San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido

San Diego Zoo Safari Park is much like a typical zoo but with a large area that is designed for the preservation of African animals. This is the main draw, as the park offers all sorts of tours and safaris that take you up close and personal with these animals in their free roaming area. It’s actually a lot of fun, and a unique way to have a safari type experience without leaving the country, plus there are hundreds of other animals to see while you are there as well. Here is all the information on this park and let me know what you think in the comments.


  • Cost: $58 for adults, $48 for kids (as of 2019)
  • This information was from my visit in 2019
  • Location: 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027
  • Read more about my favorite spots in San Diego here

Getting There

The park is located about 30 minutes north of Downtown San Diego. To get there, you will take the 163 North to the 15 North and then get off on exit 27 for Rancho Parkway. Turn right and follow the signs which will direct you to the park, about 5 miles off the freeway. There is parking right at the Safari Park.

The Park

After arriving and finding a place to park, you will make your way up the small hill to the entrance of the Safari Park.

The park is pretty massive, at over 1,800 acres (most of which is for the animals in the African Plains area), so it is best to plan what you want to see, as it may be hard to see it all.

I would recommend going over to the African Plains area first and getting in line to ride the tram.

Depending on when you go, the line could be long, and it is best to do this experience first since it is the highlight of the park.

The ride takes about 45 minutes, and it goes throughout the African plains recreation they have there with rhinos, giraffes, antelope, etc.

You stay on the tram the entire time, but you have the opportunity to see all sorts of animals, depending on where they are at since it is a cage-free zone.

I have been on this many times, but it is different every time and always a lot of fun.

After you have finished the ride, you can make your way to one of the half dozen or so distinct areas they have around the park.

I love elephants, so that is where I always go first. Also, the park is famous for its condor rehabilitation program, so that is a good area to see as well.

I would recommend finding out when the cheetah run happens and planning to see that also. The cheetah run is a fantastic experience as it allows you to see how fast cheetahs can actually run, and it is something I will never forget.

Also, another favorite of mine was feeding the lorikeet birds. You can pay for a little nectar, and they will land on your hands to eat it. It is a blast.

This is just a taste of what you can see on a visit to the Safari Park as there are over 300 species of animals there.

I would recommend that you visit, it is a cool experience in California. I like it better than the San Diego Zoo, but they are both run by the same company, and depending on how much you like animals, you might want to go to both. Let me know what you think in the comments!

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