San Pasqual Valley Rd
Escondido, California
United States of America

Size of zoo

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is set on 730ha of land.


The San Diego Zoological Society developed an intrest in the development of a Wild Animal Park in 1964. The idea for the park first began as that of a breeding facility for the San Diego Zoo. The park would give ample space for the keeping of large animals.

The proposed development of the park would move away from the ideas of a typical zoo of the time and display animals in a natural environment than in cages. In 1964 the idea of the park was assesed finacially and then moved onto the design stage which saw 3 alternative concepts presented. The 3 ideas were a conservation farm, game farm and a natural environment zoo. In the end it was decieded that the natural environment zoo would be built though this idea was the mostexpensive intially estimated at an intial cost of $1,755,430

The zoos main purpose was to be species conservation and the breeding of animals for other zoos majorly San Diego.When what the name of the park would be 5 names were considered San Diego Animal Land, San Diego Safari Land, Sandiego Wild Animal Safari, Sandiego Wildlife Park and San Diego Wild Animal Park. The San Diego Wild Animal Park was decided upon as the name of the park.

The Park was scheduled to open on April 1, 1972. In the end though the parks gates did not for the first time till May 10,1972. The parks general layout was designed by Charles Faust, the park included a large lagoon with a jungle plaza, an African fishing village an aviary at the entrance to the park. Approximately 50,000 plants were to be included in the landscaping. The park was scheduled to open 3 years from groundbreaking but it was estimated it would take 10 years to complete the total development of the park.

The Calafornia Wildfires in October 2007 that offcially began on October 21,2007 burned 600acres of native habitat that was being preserved within the park and caused the zoo to temporarily close. The park also moved numerouse endangered animals out of the danger. The fire did not reach any of the main enclosures and no animals did as a direct result. The death of a clapper rail and kiang though were attributed to the indirect effects of the blaze. On June 30,2001 it was voted by the Sandiego Zoo Board of Trustess that the name of the Wild Animal Park should change to the Sandiego Zoo Safari Park.

Number of animals

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is home to 3500animals from 400species.



Savanna Cool Zone

Walk through palm trees offering a gentle mist to find three slippery toy critters that spout water: a turtle, a lion, and a crocodilian. Located next to Lion Camp, the Savanna Cool Zone is a wild way to cool off!

Jameson Research Island

Interactive water play. Located in African Outpost.

Fisher-Price Samburu Jungle Gym

Kids love to climb and explore in this safari-themed play area; parents love the shade-covered picnic area!
Located below Benbough Amphitheater.

Africa Tram

Guided tour rides depart.v The Africa Tram is an exciting expedition with brightly colored tour vehicles and the parks diverse animal collection creating a relaxing adventure. The ride path takes you around some of the field exhibits, giving you a chance to connect with the animals on a closer level.

Conservation Carousel

For kids and kids at heart, the colorful Conservation Carousel features 60 ride elements to choose from, many of which replicate rare and endangered animals. You can ride a giraffe, rhino, zebra, cheetah, and more—which will be your favorite? .

Lorikeet Landing

Watch the parks colorful rainbow lorikeets swoop down to enjoy nectar offered by guests.

Petting Kraal

10 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
Let your kids meet the parks! Touch the gentle goats.

Discovery Station

This kid-friendly area is filled with musical instruments, puppets, books, craft activities, and wildlife “toys” and is designed to give children and their adult companions a playful space for animal-themed fun. Educators facilitate learning and activities every day during Park operating hours. You can stop by for an impromptu animal presentation or do a stone rubbing of your favorite animal footprint.

Main Exhibits

Safari Base Camp

Safari Base Camp bustles with shops,restaurants,animal exhibits and presentation areas,and activities, including the parks Conservation Carousel and Discovery Station for children. Chat with Robert the Zebra,a digital, animated character who interacts with the audience!

Nairobi Village

At the edge of Mombasa Lagoon, Nairobi Village brings you close to red river hogs, ring-tailed lemurs, the parks Animal Care Center, where young or injured animals stay for extra care, and the Petting Kraal, where kids and kids at heart can give gentle antelope, sheep, and deer a loving pat.

Gorilla Forest

Watch gorillas watching you and bee-eaters catching their next stinging meal. Admire more birds in Hidden Jungle, a neotropical aviary with an abundance of tropical plants, and delight in the antics during one of the parks entertaining presentations in the Bird Show Amphitheater.

African Woods

Amble along the winding path to view okapis, white-backed vultures, gerenuk, giant eland, and secretary birds. Families will also enjoy the Fisher-Price Jungle Gym play area, adjacent to the Samburu Terrace dining facility.

African Outpost

You’ll find warthogs, cheetahs, flamingos, and other denizens of Africa, as well as our Jameson Research Island, where you can hear animal tales or get wet in the parks cool zone. African Outpost is also the starting spot for the Africa Tram Safari, Rolling Safari, and Cart Safari tours.

Lion Camp

Get nose to nose with a lion! Is this it—are you lunch? No, you’re just experiencing the close encounters of the Safari Park’s Lion Camp! There is a thick glass window between you and the lions, designed to bring you right into their world.

The Grove

Relax at picnic tables near a grassy hillside, splash around in the Savanna Cool Zone, or watch as Flightline Safari participants swoop down to their landing pad. The Grove is also home to the parks popular Roar & Snore campgrounds.

Elephant Valley

View the parks African elephant herd from the viewing patio or the overlook to see their youngsters frolicking and the adults munching. Tembo Stadium is the site of various shows throughout the year.

Tiger Territory

The largest carnivores at the Safari Park reside in Tiger Territory. A large viewing platform overlooks their spacious exhibit. How many can you find?

Condor Ridge

Celebrate animals unique to North America! You’ll get a close look at California condors as well as bighorn sheep, thick-billed parrots, prairie dogs, and burrowing owls, and a panoramic view of the parks African Plains exhibit below.

World Gardens

Stroll through a botanically delightful area of the Park to see a variety of flora. Here you’ll find the Conifer Forest, and Baja, Succulent, and Nativescapes gardens. Linger in the beauty of the parks Bonsai Pavilion and Epiphyllum House.

Asian Savanna

Home to greater one-horned rhinos, Arabian oryx, Przewalski’s wild horses, gaur, and a variety of unusual deer species from Asia, this large area of the Park can be viewed from select safari tours.

African Plains

The parks largest field exhibits are home to herds of rhinos, giraffes, ostriches, zebras, oryx, and gazelles, as well as flocks of cranes, storks, and flamingos, and so much more. Go on a safari to Africa without the need of a passport!

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