October 20, 2017

Spring Break: More Wild Animals at Lion Country Safari

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It’s hard to believe we’re flying home tomorrow morning. Worse, we’re flying home to an unseasonably low 51 degrees, and that’s the expected high for the day. So on our last day here in South Florida we gave the kids the choice to either go to the beach or go on a driving safari to see wild animals at Lion Country Safari. The vote was two-to-one and we were on our way to see giraffes, lions and chimpanzees.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Florida’s only “drive-through safari,” but the kids loved the experience. The driving tour can take up to an hour and to start we were given an audio CD to pop into the CD player to guide us through the different sections of the park, including the “Serengeti Plains,” “Las Pampas” and “Gir Forest.” The CD shared fun facts about different animals we might see on the tour.

We also received a useful full-color guide full of photos and names of each of the animals located in each section, along with the range where the animals live in the wild as well as fast facts. Did you know that the content of one ostrich egg is equivalent to two dozen chicken eggs? I definitely left knowing a lot more about these wild animals than before we arrived.

It was also impressive that zebras, rhinoceros and ostriches came very close to the car (a few even crossed right behind our car). Now this won’t be everyone’s experience. Of course a lot depends on the time of day and the weather, so we were happy to see so many animals up close and personal.

Unfortunately, we had time only to take the driving tour of Lion Country Safari. There are many more animals to see walking around the park, as well as several amusement rides (e.g., ferris wheel, carousel) and opportunities to feed giraffes and lories (small, colorful parrots).

In addition to the drive-through safari and activities families can do on their own, there are many organized activities at Lion Country Safari, including scout workshops and guided photo tours. You can also print out scavenger hunt worksheets by grade level that encourage students to search for answers around the property by reading exhibit signs and referring to the guide booklet.

Similar to many other zoos and aquariums, Lion Country Safari also offers VIP Tours complete with “behind-the-scenes” encounters and complimentary animal feeding coupons. At a cost of $120 per person (ages 10 and up) and $90 per small child (ages 5 to 9) I have to wonder if these extra special tours are worth the price of admission. Clearly that’s a topic for another post.

Regardless, if you’re planning a trip to Lion Country Safari, be sure to print out this $6-off coupon. If you’re not near a printer, you’ll find $6-off coupons in many local newspapers too.

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