If you have never been to Safari West Wildlife Preserve and African Tent Camp in Santa Rosa, California than you need to get it on your schedule now. If you have already visited this phenomenal Sonoma County treasure then you should consider a return visit as this experience is even better the second and third time around and is always changing. Currently, due to the wildfires earlier this month (October 2017), all overnight lodging is cancelled until March 1, 2018, however, Safari Tours and other activities are expected to resume at the end of November 2017. Most importantly, the property is safe and repair work is well underway so now is the time for making your reservations.
The Majestic Addax (L. Compisi)
Peter Lang founded Safari West as a ranch for breeding and species propagation in 1989. He and wife Nancy, a PhD in zoological biology, opened the preserve to the public in 1993. Interestingly enough, Peter and Nancy met on holiday in Africa on a Safari. The passion they share for these exotic and amazing creatures is evident every where you look while at the preserve. Peter and Nancy actually reside on the property.
A Riot of Fabulous Flamingos (L. Compisi)
Spring time at Safari West is probably the best time of the year to visit for the day or for an overnight. You can do either as the preserve has authentic tent cabins and a guest cottage on the property. And don’t think “camping” when you consider an overnight, these tent cabins are well equipped with linens, en-suite bathrooms with showers, king-size beds and outside sitting areas.
Tent sided Cabins (L. Compisi)
The preserve has 80 species and over 900 animals including cheetah, monkeys, antelope, white rhinoceros, watusi (long horned cattle), lemur, cape buffalo (ornery and unfriendly), wildebeest, riots of flamingos, eland, gazelle, springbok and an amazing dazzle of zebra. The guides are amazing and extremely knowledgeable about the animals and the preserve. They are also very good drivers which is vital during the excursion over what can be pretty rough terrain.
Plenty of room for roaming (L. Compisi)
This is truly a Safari like experience (with WWII/Korean era Dodge Power Wagons open vehicles) where the animals actually walk up to the vehicle – sometimes causing a little excitement like when the wildebeest or the ostriches get too curious and perhaps closer than desired by some. This is no drive by visit. Be prepared for a 45 minute walking tour and then a 2 hour safari ride through the preserve.
Dazzling Zebras (L. Compisi)
Ornery Cape Buffalo (L. Compisi
The preserve has a snack bar/restaurant with outside dining under beautiful shade trees in close and very pleasant proximity to the flamingos and the aviary. The menu is simple and appropriate to the experience. The availability of adult beverages like wine and beer will satisfy many wine country visitors taking a break from the typical day of tasting that fabulous Sonoma County wine.
Long-horned Watusi cattle heard (L. Compisi)
Giraffes caught behind the scenes (L. Compisi)
The day time tours start either in the morning (9 and 10am) or the afternoon (1, 2 and 4pm) during the spring, summer and fall. Hours and tours are more limited in the winter. Regardless of the season, reservations are required. If your schedule allows the Behind the Scenes tour is a very special treat. An additional charge applies but the opportunity to feed Giraffes and Wart Hogs up close and personal is probably once in a life time. For safety reasons children need to be 4 years or older to participate in the Classic Safari riding tour.
A shy Lemur (L. Compisi)
A proud Cheetah (L. Compisi)
Safari West has been a member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association for over 12 years, one of only 6 private facilities in North America to achieve this distinction, which attests to both the quality of the animal treatment as well as the professional nature of the operation. Conservation is a key theme at Safari West.
One of many amazing exotic birds (L. Compisi)
What an amazing experience for younger children, adolescents, teenagers and adults. Over 75,000 of whom visit the preserve each year. Its truly the ‘Serengeti in Sonoma’.
Safari West is very easy to find and is located only 11 miles northeast of downtown Santa Rosa at 3115 Porter Creek Road, only about a 7 miles/10 minutes drive off of Highway 101. They are equipped to provide accommodations for guests in wheel chairs.
Please don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns. In any event, do not let the recent wildfires dissuade from visiting this Sonoma County treasure.
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