San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park | Ciao Bambino!

Photo Friday: San Diego Wildlife Parks

The San Diego Zoo is one of the area’s best-known attractions. The zoo also operates a Wild Animal Park offering an array of fantastic safari-style experiences.

One of the amusing moments during our recent visit to the park was this vision of a lion sleeping on this range rover. OK, so that’s not really what happens in Africa, but nonetheless, it’s nice to see these animals so relaxed and comfortable in their environment.

Wildlife parks produce mixed emotions for me. Confining animals meant to be free seems unfair, yet ultimately, exposure to animals people otherwise never see is an important part of inspiring conversation. All-time favorite zoos for me are the Singapore Zoo (orangutans galore) and Sydney’s Taronga Zoo (kangaroo and koala love).

I’m a fan of San Diego’s Wild Animal Park too. The expansive terrain means many animals roam relatively free and kids have the chance to see a variety of animals in a gorgeous natural setting.

What makes the park unique is the wide variety of ways to explore the terrain from electric carts, to flightline (riding a cable, for ages 10 and up), to photo caravans where you get to feed giraffes. This makes the park interesting for families with kids of all ages, plus there are multiple opportunities to get really close to the wildlife.

Birds are often under-appreciated but we loved the bird show and the opportunity to see spectacular species like this red falcon in flight.

The highlight of our family was a glimpse of the baby elephants. Ridiculously cute! For more Photo Friday posts, head over to Delicious Baby.

Relevant Links:

Review of Legoland’s new water park

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San Diego family vacations

San Diego family travel, top kid-friendly activities

San Diego with kids, favorite winter family activities

San Diego Surf Camp for kids

Visiting Legoland with kids

Fun at the San Diego Zoo

Start a Discussion

  • I saw your blog on Lonely Planet and really loved the information and awesome pictures. I am taking my 5yr old son there in November, he’s beyond excited. I thought some of your readers would benefit from this, i bought my tickets at for a great discount ($20 off the 3 day pass)..not too shabby..keep up the great posts!!

  • Yes, both the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park are among the best zoos in America, and the world. The Wild Animal Park is one of the most realistic safari experiences you can get — without traveling to Africa yourself.
    Allen Nyhuis, Coauthor: America’s Best Zoos

  • We were there two summers ago, probably one of the hottest days of the year! We really appreciated the water misters that lined the sidewalks at reglar intervals, and on the attraction queues. The water play / splash pad area was a hit with our toddler.

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