (2 HOURS for $99 per person). Get early entry into Safari Park to meet your experienced guide. See a cheetah run at top speed from a prime viewing location. Then go for brunch at the Watering Hole at Kijamii Overlook .

Cart Safari Tours – (1 HOUR for $55+ per person) Asian or African Cart Safari with guide to carry you around the field enclosures. Animal feeding & photo opportunities. Carts carry only 9 people, good for special family outings and small groups that want to stay together. 

Behind The Scenes Safari – (90 minutes for $89+ per person) Get an insider’s view of Safari Park via cart and walking. Three different options: Elephants & Friends, Rhinos & Friends, and Canines and Conservation. 

Click HERE for daily tour deals for SanDiegoing readers from aRes Travel, San Diego’s local authorized ticket seller.

Roar & Snore Safari – ($149+ per person) Sleepover at Safari Park in a tent. Animal presentations, behind-the-scenes access, meals, campfire (s’mores!) & cash bar. I’d do this every weekend if I could.

Ultimate Safari – (5-HOURS tour is $675+ per person) Create a Safari Park tour customized to your interests and desired activities. You must book at least 3 days in advance. 

Flightline Safari (1 HOUR for $77+ per person) 2/3rds mile zipline ride includes orientation session and “fledgling” flight . 

Check HERE for daily tour discounts for SanDiegoing readers from aRes Travel.

Balloon Safari ($18+) Helium balloon ride rises 400 feet above the Park for wonderful views of the animal herds and the San Pasqual Valley.

If you love wolves you may want to take an hour detour to the California Wolf Center. There you can take tours that will give you close-up views of gray wolves and even the very endangered Mexican gray wolf. Check out my article HERE .

San Diego Zoo Takes Less Time to Visit

How long do you need to visit San Diego Zoo vs Safari Park?

Exploring San Diego Zoo is quicker than Safari Park. But both could be all-day attractions. Here’s the minimum time you should allocate for each according to the San Diego Zoo Global FAQ page : 

  • Zoo 3-4 hours
  • Safari Park 4-6 hours

San Diego Zoo’s Closer to Downtown

san diego safari park rides

The San Diego Zoo is much closer to downtown than Safari Park. It’s only 3 miles from the center of downtown San Diego.  

It will take you about 6 minutes by car from downtown to the zoo. It’s also public transit accessible. To ride the bus from downtown to the Zoo take the # 7 University & College line and get off at Park Blvd. & Zoo Place. Then walk about 4 minutes (0.2 miles) west to the Zoo entrance.

Safari Park is 35 miles north of downtown in Escondido. Travel time by car to San Diego Safari Park is 45 minutes each way. Public transportation takes almost 2 hours…one way. Taking a bus to Safari Park is just not practical for most people.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen the results of mistaking the two animal attractions. On several occasions, I’ve had to tell people trying to meet friends at the “zoo” that they’re more than 35 miles away from the San Diego Zoo because they’re at San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Oops! 

San Diego Zoo Has More Animals

San Diego Zoo vs Safari Park, which has the most animals and where are they from?

The San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park has more individual animals, and more species and covers more earth habitats than the Safari Park . 

San Diego Zoo – The zoo has approximately 3,700 animals in its collection. They represent more than 660 different species & subspecies. It also has almost 700,000 specimens of rare and endangered plant species. Their collection comes from all over the globe

Safari Park – The northern San Diego county branch of the San Diego Zoo has about 2,600 individual animals and 300 species & subspecies. The plants number about 1.3 million. Both the animal and plant collections are focused on Asia and Africa at Safari Park. 

Source : San Diego Zoo Global FAQ : “ Tell me a bit about the San Diego Zoo ”,  “ Tell me a bit about the Safari Park ” and “ Plants of San Diego Zoo Global ”.

Safari Park Has Easier Walking

san diego safari park rides

The Safari Park is less demanding physically . It has fewer steep hills for you to navigate than the San Diego Zoo does. The biggest elevation change at Safari Park is between the Lemur Walk and the Balloon Safari and Lion Camp. But don’t worry. There’s an elevator there to take you up and down if you don’t feel like getting your cardio by taking the stairs. 

San Diego Zoo has more hills. It’s built around a steep canyon. There are mechanical alternatives to trekking the elevation changes, they just take a bit more time. There’s an elevator, the Kangaroo Bus (and the Skyfari aerial gondola ride when renovations are complete) to help you get around. I usually don’t take them because I like the workout.

San Diego Zoo Has Better Food

San Diego Zoo has better food than Safari Park

San Diego Zoo has better food because of Albert’s Restaurant . You’ll enjoy a fine dining experience with daily chef’s specials, vegan & gluten-free choices & a full bar. This hidden gem has a lushly planted outdoor patio and a waterfall that makes it great for a special occasion. I wrote more on this page, “Where to find the best food at San Diego Zoo?” . 

The best food at Safari Park is at the Watering Hole at Kijamii Overlook . It’s a sit-down full-service dining experience that’s a couple of giant steps above usual theme park fare. But the food’s still pre-prepared, so Albert’s at the Zoo comes out as a better restaurant. 

On the plus side, Watering Hole entrees are big enough for two to share. It’s got a full bar and an AMAZING view of one of the large field enclosures. You’ll feel like you’re sharing your table with rhinos, giraffes, and antelope. I’ve reviewed all of the eateries at Safari Park on this page titled, “ Where’s the Best Place to Eat at San Diego Safari Park? ”

San Diego Zoo Has Better Weather

San Diego Zoo's weather is better than the climate at Safari Park

The San Diego Zoo has milder weather year around. Safari Park has greater temperature extremes because it’s located almost 20 miles from the ocean’s temperature moderating influence. That location is more likely to be hotter in the summertime. You can see it in the monthly temperature comparison graph below that I created using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

San Diego Safari Park vs Zoo graph of average high temperatures by month.

San Diego Zoo’s Better For Toddlers

San Diego Zoo's better for toddlers than Safari Park

San Diego Zoo’s better if you’ve got toddlers. Don’t get me wrong, you can have a great time at Safari Park with your little tyke. But the Zoo’s MUCH better because: 

  • Wildlife Explorer’s Basecamp is a kid’s paradise. I wrote an article at the link.
  • It’s smaller, there’s less ground to cover with tiny tot strides
  • The exhibits are closer together
  • Animals are a bit easier to see because the enclosures are smaller
  • The Zoo’s within Balboa Park. If your tot gets tired of all the animals, you can distract them with a train ride or a splash in a fountain. 

For more details, I’ve covered all the pros & cons thoroughly on this page about “ San Diego Zoo vs Safari Park for Happier Toddlers (& You!) ”.

Safari Park’s Better for Babies & Infants

San Diego Safari Park is just a bit better for visiting with babies than the Zoo.

The Safari Park’s just a cheetah’s whisker better than the San Diego Zoo if you’re with a baby in a stroller . There are fewer steep hills to push a pram up. It’s more friendly for nursing moms because It’s a bit less crowded and there are many secluded benches where you can give your young one a quick snack. There is also a nursing station at Nairobi Village. 

Safari Park Is A More Unique Experience

Safari Park is “different”. It’s not the usual zoo . You hear that time and again on forums and review sites. And I agree. Granted, the San Diego Zoo is a great zoo and I love spending time there. But at Safari Park the animals are in more natural, expansive settings. And because of that, you feel freer also. It’s weird but true. 

san diego safari park rides

Safari Park’s less a destination and more of a journey. You are more active and engaged at Safari Park than at the Zoo. You can wander through kangaroo enclosures and a petting zoo to have closer animal encounters. You can sit and have lunch while you watch tigers.

Check out my page on what’s best to see and do at San Diego Zoo Safari Park for more information on activities, like riding a zipline, getting high in a balloon, or feeding giraffes and rhinos on a Caravan Safari. Some of the things you can experience at San Diego Safari Park cannot be duplicated except by hopping a plane to Africa.

San Diego Safari Park is definitely a more unique experience.

Closing Thoughts

San Diego Zoo is better for many people than Safari Park . This was a hard post for me to write because I very much prefer the Escondido preserve. I’ve done my best to present this listing of the major differences fairly. I hope that this article helps you make up your mind about whether San Diego Zoo or Safari Park is better for you to visit.

Nancy Ulrich

I'm nuts...about animals, polymer clay, mixed media art & husband Bob. Happily planted in San Diego among good friends, family that I would have chosen if given the choice and optimism for a bountiful future for us all.

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Review: Safari Balloon Experience, San Diego Safari Park

Review: Safari Balloon Experience, San Diego Safari Park

Looking down at the San Diego Safari Park from the Safari Balloon

Looking down at the San Diego Safari Park from the Safari Balloon

Although San Diego has a number of amazing tourist destinations near the city center, one of its oldest and most spectacular destinations, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (formerly known as the Wild Animal Park), is located outside of Escondido, California in the San Pasqual Valley. Established in 1972, the principal purpose of the park was to promote conservation, mainly by the breeding of rare animals for the world. From that point on, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has made an impact in the lives of a number of species, including the California Condor. 

San Pasqual Valley, San Diego Safari Park

San Pasqual Valley, San Diego Safari Park

While the conservation goals of the Safari Park are and have been notable, what is also interesting about the facility is the enclosures it has had for the animals since 1972. Since its inception, the Safari Park has comprised some 1,800 acres of land, and unlike other facilities, the animals in Safari Park are allowed to roam across the land in a semi-free state.  While the park has always offered visitors the opportunity to enter the enclosures in first a monorail, and now in a Jurassic-park style tram, the park has not always provided an overarching view of the scope of its facility.

IMG_4197.JPG

Over the last ten years, in conjunction with the re-brand from Wild Animal Park to San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the park has developed a number of more interactive activities for visitors. One of these activities, the Safari Balloon ride fills the gap of allowing visitors to view the entire facility, while providing a unique hot air balloon ride experience. The Safari Balloon is a tethered hot air balloon that rises four hundred feet above the San Pasqual Valley. Modeled after the hot air balloon tours of the Serengeti, the balloon features a large, circular basket that visitors can walk around in during the duration of the tour.

Recently, I found myself at the Safari Park, and as the balloon looked empty, decided to give it a try with my family to see what the bird’s eye view of the park was like. Although the balloon holds thirty people (no seats), my group was fortunate enough to have most of the compartment to ourselves. As the balloon slowly ascended the four hundred feet, we were treated to amazing three hundred and sixty degree views of the park, and of the neighboring San Pasqual valley. To me, it was fascinating to see how the animals moved from a distance, and it gave me greater insight into how the herd mentality in the wild kingdom works. In addition to the great views of the animals and the surrounding area, I also found the engineering feat of keeping a large balloon tethered to the ground with minimal movement interesting. At the high point of the tour, we were able to walk around the balloon platform unobstructed, imagining we were birds. Below, we were able to see circling turkey vultures, falcons, and ravens also watching the animals at the park. After fifteen minutes, we descended smoothly to the ground chattering happily about the experience, before heading whether the elephants looked as big at ground level as they did from the air.

Tips / Fees . The tour lasts between ten and fifteen minutes, and is a great break from walking around the park. The balloon entrance is located near the lions, and is also near the entrance to the tram. Sadly, the balloon ride is not included with park admission, and is an additional $18.00 for adults and $12.00 for children. On the positive side, as of 2016, if you visit the balloon before noon, it is a flat rate of $12.00 per person.  The ride is suitable and safe for all ages, and the only people I would not recommend the ride for are people with a fear of heights, or high places. Even then, it’s a great place to attempt to get over such fears, as it is a very safe and low stress experience with great views. Overall, I would definitely recommend the experience for either long term, or first time visitors looking for a unique experience within the park.

San Diego Union-Tribune

News | 4 ways to go camping in San Diego County —…

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News | 4 ways to go camping in san diego county — including options for glamping and a safari, options include state beaches county parks, glamping, rv parks and safari park.

san diego safari park rides

This guide gives four family-friendly and fun ways for camping and glamping in the county. Plus to get started, here are some best practices when camping and tips on what to avoid when camping from community guides reporter Maura Fox . 

Guests gather near a campsite with at Campland on the Bay in Mission Bay. (Campland on the Bay)

In San Diego County there are three state beaches where people can camp in designated areas. Beach guests must make reservations and follow certain rules, such as campfires not being allowed on the beach. Local state beaches are open throughout the year, but check-in and check-out times vary. Pets are permitted, but not on the beach. For reservations call (800) 444-7275 or go to go to reservecalifornia.com .

San Elijos State Beach in Cardiff has about 144 spaces where visitors can set up tents and park RVs and trailers. Campsite rentals start at $50 and go up to $75 for an RV hookup nearest to the ocean. There is also a grunion-run group camping option for up to 10 vehicles and 40 people. This group camping area includes a 50 amp electrical outlet RV hookup for water and sewage, a fire pit, a barbecue grill and six picnic tables for $400 per night. 2050 South Coast Highway 101, Cardiff. (760) 753-5091

Silver Strand State Beach in Imperial Beach only allows RVs and trailers with flushable toilets and a running water system. No vehicle campers or tents are permitted, and no one can sleep outside. Fires are allowed in designated areas and portable fire containers and camp stoves must be within the campsite and raised at least six inches off the ground. Campground rates range from $65 to $85 per day. 5000 Highway 75, Coronado. (619) 435-5184

South Carlsbad State Beach has roughly 233 spaces for RV hookups that range in cost from $50-$140, with higher-priced spaces closest to the Pacific Ocean. There is also a group campsite at Pelican Point that hosts up to 40 people and 10 vehicles. Tents and trucks with camper shells are permitted. Fires are allowed in designated fire rings on site and campfires on the beach must be made with propane and butane. Wood fires are restricted on the beach. There are also public restrooms, lifeguard stations and water faucets throughout this state beach. 7201 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad. (760) 438-3143

The campground area at Oakoasis County Park in Lakeside.(County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation)

San Diego County’s Parks and Recreation Department manages 10 parks where camping is allowed. Each park offers different amenities, including tent sites, cabins and RV parking. Reservations vary in price, based on the park and camping choice. All county campgrounds have coin-operated showers, near a ranger station. Cabins range from $50-$100, tent campsites start at $22 and RV hookups cost between $27-$33 for the day. Each park is open year-round, except for Agua Caliente County Park and Vallecito County Park, due to high temperatures in the summer. Reservations can be made up to one year in advance at reservations.sdparks.org/reservation/camping or by calling (858) 565-3600.

Here are the 10 county camping park locations with a brief description.

Agua Caliente County Park in Julian offers camping from Labor Day through Memorial Day. There are seven cabins for rent with two queen bed frames (mattress and bedding not included), a table, sink, bathroom and a campfire ring outside. Visitors can also reserve areas to set up campsites with tents and RV hookups. 39555 Great Southern Overland Stage Route of 1849, Julian. (760) 765-1188

Dos Picos County Park in Ramona is open throughout the year. Camping options include tent sites, partial RV hookups and ADA-accessible cabins. Some amenities include coin-operated showers, restrooms, picnic tables and a fire ring. Plus there is a nearby lake for fishing. 17953 Dos Picos Park Road, Ramona. (760) 789-2220

Guajome Regional Park in Oceanside has eight miles of Pacific Ocean camping space. There are 33 RV and tent campsites and one cabin with a double bed (mattress and bedding not included), two sleeping cots, a bathroom, table and chairs, a kitchen and a porch. There are also outdoor fire rings, picnic tables available and restrooms. 3000 Guajome Lake Road, Oceanside. (760) 724-4489

Lake Morena County Park in Campo allows visitors to launch and drive motorized boats. Campers can also fish at this lake. There are 10 cabins available for rent. Each cabin offers one double bed  (mattress and bedding not included), two-fold-out cots, a bathroom, tables, chairs and a porch. This 3,250-acre park also has picnic areas, hiking trails, a fire ring and restrooms.  2550 Lake Morena Drive, Campo. (619) 579-4101

Oakoasis County Park in Lakeside is meant for camping with a large group with tent camping sites available. The park also has a cabin for rent, a large firepit, outdoor seating, a covered picnic area and restrooms. 12620 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside. (619) 561-0580

Potrero County Park is near the U.S.-Mexico border and the town of Tecate, Mexico. Visitors can stay in a tent, RV or in one of two cabins with wooden bed frames, small tables and basic temperature controls. There are also fire rings and picnic tables outdoors. 24800 Potrero Park Drive, Potrero. (619) 478-5212

Sweetwater Summit County Park in Bonita gives campers the option to reserve a tent campsite, RV and trailer hookup station and a horse camping site. This 500-acre park has a seasonal splash pad, a 13-station exercise course, 15 miles of hiking trails and fishing areas at the nearby Sweetwater Reservoir. 3218 Summit Meadow Road, Bonita. (619) 472-7572

Tijuana River Valley Regional Park is the county’s newest park campground and it links over 20 miles of hiking trails. It has 51 tent and yurt-style campsites. Yurts are covered camping spaces that fit up to 10 people and have bedframes, windows and doors. Currently, the campground is temporarily closed due to work being done on the park’s hiking trails. Jessica Geiszler, county parks and recreation department marketing and public outreach manager, said the campground will reopen sometime later his summer. 1942 Monument Road, San Diego. 619-205-1680

Vallecito County Park in Julian offers camping from Labor Day through Memorial Day. Visitors can set up tents and RVs at 44 campsite locations. This 71-acre park has very few amenities except for barbecue stoves, fire rings and a few water stations. 37349 Great Southern Overland Stage Route of 1849, Julian. (760) 765-1188

William Heise County Park in Julian gives guests options to reserve a tent, RV or group campsite. This park also has 14 cabins that vary in size, with each cabin containing a table with chairs, basic temperature control and bed frames without mattresses. Outside there are picnic tables and fire rings. 4945 Heise Park Road, Julian. (760) 765-0650

An aerial view of the KOA resort in Chula Vista, with a pool, cabins for rent, RV hookups, cafe, meeting room with kitchen and more. (Will Page Photography)

Combine traditional camping with upscale and glamorous amenities — a pool, electricity or a comfy bed and pillow inside a tent — and that equals glamping. Here are three online marketplaces that offer glamping options and reservations with listings in San Diego County. Prices vary based on the time of year reserved, similar to hotels.

Glamping Hub lists properties specializing in glamping experiences. On a recent search, there were over 60 listings in the county ranging from small wood cabins in Julian to a tent with various bedroom furniture in Vista.

Hipcamp offers campsites and private RV parking. On a recent search on Hipcamp, there were over 30 places locally including a tent for about six people with a wooden bed, carpeting, a telescope and various ranches for RVs parking and hookups.

Airbnb also lists places to rent from hosts that offer glamping-inspired lodging based on the time of year. For example, two hosts offer fancy tents and vintage trailers in Ramona, where each listing says it’s near a vineyard. 

KOA Resort is another option for glamping. It’s a campground organization with locations across the country, including one in Chula Vista. This location offers several amenities such as an outdoor pool, hot tub and sauna, WiFi, bike rentals, a cafe, a children’s playground, a basketball court, a ping pong table, a meeting room with kitchen and a two-acre grass field. There are areas to set up tents, rent cabins and park RVs. 111 N. Second Ave., Chula Vista. (619) 427-3601

An aerial view of Campland on the Bay in Mission Bay. (Campland on the Bay)

There is also a glamping option in Mission Bay at Campland on the Bay. This aquatic resort along the bay offers RV and tent camping with approximately 560 campsites on 40 acres of land. Amenities include showers, a laundry facility, swimming pools and spas, a game room, a market to purchase food and drinks, restrooms, a bar and cantina, free WiFi, various sports courts and a 124-slip marina with a boat launch. Reservations can be made year-round at campland.com or by calling (858) 581-4200. 2211 Pacific Beach Drive., San Diego

San Diego Safari Park

Campers admire elephants at the Roar & Snore campground at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park. (San Diego Zoo Safari Park)

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park offers special packages allowing the public to sleep over at its animal sanctuary and observe nearby wildlife such as elephants and giraffes. Known as Roar and Snore Safari, the attraction also provides access to special behind-the-scenes hikes for exploring nighttime and morning wildlife activities. Campers also get to gather around a campfire and cook s’mores, and during certain days from March through May, guests will experience the park’s Butterfly Jungle. There are three tent options, ranging in size and amenities, with pricing starting at $160 per person. 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido. (619) 231-1515. sdzsafaripark.org/safaris/roar-snore-safaris

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Safari Park Single Day Tickets

Buy online and save, 1-day pass – any day.

Includes: One visit to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park®, Africa Tram, and all regularly scheduled experiences. Experiences above subject to availability.

1-Day Pass Any Day tickets valid any day within one year from date of purchase. Cannot be exchanged for Value Days ticket. No reservation required.

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1-Day Pass Value Days tickets valid on any Value Day (see calendar)  within one year from date of purchase. Cannot be combined with any other discount/offer/promotion. No reservation required.

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Includes: One visit to the San Diego Zoo and one visit to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park -or- Two visits to the San Diego Zoo -or- Two visits to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Two total visits by the same person on any and all days.

2-Visit Pass tickets valid on any day within one year from date of purchase. Tickets cannot be combined with any other discount/offer/promotion. 2-Visit Pass cannot be exchanged for Value Days tickets. No reservation required.

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Enjoy visits to the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and SeaWorld® San Diego. The San Diego 3-for-1 Pass is valid for one visit per attraction—three total visits—by the same person on any and all days. Valid for seven consecutive days from the first visit.    

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One easy purchase saves big on admission to San Diego's top attractions and theme parks, including San Diego Zoo Safari Park, SeaWorld®, and LEGOLAND®. 

No need to decide now, choose which attractions as you go. Visit the attractions at your own pace, in any order, over a 9-day period. No reservation required.

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COMMENTS

  1. Safaris

    Flightline Safari. Ages 8 & up. $81 & up per person. Soar as high as 130 feet above the ground, with a spectacular bird's-eye view of rhinos, giraffes, and other wildlife in the savanna habitats below you. READ MORE.

  2. Africa Tram

    Busiest 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on peak attendance days. The Africa Tram is an exciting expedition, with safari tour vehicles and our diverse wildlife creating a relaxing adventure. The ride path takes you around some of the savanna habitats, giving you a chance to connect with wildlife on a closer level. Approximately 25 minutes.

  3. What's the Best San Diego Safari Park Tour? Chart & Reviews

    The 1-hour Wildlife Safari is the most popular tour at San Diego Safari Park followed by the 90-minute Twilight Wildlife Safari. You go inside the African animal enclosure in an open-air covered truck. Twilight tours add a light meal. Deluxe Safari is 90 minutes long and also tours the Asian enclosures.

  4. San Diego Zoo Safari Park Guide: 2024 Hours, Tours, Tips

    San Diego Zoo Safari Park Address. 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, CA 92027. Directions to San Diego Zoo Safari Park are quite easy, thanks to signage that you'll see after exiting the freeway. The drive from the I-15 freeway to the park takes a little less than 10 minutes.

  5. 10 Wild Adventures at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

    Check out these 10 adventures at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Wildlife Safari. Venture into one of the expansive savanna habitats to get an up-close view of a variety of birds and mammals—including some of park's newest babies! You'll travel in the back of a covered, open-air safari truck, with an expert guide. Behind-the-Scenes Safari.

  6. San Diego Zoo Safari Park

    Board These Safari Park Rides Africa Tram is a Must-Do Safari Park Activity. Africa Tram is a must-do activity especially if you aren't going on one of the paid safaris. ... Don't even THINK about visiting San Diego Safari Park without attending Cheetah Run. See one of these leggy cats explode out of its carrier and sprint after its prey (a ...

  7. Plan Your Visit

    15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, California 92027-7017. The Safari Park is the San Diego Zoo's sister park to the northeast in Escondido. Distance between the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is 35 miles. Please allow 45 minutes to 1 hour travel time. Purchase a two-visit pass .

  8. San Diego Zoo Safari Park

    The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a zoo in the San Pasqual Valley area of San Diego, California, near Escondido. The park houses more than 3,000 animals representing over 300 species. ... As well as the tram, the park has also added a tethered balloon ride that allows visitors to see the plains exhibits from 400 feet (120 m) (~21 giraffes) in ...

  9. San Diego Zoo Safari Park

    And a moment can change a lifetime. Buy Tickets. Visit Website. Neighborhood: North Inland. 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd. Escondido, CA 92027-9614. Get Directions. Contact Info. (619) 718-3000.

  10. Activities

    Our colorful Conservation Carousel features 60 ride elements to choose from, many depicting rare and endangered wildlife. LEARN MORE. ... San Diego Zoo; San Diego Zoo Safari Park; News & Resources; Journal; Podcasts; Animals & Plants; Press Room; Discover; ... San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a 501(c)(3) organization. Visit. Membership; Plan ...

  11. San Diego Zoo's Safari Park Tour

    After a ride through the San Diego countryside we will arrive at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park where you will have several options of different safaris. There are the classic caravan or Africa tram safaris, or the modern rolling safari, where you will roll around on a Segway X2 and there is even a extravagant flightline safari on which you will ...

  12. Plan Your Visit

    2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101. The San Diego Zoo is the Safari Park's sister park to the southwest in San Diego. Distance between the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is 35 miles. Please allow 45 minutes to 1 hour travel time. Purchase a two-park pass here.

  13. Safari Park

    The Safari Park at 1800 acres is 18 times larger than the Zoo. It's only free ride is the Africa Plains and Hills tram in contrast to a far more extensive array of free internal transportation in a much smaller Zoo. ... You might share when this trip is as well as your day of week for the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. You can also ride the ...

  14. Is the San Diego Safari Park worth it? : r/sandiego

    Yep. My wife and I are zoo/safari park members and made one of ours the higher level of membership last year since that includes parking at the safari park. It's a great place but that park sucks. Also, it can get incredibly hot there! Reply reply. bivvv2110.

  15. San Diego Zoo Safari Park Tram Tour 2024

    The renowned San Diego Zoo Safari Park presents more than 3,500 animals roaming in large enclosures that replicate their natural habitat. Go on a safari adventure unlike any other outside of Africa itself, with exhibits inspired by the African Serengeti and the Asian Savanna. With mobile tickets, simply scan your phone for direct entry into the Safari Park. Ticket must be redeemed on travel ...

  16. Safari Park

    The safari park version is quite good, and you see the animals closer up and from different vantages than you can do on the walking tour. If you've tended to skip the bus tour at the main zoo, don't skip the safari park version - it's worthwhile. The extra-charge safari options basically get you closer to the animals for a longer time.

  17. San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego

    The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, part of the larger San Diego Zoo, is an 1,800-acre (728-hectare) open-range park housing some 3,500 animals from about 430 species.The park's open layout allows herds of giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and other animals indigenous to Africa to roam the recreated valley floor.

  18. Flightline Safari

    Deluxe Flightline Safari. BUY. $106 & up per person. Offered daily. 1.5 hours. Safety/Age Restrictions. Age Range: Adults and children ages 8 and older only. Children ages 8 to 15 must be accompanied by a paid parent or guardian 18 years or older during the entire Flightline experience. Guests ages 16 to 17 may participate alone, but must have ...

  19. 13 San Diego Zoo vs Safari Park Differences-Which is Best?

    Safari Park's Bigger. San Diego Zoo (left) vs Safari Park (right) Safari Park is much larger than the San Diego Zoo. The raw land area figures are: Safari Park is 1800 acres. Zoo size - approximately 100 acres. But don't let the HUGE size of Safari Park make you think that it's too much to see in one day.

  20. Review: Safari Balloon Experience, San Diego Safari Park

    The tour lasts between ten and fifteen minutes, and is a great break from walking around the park. The balloon entrance is located near the lions, and is also near the entrance to the tram. Sadly, the balloon ride is not included with park admission, and is an additional $18.00 for adults and $12.00 for children.

  21. Cart Safari

    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.

  22. A guide to camping in San Diego at county parks, beaches and more

    This group camping area includes a 50 amp electrical outlet RV hookup for water and sewage, a fire pit, a barbecue grill and six picnic tables for $400 per night. 2050 South Coast Highway 101 ...

  23. Tickets

    1-Day Pass - Value Days. Online offer only; advance purchase required. Select days only. Includes: One visit to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park®, Africa Tram, and all regularly scheduled experiences. Experiences above subject to availability. 1-Day Pass Value Days tickets valid on any Value Day (see calendar) within one year from date of purchase.