A Day at Safari Park

When I first moved to San Diego, and my children were little, I had heard about San Diego’s “world-famous zoo” and how magnificent it was. And, true to its word and reputation, I found it to be a really spectacular zoo. If you visit, it’s not to be missed.

But, if you venture a ways out of town, heading north on Interstate 15 to Escondido, you’ll discover the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The two zoos are related, as both are operated by a not-for-profit organization. But while the zoo comprises 100 acres and is home to over 3,700 rare and endangered animals, the Safari Park is a wildlife sanctuary that sits on 1,800 acres. For those who have trouble with math, that’s a mere 1,700 acres more than the zoo has!

Yet, as expansive as the Safari Park is, fewer animals reside there. About 1,000 less, which means, the animals sure have LOTS of room for roaming!

Alas, once my kids entered their teen years, they no longer were interested in going to either park. Hanging with friends trumped hanging with mom, hands down. So, imagine my delight when my son and his girlfriend recently invited me to spend a day with them at the safari park.  Which for me meant only one thing:


Now, I’m definitely no professional, but I’m sure you know how much I adore taking photos.  Here are just a few from the day we spent at the vast, enormous park:


Trust me, these flamingos looked a lot more pink in person. I guess you had to be there.


I don’t know what I did, but I love how this photo of the red-headed ducks turned out.


Don’t you just love giraffes? They’re so calm, majestic, and, well, tall. A few years ago, I got to feed one when I went on the Safari Park’s special caravan tour. Talk about fun!DSCN6653


One lion rests; another licks her chops. DSCN6733

The gorillas were out and about, including one baby gorilla whose photo I tried to snap at least a dozen times, to no avail. Boy, was he quick. So, my consolation prize was getting a photo of this fellow. DSCN6771

I like how the water glistens in this shot.


Here’s same bird, a study in black and white.


And, finally, one more:

After all, what's a trip to the safari park without stopping at the gift shop?

Because, what’s a trip to the safari park without stopping at the gift shop?

So, tell me. When was the last time you paid a trip to the wild animals in your neck of the woods?