The African Lion Safari Zoo, located about 62 miles outside of Toronto, is ready to give visitors a true safari experience without ever leaving Canada.
To say that international travel was complicated during the pandemic would be the least of a century. Almost everyone wants to go on a safari and see many wild animals of Africa – lions, tigers, bears (joking about the latter two). But instead of taking an expensive trip to Africa to see these wonderful animals, one can go on an African safari north – in Canada. The African Lion Safari is a zoo with large sanctuaries where guests drive around the enclosures. In addition to African fauna, they have animals from all over the world.
About African Lion Safari
Traveling to Africa, paying for a safari, and paying park fees (which can run into thousands of dollars) is very expensive. But one can see most of the best animals on a self-driving safari from the comfort of his own car at the African Lion Safari near Toronto in Canada.
- Open: Canada is now open to fully vaccinated Americans
African Lion Safari Park is a family-owned safari park about 62 miles west of Toronto (see here for a Toronto weekend trip itinerary). They have seven game reserves that are open for guests to tour and have many of the world’s major animals. So this is kind of a reverse zoo, where the guests are locked in their cars (one can’t leave one car) and the animals are free to roam the sanctuary.
- measuring: About 300 hectares or 740 acres
When visiting, guests drive around the park in their own cars to enclosed spaces where the animals roam freely or they can take a ride on the park’s tour buses if they wish. There are also walking sections where one can see different exotic birds and monkeys – it is also possible to walk near the herd of Asian elephants.
The park also has gift shops and many activities to keep the whole family entertained. There are shows by experienced animal trainers with elephants and rides for children. There are of course plenty of dining options on site. There are bus tours of the sanctuaries for those who are not confident driving among animals or fear animals will destroy their cars (for example, giraffes can put their heads through open windows and baboons climb on cars).
African Lion Safari Reserves
- Reserve type: Big and grassy field
- the animals: Llama, European white stork, Watusi cows, East African crested crane, Egyptian goose
Cheetah Breeding Center
- Type: Several enclosures where leopards live together or separately
- the animals: leopards
Simba Lion Country
- Reserve type: A large field and grass with a prominent rocky structure for lions to rest on
- the animals: African black
Timbavati Lion Country
- Reserve type: grassy with rocky structure
- the animals: Black and white
- private tour: From 109.00 CAD or 86 USD
For those who would like to get up close and personal with the lions, there is a special “Wake Up the Wild” tour. This is a private guided tour with Game Warden to see the pride of lions at the most active time of the day as they enjoy their morning meal and gobble it up. Next, the tour takes guests up to one meter away from rhinos, zebras, and ostriches. Guests are given the opportunity to hand feed the giraffes. The dates for this tour are from July 24 to September (exact dates may vary by year).
Wankee Bushland Trail
- the animals: Baboon olives, bongo, Malaysian tapirs, mini zippo
- to caution: A baboon would probably climb on one’s car and go for a ride
Rocky Ridge Feldt
- Reserve type: Grass with shelters, figure protection and rock piles for animals to shelter and climb on
- the animals: Addax, White Rhino, Ostrich, Zebra Grant, Giraffe Rothschild, Wild Tiger, Eland, Barbary Sheep, Oryx Horned Sword
- to caution: If the windows are open, giraffes may stick their heads inside the car for fun
- Reserve type: A mixture of trees, herbs and ponds
- the animals: Tibetan yak, nilgai, Indian rhinoceros, Sicilian donkey, Himalayan tare, red kangaroo, western gray kangaroo, and red-necked laby (also separated by Sichuan Takin and Turkmen Markhor
- mislabel: Most of these animals are from Asia, not from Australia
North American Reserve
- Reserve type: large grass fields
- the animals: North American elk, spotted deer, markhor, and American bison
Visit the African Lion Safari Park
Cost of admission (online) – plus taxes and fees
- grown ups: $36.95 CAD, $29 USD
- Children: CAD $24.95, $20 USD
Admission cost (at the gate) – plus taxes and fees
- grown ups: $39.95 CAD, $32 USD
- Children: CAD 27.95, $22 USD
- open daily: May 2 to September 27 (exact dates may vary by year)
For more information on tours, opening seasons, opening hours, and any Covid-19 related restrictions, check out their website here.
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