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The San Francisco Zoo is Northern California's largest zoological park and conservation center.

Zoo highlights include a three-acre African Savanna with giraffe, zebra, and ostrich; five species of lemur; an Australian WalkAbout, scheduled public feedings of penguins, lions, and tigers; a Gorilla Preserve; Grizzly Gulch, the historic Little Puffer steam train, a Dentzel Carousel, and a Family Farm.

The Zoo offers half-day summer camp for kids entering pre-K through Kindergarten, and a full-day program for children entering 1st through 7th grades. Each child may register for one or two different weeks.

Teens (14 to 17) can become Zoo Teaching Assistants and help out with Zoo School. Program fee is $140.

Winter and Spring Camp: A week-long camp for children in grades Pre-K through 6th. The camp combines Zoo discovery tours with crafts, games, and animal encounters and runs during the winter and spring breaks for schools. Specific camp details can be found on the website. Advance registration is required for both. -gocitykids.parentsconnect.com

The zoo phone number is (415) 753-7080.

The San Francisco Zoo is owned by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.

Additional Info

415.753.7080 Hours: Daily 10am-5pm Cost: Adults $9/residents, $11/non-residents; youths (12-17) $4.50 residents, $8/non-residents; children (3-11) $2.50/residents, $5/non-residents. Annual family membership $75. The first Wednesday of every month, admission to the Zoo is free!

Muni access:

L-Taraval -- outbound, end of line

18-46th Avenue and 23-Monterey -- Sloat Blvd. and 47th Ave.

Group Activities Parties: The Zoo can accommodate up to 50 children and adults in its new indoor Birthday Party Room in the Leaping Lemur Cafe. Prices are as follows: Basic Package is $375 (up to 12 people; additional guests are $12 per person), and the Plus Package is $425 (up to 12 people; additional guests are $14 per person). All guests enjoy admission, a chocolate or vanilla-themed cake, ice cream, and more. A slumber party option costs $1250 for up to 20 people. To make a reservation call 415.753.7114, or email [email protected] .

Zoo Camp is a great way for kids to learn about animals in an outdoor setting. Zoo walks, animal-themed crafts and games are all part of the fun. Younger children focus on animals' habitats and their adaptations for survival. Older children explore animal behavior in wild ways that will sharpen their observation skills and deepen their appreciation of the diversity of life on earth.


Park Amenities

Playground, 6 Restrooms

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Meet Solongo and Bajkit: The pair of rare wild horses who find new home at SF Zoo

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san francisco zoo safari park

The last truly wild horse species in the world, rare Przewalski’s horses, were once only found on the Mongolian steppes of the Gobi Desert.

But on Tuesday at 10 a.m last week, they can be seen in a media preview at the San Francisco Zoo and Gardens .

Forty years ago, the species was listed as extinct in the wild. Thanks to coordinated captive breeding programs by accredited zoos and conservationists, the population of Przewalski’s horses is now at 2,000, with some wild herds thriving in reintroduction sites and natural preserves.

san francisco zoo safari park

Pronounced SHUL-VAAL-SKEE, the small stocky horse was named after a Russian explorer who identified the species during a Mongolian expedition in the 19th century.  

Two mares will be arriving from Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo . The San Diego Zoo was also a major supporter of the breeding program, with over 200 horses.

Nancy Chan, spokesperson for the San Francisco Zoo, said that there are only 12 founder animals in the breeding programs, and all 2,000 of their progeny have in some way come from those original horses. 

“That was interesting, because they’ve got a lot of diminished genetic diversity,” she said. 

They will eventually be featured in a new Asian Conservation Zone at the zoo, which will include some of the flora and landscape features of Asia. The zoo has Asian animals like Komodo dragons, monkeys and snow leopards, but the renovation-to-come will place the animals from Asia together.

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Features | The tragic history of the Bay Area’s forgotten…

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Features | the tragic history of the bay area’s forgotten zoos.

Wallace the Lion circa 1905 at the Fulton Street Chutes. Wallace the Lion was on display at both the Haight Street and Fulton Street Chutes. The Zoo at the Fulton Street Chutes was phased out in October 1907. Wallace and the rest of the zoo were sold to a zoo in Vancouver, B.C. (OpenSFHistory/wnp27.2503)

Perhaps the earliest zoo in San Francisco – “zoo” in a very loose sense – was the Mountaineer Museum run by John Capen Adams, aka Grizzly Adams. Located in a basement in what’s now the Financial District, the 1850s museum boasted the “largest collection of wild animals ever brought together in California,” according to a contemporary news report, including grizzly bears, eagles, elk, a lion, a tiger and an “enormous HOG, 800 pounds, from Monterey.”

Adams was a failed gold miner-turned-animal trainer whose antics with wild bears sound like something from television (which it was, in the 1970s). After shooting a mother bear in the wild, he captured her cubs and trained them to walk on leashes and carry his packs. Visitors paying 25 cents to the Mountaineer Museum could watch Grizzly wrestle and ride around on top of his bears. In karmic turnaround, bears caused his downfall – he got mauled so much, it left his brain tissue exposed, and he died in 1860 of suspected meningitis.

“Grizzly Adams was trying to make a buck any way he could with his interests, and this was one way to draw people in,” says Christopher Pollock , historian in residence for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. “These were live animals – inside a basement – and it just seemed like the most inappropriate place in the world to do this stuff.”

We now know, more than a century and a half later, that the best way to run a zoo is not to ride the animals like show ponies. There are different priorities, such as conservation.

Santa Rosa’s Safari West is hailing this year’s birth of a southern white rhino as a step to help restore the global population. The California Academy of Sciences’ new African penguin chicks are part of a species-survival plan. And at the Oakland Zoo , they’re stabilizing a historic Blackfeet Nation bison herd by bringing Montana bison in to breed with Yellowstone ones, then sending the mamas and babies back to the Blackfeet.

While it’s not practical to look at the Bay Area’s 19th-century zoos for best practices, it certainly is fascinating. The zoological gardens of the day were half-amusement parks, half-vanity projects for the rich and powerful. They provided endless entertainment for families who might have never otherwise seen an Asian elephant – in Golden Gate Park, no less. And for the animals, well, their lives were not great, but at least the experience taught our society what not to do.

Woodward’s Gardens was a sprawling complex in the Mission district run by wealthy hotel proprietor Robert B. Woodward. Opened in the 1860s, it had a sea lion pond, a grizzly bear grotto, an aviary and reportedly the country’s largest aquarium.

“There are three particular places in California that have acquired worldwide fame, and these are the Yosemite Valley, the old Cliff House and Woodward’s Gardens,” wrote a contemporary reporter. “Possibly the latter is more generally known than either of the other two.”

Visitors entered through Woodward’s home and conservatory, where they could ogle his fine art and precious minerals, including a gold nugget from the Sierra mountains weighing almost 100 pounds. From there, they’d pass through a tunnel into a zoo that offered camel rides, sailboats on a lake and circus shows featuring the likes of Chang Woo Gow the Chinese Giant, supposedly the tallest man in the world.

Despite a ban on alcohol, the gardens drew thousands on weekends, at least until their slide into disrepair after Woodward’s death. One observer described the decaying zoo as riddled with “pulmonary monkeys and rheumatic lions.” Its last remnants burned down in the Great Earthquake of 1906.

More animal-carnie fun could be found at San Francisco’s chutes . These were water rides popular on Coney Island at the turn of the century that then spread out West – you’d get in a boat and ride at incredible speed down a 350-foot slide and slam into a lake. The Fulton Street Chutes, one of three chute parks in the city, had a mirror maze, airplane swing and Wallace the Lion, rumored to be untamable (and who proved it by bloodying its keeper’s scalp).

There was also a 14-foot alligator, a black-bear “brigade,” leopards, kangaroos and orangutans conditioned to act like a human family – “father” smoked a pipe while “baby” played with a doll. “The hyena proved a major disappointment; the melancholy beast never laughed,” notes James R. Smith in the book, “San Francisco’s Lost Landmarks.” And the “Chutes Museum displayed a sad lot. It included all of the zoo animals that died in captivity – stuffed!”

(Side note: Wallace wasn’t the last famous lion in old San Francisco. In the 1960s, Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, kept a pet lion named Togare in his home. The big kitty drew noise complaints from neighbors and somehow later came to stay with, and sleep in the bed of, Tippi Hedren of “The Birds” fame. And Hedren went on to become an outspoken animal activist.)

Soon enough, though, city residents didn’t have to shell out money to visit a zoo. There was a free one taking shape in Golden Gate Park.

“In the 1880s, it was realized by people in the growing city of San Francisco that in order to up our game with our metropolitan park, we needed to have an animal exhibit,” says Pollock. “That’s what was happening with other cities around the United States. They were using animals to draw people in, like a Disneyland kind of thing.”

Wild animals arrived in waves, typically donated by bankers, industrialists and other powerful folks who wanted to be remembered for their generosity. The donations started with deer and grew to include zebras, kangaroos, Persian sheep and a peacock meadow, as well as kookaburras and bison, the latter of which still reside in the park today.

“The bison go back to this growing sentiment across the United States that we are just taking out everything. There’s going to be nothing left, so let’s save some of the species by putting them into a captive location,” explains Pollock.

The Golden Gate menagerie would eventually form the foundation of the nascent San Francisco Zoo. Two animals that didn’t enter the zoo, because they were only in the park for one winter in 1891, were the elephants Baldy and Queen Jumbo. A traveling circus loaned them to perform for families at a kids’ playground, which led to some interesting interactions.

“Children reached out to try to pinch the thick rolls of hide, and audacious youngsters pulled their tails with impunity,” relates one contemporary account. Another news story notes the elephants lived next to a baseball field, and Baldy tried to eat balls that children swatted his way: “The ball went into that tireless mouth, and, after a lot of chewing, was swallowed. The boys who had lost the ball wailed and threatened to thrash Baldy, but were diverted from their cruel purpose by Superintendent Murphy, who advanced the 10 cents necessary to buy another ball.”

Elephants, left, Baldy, and Queen Jumbo, right, perform at the Children's Playground circa 1891 in Golden Gate Park. The elephants spent the winter away from their regular carnival entertaining in Golden Gate Park from November 21, 1891, to March 8, 1892, at the Children's Quarter. They performed two shows a day and gave rides to the children under the supervision of their trainer 'Professor' H. W. Pett. (OpenSFHistory/wnp13.268)

The elephants’ lives were indeed hard. They were stationed out in the chilly, gloomy ocean weather where their keepers staved off “la grippe” by giving them quinine and quarts of Kentucky rye whisky. On top of having to give kids saddle-back rides all day, they were pulled into construction duty.

“Queen Jumbo was responsible for moving a lot of heavy equipment out of Golden Gate Park pretty much on her own,” says Judi Leff , a San Francisco historian and humorist.

“There was this one super-heavy piece of equipment they used that had sunk into the ground. They got a team of Clydesdales to try to pull this thing out, and they were getting nowhere,” Leff says. “Finally, someone says, ‘Wait, don’t we have an elephant somewhere?’ They go over and the trainer says, ‘Sure!’ They put a pad between Queen Jumbo’s head and the equipment, and she just moves it – no problem.”

For sheer ambitiousness, not many zoos could beat out the private collection put together by William Randolph Hearst.

“They’d catch them and let them go,” says Victoria Kastner , former Hearst Castle historian. “One of the butlers got so tired of releasing the same mouse that he tied a little red string around its foot, so he could bring it to W.R. and say, ‘This isn’t working.’ W.R. just named him and kept him as a pet.”

The San Simeon property was meant to mirror an English country home, a place to entertain guests and keep livestock and other animals. The bizarre way Hearst interpreted that was revealed in a letter that Julia Morgan , his famous architect, sent him in 1925.

“She wrote that the lions arrived safely,” Kastner says, “and that they were cubs, and they’re not tamed in the slightest, and it’s just amazing to see the level of antagonism or hostility these tiny creatures can foster.”

African antelope, Bactrian camels, ostriches, musk ox and giraffes soon appeared as well, making strange bedfellows with chimps, polar bears, cougars, coatimundis, an elephant and a tapir named Squeaky . Hearst established two separate zoo areas. One was 2,000 acres of penned-in land stocked with herbivores his guests could admire on the long drive to his door, the other a menagerie of cages close to the castle, where they could watch carnivores being fed. And he was always coming up with new ideas.

“How about a maze in connection with the zoo,” he wrote to Morgan in 1926. “I think getting lost in the maze and coming unexpectedly upon lions, tigers, pumas, panthers, wild cats, monkeys, macaws and cockatoos, etc. etc., would be a thrill even for the most blasé.” (It never got built.)

Zebras graze on dried grass on the Hearst Ranch property in San Simeon on Feb. 9, 2023. (Laura Dickinson/The Tribune)

Despite the help of knowledgeable zookeepers, there were… incidents.

“These animals don’t all play well together, right? There were these emus just kicking up trouble with their fellow species,” says Kastner. “Another problem was – and he was very grieved about this – they had these giraffes who wanted the salt in the gravel and ate a bunch of gravel. I think one or even two of the giraffes died.”

The zoo’s downfall began when Hearst started running out of money. Some of the animals were sold off or gifted away, and others were released to graze in perpetuity around the vast property. You can still see some of their descendants today – zebras, sambar deer and aoudads, roaming the California hills like lost foreign tourists.

“So it’s still a zoo,” Kastner says. “Just not in the traditional sense.”

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California State Online

23 Exciting Safaris in CALIFORNIA (Most Fun)

Welcome to California’s wild areas, where breathtaking vistas and fascinating wildlife coexist harmoniously. 

If you thought safaris could only be taken in the African plains, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised. 

California offers a fantastic safari experience right here in the middle of the Golden State, all due to the variety of habitats and abundance of species. 

Now, Take a moment to picture yourself setting off on an exhilarating journey across rocky mountains, deep woods, and expansive deserts while coming face to face with gorgeous creatures that call this land home. 

Whether you enjoy the outdoors , are an avid wildlife photographer, or are just looking for a memorable break from your routine,

Get ready to get your senses enthralled with lifelong memories.

And by the way, you may also want to check out the best Zoos in California .

Safari in San Diego, California

1. balloon safari (aerial animal views).

san francisco zoo safari park

Take a hot air balloon safari to see San Diego’s stunning scenery and landscapes. 

You can see the creatures up close by flying above the park’s 1,800 acres. 

The balloon safari departs from the park’s North American Plains region and soars over the Australian Outback, the California Trail , and the African Plains. 

Your guide will point out Various animals and plants , which will also impart exciting facts about them. 

Balloon safaris are accessible in the morning and afternoon and last 10-12 minutes.

Additionally, checking the forecast before making plans is essential because balloon safaris depend on the weather. 

Entry is $69 for adults aged 12+ and $59 for children aged 3-11.

Take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to experience the magic of a safari up close.

Address: San Diego Zoo Safari Park, 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027

2. Northern Frontier (Arctic Wildlife Habitat)

Northern Frontier of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a 1,000-acre habitat for species from the Arctic, sub-Arctic, and northern temperate regions. 

The Boreal Forest, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, and the Arctic Tundra are its four zones with distinct traits and species.

In other words, visitors can see polar bears, grizzly bears, timber wolves, and other species in their native habitats. 

The interactive displays at The Northern Frontier include a climbing wall and a touch pool. 

Adult admission to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park costs $29.95, while kid admission is $22.95 per person.

Get ready to be captivated by the Northern Frontier’s wild splendor and unmatched natural beauty. 

It is also a fantastic place to discover the animals and spend time with them.

Address: 2929 Zoo Drive, San Diego, 921021, CA.

3. Nairobi Village (African Culture Display)

san francisco zoo safari park

A replica of an African town can be found in this area of the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park. 

Here, you can learn about African culture, traditional crafts, and artifacts while viewing African creatures, from lions to elephants. 

Nairobi Village also has a few restaurants and shops to check out. 

It opens every day from 9 am to 5 pm all year.

Visitors can also eat a typical African meal and purchase antiques to take home as a memento of their journey . 

For $29.95 for adults and $22.95 for children, be ready to enter Nairobi Village for an immersive experience that will transport you to the heart of Africa. 

Remember to engage with Maasai warriors, visit interactive displays, and learn about the area’s rich history. 

Address: 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, California  92027

4. Flightline Safari (Zipline Park Tour)

san francisco zoo safari park

Flightline Safari is a zipline tour that takes you through the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and provides an exciting perspective of the park and surroundings.

This tour lasts around an hour and features ten zip lines and a suspension bridge. 

Visitors can also see various animals from the ziplines, including giraffes, zebras, and lions. 

Despite being open all year, the best course of action is to make reservations in advance, especially in the summer.

Every day from 9 am to 4 pm, it is available for $129 per person. 

As you soar into the air on the Flightline Safari, get ready for an incredible journey and enjoy the freedom, fun, and exhilaration of this unique safari experience. 

So, if you crave an extraordinary adventure , contact them soon.

Address: 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027

5. Africa Tram (Habitat Tram Ride)

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has a tram trip called the Africa Tram.

It lasts for twenty-five minutes and makes multiple stops at various animal exhibitions. 

The tram tour includes stops in the Australian Outback, the Northern Frontier, the California Trail, and the African Plains. 

On the tram tour, visitors can observe various animals, such as giraffes, zebras, lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, and tigers. 

If you want to experience an incredible journey into the heart of San Diego’s safari, be aware that the Africa Tram operates daily from 9 am to 5 pm. 

With the Africa Tram, you may explore expansive environments, observe various African species, and learn about the protection of the creatures.

Get your harness on for a wild journey on the tram.

Address: 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd. Escondido, California 92027

6. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (Global Wildlife Conservation)

Homepage of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance / sandiegozoo.org

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a non-profit dedicated to wildlife protection. 

It runs other wildlife conservation initiatives all over the world in addition to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, 

Furthermore, because it is dedicated to conserving animals and wild areas, 

It seeks to safeguard endangered species, preserve habitats, and educate the public about conservation. 

As a result, it is a great site to learn about conservation, with its various educational activities, including displays, seminars, and workshops.

To discover new animals worldwide, take a safari tour around the zoo’s vast grounds . 

With iconic pandas and extraordinary animals among its highlights, the zoo offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy wildlife and support conservation efforts.

You would always want to have a second time.

  Address: 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

Also see our article on Kayaking in California .

Safari in Los Angeles, California

1. infinite safari adventures (diverse california safaris).

Homepage of Infinite Safari Adventures / infinitesafariadventures.com

A tour firm called Infinite Safari Adventures provides a selection of safaris in and near Los Angeles. 

Their most popular safari is called the African Adventure, and it features a two-hour drive through the Simi Hills, where you may witness African wildlife like lions, zebras, etc.

Visitors are allowed to feed and pet a handful of the animals. 

The California Adventure takes visitors on a scenic drive through some of California’s most beautiful locations . 

However, Infinite Safari Adventures, on the other hand, is an incredible choice for individuals who wish to witness various animals in their natural habitat. 

With the company’s skilled and enthusiastic tour guides, learning about animals will be made fun for you. 

Prepare to take in more of nature’s splendor and create unforgettable memories.

Address: 11271 Ventura Blvd #127, Studio City, CA 91604

2. Elephants of Asia (Asian Elephant Sanctuary)

Elephants of Asia, a non-profit organization, offers a variety of programs for tourists, including guided tours, educational workshops, and volunteer opportunities.

Additionally, it provides a home for retired and saved elephants. 

As a result, this place is home to a herd of Asian elephants, and visitors on tour can learn more about the elephants’ history, biology, care, and protection. 

This exciting tour includes the opportunity to feed, bathe, paint, and pet the elephants and a Q&A session with the sanctuary’s employees. 

In other words, Elephants of Asia is an excellent resource for learning about these beautiful animals and advocating for their conservation and well-being. 

Here is an opportunity to learn about the intriguing lives of these gentle giants through up-close experiences and various educational exhibitions. 

Address: 8573311, District of Freedom, Los Angeles, CA 90027

3. Los Angeles Zoo (Griffith Park Menagerie)

Homepage of Los Angeles Zoo / lazoo.org

The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park, near Los Angeles. 

It houses almost 1,200 animals of different species.

Various educational programs, workshops, and exhibits are available at the zoo.

As a result, it’s an excellent alternative for those who want to view and learn about a wide range of animals in a more traditional zoo atmosphere. 

The zoo is divided into several sections, each focusing on a different continent. 

Additionally, there are various educational exhibits there, including a petting zoo, a butterfly pavilion, and a rainforest exhibition. 

All year long, the zoo offers free admission to children under two. 

Children under two are admitted free to the zoo all year.

Every activity at the Loa Angeles Zoo promises a lot of fun for its visitors.

  Address: 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Also see our article on Fun things to do in California .

Safari in San Francisco, California

1. guided safaris inc. (varied san francisco safaris).

Guided Safaris Inc. is an excellent opportunity to visit some of San Francisco’s most well-known attractions while learning about the local animals. 

Pick one that suits your interests and budget from the range of safaris the company offers.

Children and elders are also eligible for discounts. 

Guided Safaris Inc. offers a variety of safaris in San Francisco, including African safaris, Asian safaris, Golden Gate Park safaris, Muir Woods safaris, and Sausalito safaris. 

All of the safaris offered by Guided Safaris Inc. are guided by professional guides who can answer your questions, address your concerns and help you make the most of your experience. 

With the meals, housing, and transportation, this safari has no shortage of fun and excitement from the moment you step in till you leave.

 Address: 1 Sansome St, San Francisco, CA 94104

2. South American Tropical Forest (Amazon Jungle Encounter)

san francisco zoo safari park

The South American Tropical Forest is a tourist attraction in the San Francisco Bay Area that allows tourists to experience the sights and sounds of the Amazon jungle.

More than a thousand creatures are housed in the facility, including monkeys, snakes, jaguars, and birds. 

Visitors can therefore discover more about these creatures, take part in feedings and interactions, and take guided forest walks. 

It is usually open all year, 

Although summer is the busiest season, the facility offers a range of educational programs for both children and adults. 

Trust the immersive atmosphere and intriguing exhibits to transport you to the heart of the Amazon jungle, providing a fantastic safari experience. 

The South American Tropical Forest safari is an experience that can be both fun and eventful for its visitors.

Address: Zoo Rd, San Francisco, CA 94132

3. Pet Camp Cat Safari (Feline Fun Exploration)

Homepage of Pet Camp Cat Safari / petcamp.com

Visit Pet Camp Cat Safari in San Francisco to see wild cats up close and in all their elegance and beauty.

At Pet Camp Cat Safari, cats can access a large indoor and outdoor environment without being confined. 

The space has climbing trees, scratching posts, and toys for the cats’ amusement. 

Additionally, they offer many other services for cats, including grooming, training, and daycare. 

The Pet Camp, Cat Safari crew, is informed and skilled in cats, and they are committed to providing the most excellent care for their animal guests. 

It is open seven days a week and offers a variety of boarding choices. 

So you can choose the ideal one to help you learn about cats while still having fun. 

Get familiar with many furry friends at the camp.

Address: 3233 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94115

4. San Francisco Zoo (Diverse Animal Exhibits)

Homepage of San Francisco Zoo / sfzoo.org

The San Francisco Zoo has more than 2,000 species, including lions, tigers, bears, elephants, and giraffes. 

Visitors can enjoy guided zoo tours, engage in animal feedings and interactions, and discover more about the animals. 

Numerous exhibits are available in the San Francisco Zoo, including California Coast, Asian Forest, and African Plains. 

Because it offers a range of educational activities, including animal interactions, presentations, and tours, it has been a popular tourist site for years. 

As a result, the San Francisco Zoo is a well-known destination where visitors may explore varied habitats while learning about conservation. 

Meet exciting animals worldwide while participating in interactive displays, observing animal feedings, and learning about conservation efforts.

Embrace the scenic views , let the exciting moment take over, and create lasting, beautiful memories.

Address: Sloat Blvd & Upper Great Hwy, San Francisco, CA 94132

Also see our article on Outdoor activities in California .

Safari in Fresno, California

1. african spur thighed tortoise (giant tortoise encounter).

The African Spur Thighed turtle is a giant turtle that can reach 2 feet long and weigh 100 pounds. 

Tortoises are a group of herbivorous animals renowned for their long lifespans, intellect, and curiosity. 

The African Spur Thighed Tortoise Safari offers a one-of-a-kind chance to get up close and personal with these beautiful animals. 

Learn about the biology, history, and current state of conservation of the tortoises by taking part in this tour at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. 

Although the trip is brief, it is filled with fun, knowledge, and the opportunity to hold a tortoise.

Don’t miss the chance to discover their habitat, learn about their specific behaviors, and watch as they move sluggishly but deliberately through their surroundings. 

You will definitely love it here.

Address: Fresno, CA 93728

2. Fresno Chaffee Zoo (Global Animal Collection)

Homepage of Fresno Chaffee Zoo/ fresnochaffeezoo.org

California’s Fresno is home to the 29-acre Fresno Chaffee Zoo.

The zoo’s facility is home to more than 1,000 species from all over the globe and features several exhibits, such as the African Plains, Asian Forest, and California Trail. 

You may have an exciting safari journey at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo and get up close and personal with various international animals, including fun primates and majestic big cats. 

And you can also enjoy educational talks and witness fascinating animal feedings.

Every part of your visit will reflect the zoo’s dedication to conservation and animal care. 

In other words, it is an excellent place to learn about animals and appreciate the natural environment.

Additionally, it is a lot of fun, and visitors will undoubtedly enjoy themselves.

Address: 894 W Belmont Ave, Fresno, CA 93728

3. Giraffe Feeding (Interactive Giraffe Experience)

Giraffe feeding is a common zoo pastime, including at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. 

Visitors can participate in giraffe feeding by purchasing a bucket of food and feeding them through the fence . 

In other words, people of all ages will undoubtedly find the giraffe feeding experience entertaining and enlightening.

Up close and personal encounters with these gentle giants are possible during the Fresno Giraffe Feeding event. 

As you hand-feed these gorgeous animals their favorite treats, you can interact with them, giving a sense of satisfaction and joy.

Discover their unique adaptations, behaviors, and conservation efforts to safeguard their habitat.

Giraffe Feeding is an excellent opportunity to connect with nature and make lifelong memories. 

Escape for some wild adventures, catch sight of beautiful nature, and create memories you would love.

4. Nndeeafrika (Private African Safaris)

Nndeeafrika is a safari company that provides a range of African safaris, such as game drives, walking safaris, and hot air balloon safaris.  

In its simplest form, Nndeeafrika is a private wildlife reserve that provides a range of safari experiences and is home to several African creatures, including lions, elephants, giraffes, and zebras. 

If you’re looking for a dependable and reasonable alternative for your safari lifestyle, Nndeeafrika is an excellent organization to book a safari with.

You can explore colorful displays and learn about the wonders of Nndeeafrika thanks to its staff of knowledgeable guides who will ensure that you have a safe and pleasurable safari. 

Also, you can see several African animals in realistic habitats, such as giant elephants and dainty antelopes, which are delightful to watch.

Address: 7516 N Monte Ave, Fresno, CA 93711

Also see our article on Date ideas in California .

Safari in Oakland, California

1. paramount safaris (open-air wildlife tours).

Homepage of Paramount Safaris / paramountsafaris.com

One of the distinctive and thrilling methods to see animals from around the world is through Paramount Safaris.

A comfortable open-air vehicle transports visitors through a beautiful, natural habitat where they can get up close and personal with giraffes, zebras, lions, tigers, and many more species. 

With expert guides and dedication to conservation, 

Paramount Safaris provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature and make priceless memories.

They also provide a range of packages, from affordable choices to rich experiences, and they operate from 9 am to 5:30 pm, charging $25 for adults and $20 for kids.

Also, the guides are excellent at engaging kids and keeping them entertained, and the open-air trucks make it simple for kids to see the animals – a bunch of fun.

Address: 1111 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

2. California Trail at Oakland Zoo (California Habitat Showcase)

Homepage of California Trail at Oakland Zoo / oaklandzoo.org

The 10-acre California Trail exhibit at Oakland Zoo takes visitors on a tour of the state’s various habitats.

Visitors can observe bears, wolves, coyotes, deer, and other species along the journey and wildlife from California’s mountains , deserts, and woods through the Gondola. 

Additionally, the exhibit offers engaging displays and educational activities that educate visitors about the beautiful and wild animals of California. 

Suppose you want to learn about California’s natural history. In that case, this is a terrific place to start with its interactive exhibits that teach visitors about the various creatures and plants in the state. 

Entry is available every day from 11 am to 5 pm.

The California Trail is a must-visit location, thanks to its exciting displays, informative presentations, and interactive activities.

Address: 9777 Golf Links Road Oakland, CA 94605

Also see our article on Hidden Gems in California .

Safari in Anaheim, California

1. oak canyon nature center (nature center exploration).

san francisco zoo safari park

The Oak Canyon Wildlife Center, located near Anaheim, California, is a 58-acre wildlife park. 

This park features a native plant nursery, a live animal exhibit, a butterfly garden, and a variety of native flora and other interesting facilities. 

In addition, the nature center provides various educational programs for both children and adults.

They also provide a range of guided tours, such as a tram trip, a nature walk, and a trek for birdwatching.

The nature center is a terrific place to learn about the natural history of Southern California, and admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids aged 3 to 12, and free for kids under 3.

In other words, people can escape the busy city to explore the tranquil pathways and rediscover the outdoor beauty.

Address:  6700 E Walnut Canyon Rd, Anaheim, CA 92802

2. Best Safaris (Africa-Themed Safaris)

Homepage of Best Safaris / bestsafaris.com

Experience a once-in-a-lifetime journey with Anaheim’s Best Safaris to Africa.

Here, you can explore the grand views of Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro,

Enjoy game drives through Amboseli National Park . 

You can also go through the Rift Valley lakes of Elmentaita and Nakuru, which offer many wildlife and birdlife.

The best safaris allow you to enjoy the thrill of discovering breathtaking scenery and unique wildlife.

Their knowledgeable guide will guarantee that you enjoy an engaging and educational experience. 

Make sure to participate in the Best Safaris to make lasting memories and learn about the wildness of California’s hidden gems .

Also, remember to explore the Masai Mara grassland, Kenya’s famous game reserve and a place of wildlife yearly migration.

Unveil the world of boundless possibilities away from home.

Address: 2700 E Imperial Hwy suite n, Brea, CA 92821

Also see our article on Hiking Trails in California .

Safari in Palm Desert, California

1. the living desert zoo and gardens (diverse zoo experience).

Homepage of The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens / livingdesert.org

Palm Desert, California, has a 1,000-acre zoo and botanical garden called The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. 

More than 3,500 species of animals and plants, including those from North America, South America, Africa, and Australia’s deserts, call it home. 

The zoo has many exhibits, such as a petting zoo, a walk-through aviary, and a desert canyon. 

A tram tour of the zoo is another option for visitors participating in educational activities.

The zoo is further separated into four themed distinct regions: the Australian Outback, the Sonoran Desert, the California Desert, and the African Plains. 

Although it is always open, the hours change periodically, and admission is $34.95 for adults, $24.19 for ages 3 to 17, and free for kids under 3.

Get ready for exclusive fun.

Address: 47900 Portola Ave, Palm Desert, CA 92260

2. African Village (Private African Safari)

African Village, located in Palm Desert, California, is a privately owned safari park.

More than 100 animals, including over 20 African species, call this beautiful place home. 

The African Plains and the African Savannah are the park’s two sections. 

Lions, giraffes, zebras, elephants, and other wildlife can be found in the African Plains area. 

Cheetahs, leopards, and rhinos can be found in the African Savannah region.

African Village opens for $34.95 for adults, $24.19 for ages 3-17, and free for kids under 3.

Enter the captivating African Village in Palm Desert to experience the region’s rich cultural history thoroughly.

African Village gives you an opportunity to learn more about the diverse cultures of Africa.

Take a trip to Africa for an exciting experience without leaving California.

Address: Indian Wells, CA 92210

If you liked this article, you may also like to read about the best zoos , Alpaca Farms , and hiking trails in California.

Looking beyond California? Check out our article on the best Safari in Florida and Illinois .

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Go on Safari!

Immerse yourself in Africa’s essence at Safari West! Climb aboard a safari vehicle and adventure among herds of giraffes, wildebeest, cape buffalo, zebras, and other African hoofstock. Along the drive, guests will have the opportunity to stop and observe the majestic rhinos. During the tour, encounter cheetahs, primates including lemurs, and birds from different regions of the world.

Join us in our mission to promote conservation and impart knowledge that enables every person to make well-informed choices for the environment and wildlife. Join us – you’re the vital element in this extraordinary journey!

Immerse in Nature. Educate and Engage. Advocate for Conservation! Advanced Reservations Required Book Now
  • Good to Know
  • Pricing & Times
  • Wild Manners
  • Accessibility

Age Requirement

For the safety and comfort of all our guests, children must be at least 4 years old to participate in the Classic Safari Adventure. Many of our Private Adventures are exempt from age restrictions.

Top Seat Height Requirement

For the safety of our guests, children 4 and up wishing to take a turn on the top seat must be at least  45 inches tall .

Gratuity and Tipping Policy

If you enjoyed your safari, feel free to tip your guide. They work hard and appreciate the recognition. Please Note : If you reserved a private vehicle or made a group reservation for 10 or more, a 10% service charge is included.

Cancellation Policy

We are more than happy to help you reschedule your exploration or provide you a gift card for the amount that was charged so that you can reschedule at your leisure. Please note that your gift card is entirely transferable, should you choose to gift it to a loved one or donate it to a charity or other organization instead.

Pets are not allowed at Safari West. If you have a pet that is not a service animal, we ask that you respect the important work of service animals by not claiming that your pet is a service animal. Please see the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) description of a service dog noted below. This is for your safety, as well as that of your pet, fellow guests and the animals of the Safari West collection. Please do not leave your pet locked in a parked car!

Service Animal Policy

We welcome guests with special needs who choose to bring their service animal to enjoy our facility and the wonderful creatures making their homes here. It is our policy to assist all guests in making their time at Safari West enjoyable. A service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. “Companion” and “comfort” dogs are not “service animals” protected by the ADA.

  • Service animals are permitted to visit Safari West. However, service animals are prohibited from all areas where our exotic collection is not separated from guests by a physical barrier.
  • Service animals may also be restricted in certain areas due to the sensitivity of our animal collection.
  • If you are spending the night, your service animal is allowed in one of our accessible tents.
  • Your service animals are restricted from accompanying guests while on tour.
  • Service animals must be housebroken.
  • Service animals may not display vicious or aggressive behavior toward other people or animals. This includes barking and/or growling. If your service animal is disruptive at any time, you will be asked to remove your service dog from the park.

If you’re going to need to bring your service animal, you must call (707) 579-2551 at least 72 hours in advance to make arrangements.

Safari Adventures are always in season!

Adults (18 – 61), Seniors (62+), Teens (13 – 17) and Children (4 – 12)

Please be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before your safari is scheduled to begin!

Please Note: Weekend rates apply for Holidays. These include – President’s Day • Memorial Day • Spring Break (March 18 – April 19) • Labor Day • Columbus Day •  Martin Luther King, Jr.  Day • Thanksgiving Week • Christmas Eve – New Year’s Day (closed Christmas Day)

Rules, Safety, and Etiquette

Safari West is the home of more than 800 wild animals, with all their natural behaviors and instincts. They are not trained pets, so we must act in accordance with their world rather than expecting them to understand ours. We are pleased to offer you a truly enjoyable and memorable adventure on the Sonoma Serengeti, so to get the most from your visit, please keep these few common-sense safety rules in mind and practice your wild manners.

Respect our Wild Friends

  • Please stay at least three feet back from the animal enclosures.
  • These animals are not to be touched . Be especially aware of children who may not understand that these animals are not like your pets at home. They may bite, kick or otherwise defend themselves if startled.
  • If you see anyone harassing the animals, throwing objects or poking sticks into the animal enclosures, or teasing them in any way, please alert a staff member immediately.
  • Never feed the animals. They eat special diets in the wild, and the Safari West animal staff sees that they enjoy the same appropriate foods here. Snacks that you love can be harmful to them.
  • No running! The animals interpret running as a sign of danger and are likely to panic and hurt themselves.

Safari Truck Etiquette

We recycle! Throughout the lower area of the preserve are recycling bins. Please save your plastic water bottles, soft drink cans, and other recyclables until you can dispose of them in a bin. Children who wish to sit on the top of our double-decker truck must be at least 45 inches tall. Our guides stop occasionally along the drive to allow seat changes so that everyone who wants a top-tier ride will get a turn.

Lost and Found

Safari West is not responsible for lost items. Please keep a close eye on your belongings during the course of your stay as you will be exploring a large, mostly undeveloped preserve. Should you misplace an item, Safari West maintains a Lost and Found Location at the front office. Please check with us there if you should lose (or find) anything of value.

Welcome to Safari West!

We go to great lengths to ensure that our safari adventures are accessible to everyone and in compliance with all ADA requirements. If you or a member of your family have special needs due to mobility or sensory issues, please contact us and we’ll work with you to plan your safari excursion. Safari West is indeed a special place and we will do everything possible to provide our guests with equal enjoyment of the wonderful experience offered by our park.

Our classic safari vehicles are customized Dodge Power Wagons and are not ADA accessible and unfortunately are not equipped to handle wheelchairs or other mobility assisting devices. If a guest utilizing a wheelchair can safely transfer themselves unaided or with the assistance of a family member, friend, or personal assistant, the Classic Safari Tour remains a viable option.

For guests unable to transition into the Power Wagons, we are able to provide one customized vehicle capable of accommodating most wheelchairs. It requires advanced planning and has some restrictions on seating capacity. Please contact our reservations team at 707-566-3667 to discuss options.

We currently have two fully accessible tents on property. Both rooms are fully wheelchair accessible and include appropriately equipped showers and bathroom fixtures. These rooms also feature designated parking spaces at the foot of the ramps for easy loading and unloading. They also benefit from close proximity to the restaurant, offices, and gift shop.

Service Animals

Service animals are welcome at Safari West; however, due to concerns about guest safety as well as the safety of the animal collection, service animals are restricted from all safari tours and anywhere where there isn’t a barrier between the collection and our guests. While service animals are welcome to join you in our overnight accommodations, they cannot join you on tour unless you have reserved a Service Animal Serengeti Trek. This variant on the paratransit Serengeti Trek foregoes the walking portion of the tour and instead accesses as much of the lower grounds as are possible from within the paratransit vehicle.

Hearing Impaired:

In order to accommodate our hearing impaired guests, we request that arrangements for an ASL Interpreter be made at least two weeks in advance of your visit. If you would rather supply your own ASL interpreter, please let our reservations staff know and they can be added to your safari reservation at no additional charge.

Vision Impaired:

With advance notice, a tactile tour can be provided for a guest who is visually impaired. A sighted companion will almost always accompany a visually impaired visitor. Should this not be the case, the guest will be accompanied by one of our guest service personnel.

Safari West offers free parking to our guests. Our parking lot has several accessible parking spaces for disabled persons supplying a valid disability-parking placard. Additional reserved parking spaces for placarded vehicles may also be available upon arrival. If you or a member of your party has any special needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us at  707 566-3667

Let us help you plan the safari adventure of a lifetime at Safari West!

Safari Tour

400 Acres of Exploration

From cheetahs to lemurs, giraffes to wildebeest, there’s always something amazing waiting just around the bend. Alongside one of our highly-trained safari guides, head out on a 3-hour excursion to get up close and personal with nearly a thousand animals. With over ninety species making their homes here, Safari West truly is Sonoma county’s very own slice of the Serengeti.

Hit the Road

Climb aboard one of our custom safari vehicles and roll out to explore the Sonoma Serengeti. From the canvas-covered shade of the truck, go in search of the marvelous megafauna of Africa. Your expert guide will track down graceful giraffes, nimble impala, imposing cape buffalo and maybe even a few hulking rhinoceros. You never know what you’re going to find!

Take a Stroll

While the view from the safari truck guarantees a great look at the herds, some animals need a more subtle approach. On the safari walk, saunter through the Amani Oasis Aviary where demoiselle cranes preen along the path and scarlet ibis soar overhead. Come face-to-face with a black-and-white colobus monkey, search out a cleverly camouflaged cheetah and watch the courtly parade of flamingos around their lagoon home.

Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalo by John Burgess

Safari at Dawn with Giraffes and Roan Antelope

Giraffes and Roan Antelope on the Sonoma Serengeti by Nancy Albury

Safari Tour with Kudu

Kudu by Katie Desmond

Safari with Giraffes

Safari with Giraffes by Mark Pressler

Ring-tailed Lemur

Ring-tailed Lemur by Marilyn Wyett

Amari Oasis Aviary Birds

Amari Oasis Aviary by John Burgess


Zebras by Nancy Goodenough

Safari Bontebok and Roan Antelope

Bontebok and Roan Antelope

  • Help Center
  • Plan Your Visit
  • Places to Stay
  • Youth Programs
  • Student & Youth Groups
  • Dining Programs
  • Events & Catering
  • Live Cameras
  • Our Mission

Giraffes walk by a safari truck

Get ready for an experience you’ll always remember!

Want to get up close and personal with your favorite wildlife, sit back and relax, or tackle a challenging adventure? Choose your safari!

Butterfly on a leaf

Butterfly Jungle Safari

  • $15 per person

Visit Butterfly Jungle in an all new way! Learn about the butterfly life cycle on your way into the Hidden Jungle aviary, then become immersed in the wonder of colorful, fluttering butterflies.

Giraffe staring at camera.

Wildlife Safari

  • Ages 3 & up
  • $92 & up per person

Travel in the back of a covered, open-air safari truck into our expansive savanna habitats, with an expert guide.  

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.  

greater one horned rhino with calf

Cart Safaris

  • $60 & up per person

Sit back in the comfort of a Safari cart, as you enjoy a 60-minute guided tour of the Park’s spacious African or Asian savanna habitats, led by one of our knowledgeable guides. 

Cheetah running head on.

Sun Up Cheetah Safari

  • $90 & up per person

Come join us at the Safari Park to see what happens before we open our gates to visitors, including watching a cheetah run at top speed!  

Tiger face

Ultimate Safari

  • $710 & up per person

Enjoy a custom safari experience of a lifetime! The Ultimate Safari is your key to exclusive areas, wildlife interactions, and the very best in personalized service.

camp tents overlooking East African habitat

Roar & Snore Safaris

  • $160 & up per person

Pack up your “trunk” for a sleepover adventure at the Safari Park! Choose from several age-appropriate sleepover categories with their own themes.  

Two park guests soaring over giraffes, rhinos, and gazelles as they ride the Safari Park's zipline.

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.

Save the Chubby Unicorn ShopZoo collection

Save the Chubby Unicorns

Gorilla Shadow ShopZoo collection

Gorilla Shadow

Hotel with pool


SDZWA adventures botswana elephant

Come Travel with Us!

SDZWA adventures monarch butterfly

Travel with us to see Monarchs

Groom and bride embracing as a giraffe looks on in the distance.

Picture Your Special Day at the Park!

Food Service Worker

Job Posting for Food Service Worker at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a nonprofit international conservation leader, committed to inspiring a passion for nature and creating a world where all life thrives. Empowering people from around the globe to support our mission to conserve wildlife through innovation and partnerships, we support cutting-edge conservation, and bring the stories of our work back to our two world-famous front doors — the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park — giving millions of guests, in person and virtually, the opportunity to experience conservation in action. The deep and extensive knowledge gained from more than a century of experience in wildlife care, health, veterinary services, nutrition and conservation makes us invaluable in the global effort to save species. Our team members play a crucial role in driving our conservation efforts forward and bringing us closer to a world where all life thrives.


The Food Service Clerk under supervision, prepares, serves and sells food items. A Food Service Clerk is assigned and responsible for one or more areas of food preparation, service, sales and maintenance. This position reports to the Food Stand Lead, Supervisor and Manager.


• Prepares and sells food items

• Assists with daily preparation of food items as needed

• Assists with the daily set-up and closure of assigned location

• Operates food service equipment and machines safely

• Assists with maintaining a safe and sanitary work area

• Keeps all necessary food items and supplies stocked

• Practices safe food handling procedures

• Follows cash handling protocol and procedures

• Operates a cash register and handles cash accurately

• Make Customer Service a top priority

• Provides information to guests or directs to a knowledgeable source

• Professionally handle difficult situations with employees or guests

• Good work ethics and meets Organization performance standards

• Assists new personnel as needed

• Assists Lead, Cooks, Manager and Supervisor as needed

• Compliance with SDZWA and Health Departments uniform standards

• Maintains a passing grade on the Environmental Health Department tests


  Commitment and top notch interpersonal skills to provide great customer service. Problem solving skills to identify practical solutions. Teamwork skills to work well with others and to be a productive member of the team. Applicants must be at least 16 years old and be available weekends and at least two weekdays. Please note if you are selected for this role you will be required to complete the Responsible Beverage Service Training (RBS) within 60 days of your hire date. Training will be provided to you by the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and completed on site.  

  • Education, training and/or experience which would clearly demonstrate the essential functions, knowledge and skills listed.  
  • Methods, materials and equipment used in food service
  • Food presentation and portion control of food items served in their location
  • Basic inventory controls and best practices
  • Basic usage and care of standard kitchen equipment and utensils
  • Safety rules and regulations
  • Guest service standards and policies and uniform standards
  • Operate food service equipment and machines safely
  • Operate a cash register accurately and effectively
  • Operate assigned tools and equipment safely
  • Multi-task and prioritize to meet the demands of business
  • Communicate effectively (verbal and written)
  • Deal tactfully and courteously with guests and employees
  • Work effectively in a team environment
  • Understand and carry out both verbal and written instructions
  • Work in a high volume, fast-paced environment
  • Work competently with large diverse groups of people


  • Free admission to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Family Passes
  • Complimentary Tickets
  • Local and In-House Discounts
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Wellness Program


  • Location:   Escondido , CA
  • Position Type:   Hourly, Part-Time, Non-Exempt, Union Position - If selected, there will be fees and dues to be paid to the union
  • Hourly Rate:   $17.00

Be an ally for wildlife by joining our team!

At San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, we thrive on celebrating our differences. Diversity is vital for the benefit of our team members, our guests, our community, and our wildlife.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, or other legally protected status.

If you require a reasonable accommodation to complete an application, please email your request to   [email protected]   and provide the job title and location to which you are applying.

As a Federal Contractor, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is required to participate in the E-Verify Program to confirm eligibility to work in the United States.  

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a drug free   workplace.

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Top California Travel and Lifestyle Blogger | Gennifer Rose

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Pros and Cons of Each Park

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Balloon Safari inside Safari Park.

Balloon Safari Ride inside Safari Park.

San Diego is a desirable vacation destination for many reasons. The weather is excellent year-round, the beaches are pristine, and San Diego is home to two of the most world-famous animal parks.

Both the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park are enormous parks filled with a huge variety of rare and endangered wildlife. You can easily spend an entire day exploring each park, which leads to the conundrum of how to decide which park to visit during your trip. Hence this guide!

My husband and I are former San Diego residents, and my entire in-law family still live there. We’ve spent many family vacations exploring both the animal parks with our kids, and we can provide both a local and insider perspective.

In this comprehensive guide you’ll find detailed information about both animal park’s exhibits, top animals to see, location information, baby and kid-friendly pointers, and even what to eat. We’ve left no stone unturned and you can use all these tips to help you make an itinerary decision.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Panoramic aerial views of Safari Park.

Panoramic aerial views of Safari Park.

Key Stats About the Parks

Which park is bigger.

If you’re just looking at the number of acres, the Safari Park is by far much bigger than the San Diego Zoo. But in reality a huge portion of the land inside the Safari Park is set aside for conservation and very expansive animal enclosures. 

When you’re only considering the actual walkable areas that are open to the public, the Safari Park is still bigger, but only by a little over 10 acres. As you’ll see in this comprehensive guide, the Safari Park has a much more spread out layout and you can expect more walking in between exhibits.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Giraffes viewed from the Africa Tram inside the Safari Park.

Giraffes viewed from the Africa Tram inside the Safari Park.

Where are the two parks located?

The San Diego Zoo is located in the heart of San Diego in Balboa Park . If you’re staying in popular neighborhoods such as North Park , Hillcrest , Little Italy , Mission Beach or San Diego Old Town , the zoo is less than a 15 drive (assuming no traffic). You wouldn’t have to rent a car during your stay, you could easily take a ride share Uber or Lyft to the zoo.

The Safari Park is located in Escondido , which is much further north and inland than the zoo. You can expect a minimum of a 35 minute drive, and you would definitely want to rent a car for this location.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Lion exhibit inside the Safari Park.

Lion exhibit inside the Safari Park.

What’s the Weather at Each Park?

Because the San Diego Zoo is located closer to the ocean, the weather is cooler and more mild, especially during the summer months.

The Safari Park is located in Escondido, which is further inland and has hotter summer temperatures. If you’re traveling to San Diego during the peak heat months of July, August and September, be sure to check the weather before heading out to the park. Some days will reach to the very high 90’s and 100’s degrees.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Animal views from the Africa Tram inside the Safari Park.

Animal views from the Africa Tram inside the Safari Park.

Which Park Has More Shade on Hot Days?

Not only is the weather at the San Diego Zoo more temperate, but the zoo also has more shaded areas. The Safari Park is more open and sprawling, with less shaded areas. After all, it was meant for wild African animals who can withstand high temperatures!

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - The Somali Wild Ass viewed from the Africa Tram inside the Safari Park.

The Somali Wild Ass viewed from the Africa Tram inside the Safari Park.

Ticket Prices for the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

Which park entrance fee more expensive.

The ticket prices for both parks are pretty much the same. If you buy ahead of time online you can save a few dollars on the ticket price.

The main difference is that the Safari Park charges a $15 parking fee per vehicle. And there’s no street parking available outside the parking lot because you’re literally in the middle of a vast rural area.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Elephant exhibit inside the Safari Park.

Elephant exhibit inside the Safari Park.

Is it worth it to buy the discounted pass for both parks?

If you are staying in San Diego for several days and are looking for fun things to do, it may be worth it to save on the bundle price of two entrance fees. The two visit pass costs $110, saving you $20 a person because a one-time ticket costs $65.

There’s also an option to purchase a 3 ticket bundle with Sea World for $173, making each ticket around the price of $57 per adult and slightly less per child.

You should definitely allow for an entire day for each park. These amusement and animal parks are very large and it really takes several hours to experience it all.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Animals viewed from the Africa Tram inside the Safari Park.

Animals viewed from the Africa Tram inside the Safari Park.

Do they charge for parking?

As I mentioned above, the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park does not charge for parking, but the Safari Park in Escondido charges $15 per car to park.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Giraffes viewed from the Africa Tram inside the Safari Park.

How much time should I spend in each park?

According to the official website, they recommend that you allot between 3 - 4 hours for your visit to the Zoo, and 4 - 6 hours for the Safari Park. From my own personal memory from visiting both parks, you will spend more time walking between exhibits at the Safari Park, because the park is more sprawled out, versus the more condensed landscape of the Zoo.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Elephant exhibit inside the Safari Park.

The History Behind the Safari Park

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park was known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park until 2010. The Safari Park sits on 1,800 acres in San Pasqual Valley area of San Diego, California, near Escondido.

If you just want to see animals up close then definitely the Zoo. I appreciate the Safari Park for its larger habitats and conservation efforts but it's harder to see the animals unless you want to pay a premium price for one of the safari experiences they offer.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Kingfisher inside the Safari Park.

Kingfisher inside the Safari Park.

The Difference Between the Animal Enclosures and Exhibits at Each Park

The San Diego Zoo is more like an old-school traditional zoo, with smaller enclosures which allows more up-close viewing of the animals.

The Safari Park offers more of an authentic atmosphere for the animals, especially with the large safari enclosure. You can see the animals walking around freely to the point where you actually feel like you’re on an actually on a safari. The draw back is that you may have minimal viewing of the animals, and in some cases they are completely out of view entirely.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Elephant Odyssey exhibit inside the San Diego Zoo.

Elephant Odyssey exhibit inside the San Diego Zoo.

Variety of Animals in Each Park

Both parks have the most popular animals such as elephants, lions, tigers and other large mammals.

The San Diego Zoo has a wider range of animal species available for the public to view, but both parks have an excellent range of animals.

If there’s a specific animal you want to see, be sure to check their website or inquire with the help desk to make sure that animal is still available to the public.

The pandas were a very popular attraction at the San Diego Zoo, but sadly they are no longer at the zoo. They have returned home to China.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Colorful lorikeets inside the San Diego Zoo.

Colorful lorikeets inside the San Diego Zoo.

Scenic Atmospheres Inside the Parks

When walking through the San Diego Zoo, it feels more like a botanical garden with a wide variety of plant life and canopies of foliage.

The Safari Park has more concrete and walking trails between each exhibit, with less consideration for creating an experience with gardens and plants. Although some exhibits are exceptional, like the bamboo Tiger Trail for example.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Unfortunately the Giant Pandas have left the San Diego Zoo.

Unfortunately the Giant Pandas have left the San Diego Zoo.

Highlights to See at the Safari Park

The Safari Park has several designated areas where visitors can experience unique animal habitats. These include:

African Woods

African Outpost

Elephant Valley

Nairobi Village

Gorilla Forest

Asian Savannah

African Plains

Condor Ridge

Tiger Trail

Safari Tram

The single most popular attraction inside the Safari Park is the Safari Tram. I can best describe this experience just like the movie Jurassic Park where you ride around in an open air tram car and view the animals as they roam around in open field enclosures.

Best part is that the Safari Tram is free and included in the price of your admission ticket.

An insider pro tip for this ride is to go first thing to avoid the lines. Also, the animals are most active in the morning and then to get lazy and lethargic in the afternoon.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Unfortunately the Giant Pandas have left the San Diego Zoo.

Skyfari Aerial Tram inside the Safari Diego Zoo.

Safari Park Tiger Trail

Another very popular attraction at the Safari Park is the Tiger Trail. At this well-designed animal exhibit you can possibly see excellent up-close views of the tigers (depending on where they’re hanging out that day).

In the Tiger Trail there’s a beautiful walkway with extremely tall bamboo plants, which really creates a visitor experience. There’s also a play area for small kids, and if you’re very lucky you can play tug o’ war with a real life tiger on the other side of the glass.

Safari Park Walkabout Australia

Did you ever think you could walk right into an animal enclosure and actually stand face-to-face with real wild animals? Well the Walkabout Australia is a truly unique experience where you literally walk among the kangaroos and wallabies. Think like a petting zoo… without the petting! Lol

Safari Park Cheetah Run

One of the most memorable experiences at the Safari Park is the famous Cheetah Run. Cheetahs are the fastest land animal and watching them dash at high speeds is really a thrill.

The Cheetah Run usually happens around 3:30pm in the afternoon, but you should definitely confirm that with the staff when you arrive. The run is available for everyone to view from afar, but you can also purchase premium viewing seats for an up-close experience.

Safari Park Petting Kraal

The Petting Kraal is located in Nairobi Village is it’s a great opportunity for kids to touch some playful goats and other friendly animals. Young children especially enjoy this experience!

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Aerial views of the San Diego Zoo from the Skyfari Aerial Tram.

Aerial views of the San Diego Zoo from the Skyfari Aerial Tram.

If you love an inspirational comeback story, then put the Condor Ridge on your must see list. If grew up in California during the 80’s like me, you were probably told that the California Condor would be extinct by the time you reached adulthood. Due to the incredible conservation efforts of wildlife organization California Condor Recovery Program, the California Condor is now thriving in the wild.

At the Condor Ridge exhibit inside the Safari Park, you can see these magnificent birds up close.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Views of the Botanical Building inside Balboa Park from the Skyfari Aerial Tram in the San Diego Zoo.

Views of the Botanical Building inside Balboa Park from the Skyfari Aerial Tram in the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Views of the California Tower and Dome inside Balboa Park from the Skyfari Aerial Tram in the San Diego Zoo.

Views of the California Tower and Dome inside Balboa Park from the Skyfari Aerial Tram in the San Diego Zoo.

Lorikeet Landing

One of my daughter’s favorite memories from the Safari Park is feeding the lorikeets some nectar while they rested on her arm. In this large atrium you can pay a few dollars for little nectar cups. The very outgoing bird residents will come land on your arms and shoulders to drink a sweet snack.

Insider tip - If you’re one of the first visitors of the day to the Lorikeet Landing, these very excited birds will swarm around you and you’ll have several new friends in a matter of seconds!

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Giant Anteaters in the San Diego Zoo.

Giant Anteaters in the San Diego Zoo.

Is it worth it to pay for the Extra Safari Add on Experiences at the Safari Park?

In addition to paying for your admission ticket, you can also add on a premium experience known as a “ Safari .” There’s a wide range of add on excursions available, and they all give you the opportunity to get more up-close with the animals. In some cases you can hand feed the giraffes and rhinos in their enclosures.

These add on experiences don’t come cheap, in fact that they usually cost more than the price of admission (and you still have to pay for your admission ticket). So you’re easily looking at spending over $200 per person.

So, it is worth it? For myself, I think my kids at this point are too young to fully appreciate the value of all the extras. But if you’ve got an older child who’s a big fan of a particular kind of animal, then the extra fees could be worth it for a birthday present or special event. If you’re trying to stay on a budget, steer clear of all the pricey add on fees.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Lions in the San Diego Zoo.

Lions in the San Diego Zoo.

Highlights to See at the San Diego Zoo

As a mentioned above, the San Diego Zoo is more of a typical zoo experience, but is still a truly stellar animal park. The San Diego Zoo is home to over 3,500 animals, making it truly a challenge to see them all in one day.

The zoo has created large main areas and themed walking and trails, making it easier to plan your visit and prioritize your favorite animals.

The main San Diego Zoo areas include:

The Lost Forest

Northern Frontier

Asian Passage

Elephant Odyssey

Africa Rocks

Urban Jungle

Discovery Outpost

San Diego Zoo walking trails include:

Aviary Trail

Fern Canyon Trail

Hippo Trail

Monkey Trail

Orangutan Trail

Sun Bear Trail

Top Special Experiences at the San Diego Zoo

Similar to the Safari Park, you can also purchase add-on experiences at the San Diego Zoo to see the animals more up-close. These range from animal encounters with big cats, sloths and behind the scene tours.

Again, these add-ons are not cheap, and often cost more than your entrance fee. I would reserve these for special occasions, unless you just want to splurge.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Elephant Odyssey exhibit inside the San Diego Zoo.

Which Park Has the Best Food Options?

Similar to all amusement parks, you can expect to pay a premium price for food purchased inside the park. While both parks have overpriced food, the selections are not terrible. You’ll find a variety of food genres including typical American fare, Asian fusion, Tex-Mex and more.

Both parks have options for semi-formal sit down dining, casual dining and to-go food options.

Watering Hole restaurant and bar at the Kijami Overlook in the Safari Park

If you’re celebrating a special event, or you want to enjoy a meal with a view, the Watering Hole Restaurant is a great option. From your table you can see the Kijami Overlook at the Safari Park. You can look down and see a giant savannah with giraffes, rhinos and all kinds of other animals.

Can you bring your own food inside the park?

Yes, you can bring your own food into both parks. If you’re on a budget, have picky eaters, or are concerned about allergies or dietary restrictions, I suggest you pack a lunch and snacks to bring with you for the day.

Which Park Sells Alcohol?

For all the adults out there looking to kick back in the zoo with a brewski, both parks serve craft beer and you can walk around with your drink in hand.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Jaguar in the San Diego Zoo.

Jaguar in the San Diego Zoo.

Which Park is Better for Families with Babies and Toddlers?

Which park is better for families with young children.

I’ve seen reviews from other parents saying that their kids would get a little bored and tired walking around the expansive Safari Park. The Zoo in Balboa Park is more condensed and you can see the animals more up-close.

That being said, if you have very young babies and toddlers who are likely to be napping, pushing them around the Safari Park in a stroller could be ideal because you have more smooth terrain. Just make sure you’re not going during peak heat times.

Are there Play Areas for Kids?

Both the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park have designed play areas and climbing structures for kids to enjoy. These areas can help them get their energy out, and maybe get them tuckered out for a stroller or ride home nap.

Which Park is more Stroller-Friendly?

Both parks have smooth paved trails and ramps for strollers. And they both also have single and double strollers for rent.

To be more detailed, the San Diego Zoo has more hills and condensed foot traffic, while Safari Park is flatter and pedestrians have more room for walking.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Tapir in the San Diego Zoo.

Tapir in the San Diego Zoo.

More Helpful Information About Both Parks

Could you do both parks in one day.

The answer to this is a big NO! Both parks are huge and require several hours to thoroughly see everything. Plus the fact that they’re far apart and you’d spend a big chunk of time driving back and forth.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Tapir and llama in the San Diego Zoo.

Tapir and llama in the San Diego Zoo.

Transportation Options Inside the Parks

The San Diego Zoo has a Guided Bus Tour and the Skyfari Aerial Tram .

The Bus Tour is free with your entrance ticket and it’s a 35 minute round-trip spin through the park. This is a great way to get the lay of the land, and to get off your feet for a bit.

The Skyfari Aerial Tram is also included with your entrance ticket, and it’s another amazing way to kick back for a bit. You will be flying high in sky and seeing panoramic views of Balboa Park and the zoo grounds. I don not recommend this ride for people with fear of heights. Children must be a minimum of 8-years-old.

The Safari Park only has the African tram, and the rest is on foot. You’ll really burn some calories at this park. Wear good walking shoes!

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Spotted llama in the San Diego Zoo.

Spotted llama in the San Diego Zoo.

Electronic Scooters for Elderly and Guests with Disabilities

If walking is not an option for someone in your party, you can rent electronic scooters for $60. They are first come, first serve at guest services . If you have your own, you are welcome to bring it into the park.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Elephant Odyssey exhibit inside the San Diego Zoo.

What Days of the Year are the Parks Open?

Both the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park are open 365 days a year, including all holidays. Spend Christmas Day with your wildlife friends!

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Pros and Cons of Each Park

Bear in the San Diego Zoo.

Which park is more crowded?

The San Diego Zoo has always seemed more crowded to me. Both because of the condensed layout, and the fact that it’s located in the city center. The Safari Park is more spacious and gives visitors more space to walk freely.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Elephant Odyssey exhibit inside the San Diego Zoo.

Are there any shopping areas inside the parks?

Shopping options for necessary provisions is minimal. They have gift shops with your typical touristy toys and bubble wands, but supplies for babies and toddlers is hard to come by. Make sure to bring all your necessities with you and pack a well-stocked diaper bag with extra diapers, wipes, pacifiers, sunscreen, water bottles, etc.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Secretary Bird in the San Diego Zoo.

Secretary Bird in the San Diego Zoo.

Which Park Has Reptiles?

My son is a big fan of lizards, snakes and reptiles, probably even more than the big mammals. The San Diego Zoo has the Discovery Outpost Klauber-Shaw Reptile House with a wide variety of reptiles. The Safari Park has little to none selection of reptiles, so keep that in mind.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Tarantula in the San Diego Zoo.

Tarantula in the San Diego Zoo.

Which park has bugs?

The San Diego Zoo has an Arthropods section, otherwise known as bugs. My kids love to see big tarantulas, butterflies, scorpions, beetles and all kinds of big bugs. These are mostly found at the San Diego Zoo, and not so much the Safari Park.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Antelope inside San Diego Zoo.

Antelope inside San Diego Zoo.

Final Thoughts…

Both parks are amazing, but almost all San Diego locals have a favorite one. Depending on your own zoo style and philosophy, there’s a strong case for visiting both (but not on the same day!). Drop a comment below and tell us which is your favorite park and why!

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Camel in the San Diego Zoo.

Camel in the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Flamingos in the San Diego Zoo.

Flamingos in the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Africa Rocks exhibit in the San Diego Zoo.

Africa Rocks exhibit in the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Penguins inside the Africa Rocks exhibit in the San Diego Zoo.

Penguins inside the Africa Rocks exhibit in the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Leopard Sharks inside the Africa Rocks exhibit in the San Diego Zoo.

Leopard Sharks inside the Africa Rocks exhibit in the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Tropical Hibiscus flowers inside the San Diego Zoo.

Tropical Hibiscus flowers inside the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Dwarf Crocodile inside the Africa Rocks exhibit in the San Diego Zoo.

Dwarf Crocodile inside the Africa Rocks exhibit in the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Yellow Crotalus Simus venomous pit viper snake inside the San Diego Zoo.

Yellow Crotalus Simus venomous pit viper snake inside the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Blue tree monitor lizard formally known as Varanus macraei inside the San Diego Zoo.

Blue tree monitor lizard formally known as Varanus macraei inside the San Diego Zoo.

See More San Diego Travel Guides:

La Jolla Travel Guide - Best Family-Friendly Things to Do

Best Baby and Kid-Friendly Things to Do in San Diego

Hiking Guide to Potato Chip Rock

Instagram Guide to the Carlsbad Flower Fields

The Best Things to Do in North Park, San Diego

Book Your Stay in San Diego:

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Pros and Cons of Each Park

Andaz Hotel

Enjoy a rooftop pool and skyscraper views during your stay at the Andaz Hotel in Downtown San Diego.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Pros and Cons of Each Park

La Valencia Hotel

If you want a true Southern California beach vacation, book a gorgeous room at La Valencia which is just steps from the ocean.

San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Pros and Cons of Each Park

Hotel Del Coronado

Another coveted beachy vacation spot is the iconic Hotel Del Coronado, which is located next to a world-famous beach.


San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park - Pros and Cons of Each Park

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Hours 10:00am- 5:00pm


SF Zoo

About the Zoo


The San Francisco Zoo is designed with the underlying belief that nature-focused interaction leads to conservation action. Learning about animals here inspires visitors to care for all wildlife.

san francisco zoo safari park

Nestled against the Pacific Ocean, the San Francisco Zoo is an urban oasis. It is home to over 2,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals representing more than 250 species and lovely peaceful gardens full of native and foreign plants.

The majestic Leanne Roberts African Region and the Valentine Family Savanna offer a multi-species landscape with giraffes, zebras, kudu, ostriches, storks, and more. At Hearst Grizzly Gulch, visitors can get nose-to-nose with rescued grizzly sisters Kachina and Kiona. Lemurs leap through the Lipman Family Lemur Forest, the largest outdoor lemur habitat in the country. Penguin Island is home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins outside of the wild. The Zoo’s troop of gorillas lives in the lush Jones Family Gorilla Preserve. Farm animals for feeding and petting can be found in the popular Fisher Family Children’s Zoo. The historic 1921 Dentzel Carousel and the 1904 miniature Little Puffer steam train are treasured by generations of visitors. And the reimagined Elinor Friend Playground offers accessible playtime for all ages. The SF Zoo offers an engaging experience for its guests, including fun rides, educational programs and exciting events throughout the year. The SF Zoo is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

History of the Zoo

Historic sites  , board of directors, associations, joint zoo committee, volunteer/jobs, accessibility, accessibility modes, online dictionary, readable experience, visually pleasing experience, easy orientation.

San Francisco Zoo & Gardens Accessibility Statement

Accessibility Statement

Compliance status:.

We strongly believe in the importance of making the Internet available and accessible to everyone. Therefore, we are dedicated to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of their circumstances or abilities.

To achieve this goal, we strive to adhere closely to the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) at the AA level. These guidelines provide instructions on how to make web content accessible to people with various disabilities. By following these guidelines, we ensure that our website is accessible to individuals with visual impairments, motor impairments, cognitive disabilities, and more.

Our website incorporates technologies that enhance accessibility at all times. We utilize an accessibility interface that allows users with specific disabilities to customize the website's user interface (UI) according to their needs.

Additionally, our website employs an AI-based application that continuously optimizes its accessibility level. This application enhances the website's HTML and adjusts its functionality and behavior for screen-reader users and individuals with motor impairments.

If you come across any malfunctions or have suggestions for improvement, we welcome your feedback. Please contact the website's operators at the following email address: [contactEmail].

Screen reader and keyboard navigation:

Our website has implemented the ARIA attributes (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) technique and other behavioral modifications to ensure that visitors using screen readers can effectively read, understand, and interact with the website. Upon entering the site, screen reader users are prompted to enter the Screen-Reader Profile, enabling them to browse and navigate the website seamlessly. Here are some important ways our website addresses screen reader requirements:

Screen-reader optimization:

We employ a background process that comprehensively learns the website's components, ensuring ongoing compliance even during updates. This process provides screen readers with meaningful data using ARIA attributes. For instance, we provide accurate form labels, descriptions for actionable icons (e.g., social media icons, search icons, cart icons), validation guidance for form inputs, and proper roles for elements like buttons, menus, and modal dialogues. Additionally, the background process scans all website images, generating accurate and meaningful descriptions using image-object-recognition-based ALT tags. It also extracts embedded text within images using optical character recognition (OCR) technology. Users can activate screen reader adjustments at any time by pressing the Alt+1 keyboard combination. Upon entering the website, screen reader users receive automatic announcements to enable the Screen-Reader mode.

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The background process enhances the website's HTML and adds JavaScript code to enable keyboard operability. This includes features such as navigating the website using the Tab and Shift+Tab keys, operating dropdown menus with arrow keys, closing them with Esc, triggering buttons and links using the Enter key, navigating between radio buttons and checkboxes with arrow keys, and filling them in with the Spacebar or Enter key. Keyboard users can access quick navigation and content-skip menus at any time by pressing Alt+1 or by finding them as the first elements while navigating using the keyboard. The background process also handles triggered popups by focusing the keyboard on them when they appear, preventing the focus from drifting outside.

Our adjustments are compatible with popular screen readers like JAWS and NVDA.

Disability profiles supported on our website:

Our website provides various disability profiles to support individuals with specific accessibility needs:

  • Epilepsy Safe Mode: This profile eliminates the risk of seizures caused by flashing or blinking animations and risky color combinations.
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Additional UI, design, and readability adjustments:

We offer several UI, design, and readability adjustments to enhance the user experience for all visitors:

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We strive to support a wide range of browsers and assistive technologies, allowing users to choose the tools that best suit their needs. Our website has been extensively tested and works well on major systems, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera, and Microsoft Edge. We ensure compatibility with screen readers like JAWS and NVDA, both for Windows and MAC users.

Notes, comments, and feedback:

While we have made significant efforts to make our website accessible to everyone, there may still be pages or sections that are not fully accessible or lack adequate technological solutions. We are continuously improving our accessibility features, incorporating new technologies, and working towards achieving the optimal level of accessibility. If you require assistance or have any feedback, please contact us at [contactEmail].


  1. San Francisco Zoo: Tickets, Directions, Attractions and Tours

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  2. Zoo Map

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  3. About the Zoo

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  4. San Francisco Zoo

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  5. Wild Safari Animal Park Day Adventure from San Francisco

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  6. San Francisco Zoo, California

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  1. Home Page

    The mission of San Francisco Zoo & Gardens is to connect all people with wildlife, inspire caring for nature and advance conservation action. Open 365 days a year, San Francisco Zoo is home to more than 2,000 exotic, endangered, and rescued animals in 100 acres of majestic and peaceful gardens located directly on the Pacific Coast.

  2. Visiting San Francisco

    San Francisco is a city with so much to offer, from the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to the beautiful Golden Gate Park. But if you're looking for a fun and educational day out for the whole family, be sure to visit the San Francisco Zoo. The zoo is home to over 2,000 animals from all over the world, so you're sure to see something new and ...

  3. 12 Things You Can't Miss at the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

    Located where San Francisco's Sunset District meets the wide open Pacific Ocean, the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens is an urban oasis home to more than 2,000 exotic, endangered, and rescued animals. Covering 100 acres of land, the Zoo offers visitors the chance to get up close to some of the most beautiful and fascinating creatures on the planet.

  4. SF Zoo

    The San Francisco Zoo is Northern California's largest zoological park and conservation center. Zoo highlights include a three-acre African Savanna with giraffe, zebra, and ostrich; five species of lemur; an Australian WalkAbout, scheduled public feedings of penguins, lions, and tigers; a Gorilla Preserve; Grizzly Gulch, the historic Little Puffer steam train, a Dentzel Carousel, and a Family ...

  5. San Francisco Zoo

    The San Francisco Zoo is a 100-acre (40 ha) zoo located in the southwestern corner of San Francisco, California, between Lake Merced and the Pacific Ocean along the Great Highway.The SF Zoo is a public institution, managed by the non-profit San Francisco Zoological Society, a 501(c)(3) organization. As of 2016, the zoo housed more than one thousand individual animals, representing more than ...

  6. San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

    Whether you've got children in tow or you're on a grown-up getaway, San Francisco Zoo, located on the city's south-west side, is a fun way to spend a day, especially when combined with playtime on or a wander along nearby Ocean Beach. The urban oasis originally opened in 1929, back when the animal enclosures were mostly cages or concrete pens, and it has come a very long way since.

  7. San Francisco Zoo & Gardens

    Check the San Francisco Zoo's site for a map and a daily schedule of special events and animal interactions, ranging from grizzly bear feeding time to talks with big-cat keepers. The zoo is open 365 days a year, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Insider tips: Ticket prices are $25 a day for adults, with discounts for seniors and children under 14.

  8. Safari West

    Safari West Presents! Marine Mammal Center. Saturday March 23, 2024 | 8:00pm - 8:30pm. Conservation Dinner Series:Danielle Henderson of Marine Mammal Centerjoins us in the elephant room after dinner to give a talk about our local marine mammals.

  9. Meet Solongo and Bajkit: The pair of rare wild horses who find new home

    San Francisco Zoo & Gardens (SF Zoo) welcomed two Przewalski's horses, 17-year-old "Solongo," born at the Canyon Colorado Equid Sanctuary, and 22-year-old "Bajkit" born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Both lived together at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. Also known as the Asiatic wild or Mongolian wild horse, it is a critically ...

  10. Top 10 Best drive thru animal safari Near San Francisco, California

    1. Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. "I always end my Senior Safari visit by riding the beautiful carousel before I leave!" more. 2. Oakland Zoo. "After an easy drive and totally affordable $9.00 parking fee you arrive under a huge safari gate." more. 3. San Francisco Zoo. "Favorite Exhibits: - I loved the safari exhibit with all the giraffes ...

  11. TOP 10 BEST Wildlife Safari in San Francisco, CA

    Top 10 Best Wildlife Safari in San Francisco, CA - March 2024 - Yelp - Next Adventure, San Francisco Zoo, California Academy of Sciences, Wilderness Travel, Sonoma Zipline Adventures, San Francisco Food Safari, Urban Safari Tours, Mission Dolores Park, Whisper Charters ... Mission Dolores Park. 4.6 (1.5k reviews)

  12. The tragic history of the Bay Area's forgotten zoos

    The elephants spent the winter away from their regular carnival entertaining in Golden Gate Park from November 21, 1891, to March 8, 1892, at the Children's Quarter. They performed two shows a ...

  13. 23 Exciting Safaris in CALIFORNIA (Most Fun)

    Address: San Diego Zoo Safari Park, 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027. 2. Northern Frontier (Arctic Wildlife Habitat) Northern Frontier of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a 1,000-acre habitat for species from the Arctic, sub-Arctic, and northern temperate regions.

  14. Go on Safari!

    If your service animal is disruptive at any time, you will be asked to remove your service dog from the park. If you're going to need to bring your service animal, you must call (707) 579-2551 at least 72 hours in advance to make arrangements. ... Safari West is the home of more than 800 wild animals, with all their natural behaviors and ...

  15. Safaris

    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.

  16. Zoos & aquariums

    San Diego Zoo & San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Discover your passion for wildlife when you visit the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park. Get tickets. ... The California Academy of Sciences, based in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, and natural history museum—all under a living roof.

  17. Externships CA

    The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance externship program provides a diverse clinical experience at either the San Diego Safari Park or San Diego Zoo. Students can select which location they would like to extern at during the application process. ... San Francisco Zoo & Gardens currently maintains a collection of approximately 800 animals ...

  18. Explore Wildlife at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens: Get Your Tickets Today!

    San Francisco Zoo is a perfect destination for families seeking adventure and bonding time. Witness the delight on your children's faces as they come face-to-face with their favorite animals. Navigate our 100-acre park featuring gardens, lakes, and animals in indoor and outdoor habitats, tactile animal sculptures, and the largest playground ...

  19. Welcome to Wildlife Conservation: San Francisco Zoo & Gardens!

    San Francisco Zoo & Gardens is located at Sloat Boulevard and the Great Highway, just across from Ocean Beach. SF Zoo is home to a wide array of exotic, endangered, and rescued animals. Come explore our 100-acre zoo and gardens, stay for lunch at the Leaping Lemur Café, or play in the largest and most unique playground in San Francisco! ...

  20. Food Service Worker Job Opening in Escondido, CA at San Diego Zoo

    San Francisco, CA; Dallas, TX; Search. Salary Job Openings. Food Service Worker. San Diego Zoo Safari Park. ... POSTED ON 3/17/2024. Job Posting for Food Service Worker at San Diego Zoo Safari Park. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a nonprofit international conservation leader, committed to inspiring a passion for nature and creating a world ...

  21. San Diego Zoo vs. Safari Park

    The History Behind the Safari Park. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park was known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park until 2010. The Safari Park sits on 1,800 acres in San Pasqual Valley area of San Diego, California, near Escondido. If you just want to see animals up close then definitely the Zoo.

  22. San Diego Zoo Safari Park welcomes spring with monarch butterfly

    Celebrate the arrival of spring at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, with the Butterfly Jungle exhibition where visitors can stroll around the Hidden Jungle aviary among hundreds of colorful butterflies, feed them, and learn about them.. It is a wonderful and perfect experience for the whole family. In addition, every visit and economic contribution helps to save wildlife both in the zoo and all over ...

  23. 203 Best Brunch Restaurants In Bay Park

    Book now at Brunch restaurants near me in Bay Park on OpenTable. Explore reviews, menus & photos and find the perfect spot for any occasion. ... to be scheduled on Sunday May 5th 2019 from 11 am to 2 pm in a beautiful environment Artefact Winery Escondido near the San Diego Safari Zoo Park. This winery offers a unique panoramic view surrounded ...

  24. About the Zoo

    Nestled against the Pacific Ocean, the San Francisco Zoo is an urban oasis. It is home to over 2,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals representing more than 250 species and lovely peaceful gardens full of native and foreign plants. The majestic Leanne Roberts African Region and the Valentine Family Savanna offer a multi-species landscape ...

  25. Dallas Museum of Art, Majestic Theatre, other venues could get upgrades

    Downtown roads and venues could get major upgrades if Dallas voters approve a $1.25 billion bond package in May. City officials just released a spreadsheet detailing potential projects. Read on to ...