Archived Q&A and Reviews
Safari experience in the Bay Area?
I'm interested in taking my 2 kids on a local 'safari' tour and possibly even an overnighter if it's worth it. My 8 year old is very interested in wildlife and studying endangered species on her own. I wondered if anyone have feedback on the 2 that I found in the Bay Area. One is the very pricey: Safari West (in Santa Rosa) and the other is the fairly new B.Bryan Preserves (in Point Arena)? Wild about wildlife
We loved Safari West! We took our daughter when she was 11. At least I know she will always remember the experience there. The best thing is to stay overnight to take it all in. We booked ourselves on a full moon special in the summer and took the morning safari. Can't wait to go back. I wouldn't spend this kind of money on a 2-year old though! We took her camping since she was little and she happily played with ants and rolly-pollys for hours, took her to local zoos for years, etc. Safariwest was greatly timed in our case. She decided that she wants to join their summer volunteer program up there when she is 16. Anonymous
Safari West in Santa Rosa - opinions, please!
Has anyone visited the wildlife sanctuary/safari in Santa Rosa called ''Safari West - the spirit of Africa in the heart of the Wine Country'' (www.safariwest.com/aboutus)? What was your experience? I'm thinking of this as the venue for a major (surprise) birthday party get-together. It's pricey (at least $65 per person) but it might be worth it if it's really fun (and a good cause of animal preservation). Opinions? Desperate for good ideas!
We've had two great trips to Safari West. We recommend it! another animal adventurer
Safari West is not cheap but it's worth every penny! That is a trip that you and your family will never forget! We petted and fed giraffes, had an ostrich come right up and try to take a hat off my son's head, viewed a very young cheetah up close with its trainer & went on a safari tour that felt like Africa (and only 1.5 hours from San Francisco!) If I had a little more discretionary money, I'd stay the night in one of their tent cabins - but I think they are something in the range of $300/night. If you can, splurge. One more thing - we went in the height of summer and I was surprised that the place was NOT mobbed with people. I can't stand crowds - I think they keep their profile pretty low. Tiffany F
We went there a couple of years ago for my husband's birthday. It was generally great - we stayed in the safari tents which was really an experience. The communal area and food were OK, not a highlight but not really what we were there for. The safari tour itself was interesting, a lot of antelope & cattle rather than exotic animals (which were mainly in cages in the central area). You can hike around on your own in some parts of the park and it is quite exhilirating to come over the crest of a hill and face to face with a herd of longhorn cattle. All in all it was a unique experience, especially to stay overnight & hear the screeching of lemurs and the roar of cheetahs. Not totally amazing but worth it, particularly if you are into animals. Helen
We went to Safari West two years ago with my then 6 mo. old son and 3 1/2 yr old daughter. We spent the night in one of their luxury tents (with showers, heat, etc.) and had a wonderful stay. The tour throught the safari park is great, but not very interactive. You sit in a large, open Jeep-like vehicle and have a great view of all the animals. You drive with your group through the hills and look at the animals. That's pretty much the extent of it. They have several cages with animals that you can view as well. They are located near the restaurant We had a nice outside dinner that evening and then retired to our ''tents''. They are basically individual cottages, but instead of being surrounded by wood or stone, it is surrounded by a heavy tent fabric. It was very comfortable, but it is a bit noisy at night, 'cause everyone can hear you (we had our 6 mo. old, so we made every effort to keep him quiet at night). Though it was a fun experience, I wouldn't necessary repeat it or even recommend it for a birthday party. I guess that it would depend on the age group. If the group is ready for action and excitement, then this isn't really the place. It was just a bit slow for my taste. Perfect for us, 'cause we had small children and my parents were with us, but not necessarily for everyone JOJ
We went to Safari West about 3 years ago and it was well worth it. My initial though was that it was pricey but the food was really good and it was really fun. My children were 5 & 7. The tour is great and the people knowledgeable. My kids loved riding on the jeeps. We still talk about it, so you know it is a good sign when a 10 year old talk about a ''cool'' trip. Have fun! Janeen
I visited Safari West with two of my children this summer. We spent one night and took the tour the next morning. While pricey, I thought it was very well done and interesting. The people who work there are friendly and knowledgeable about the animals. The tour itself was very good. The common area (near the lobby) is a good place to relax. Some of the animals are visible on foot (e.g., cheetahs, lemurs) in that area. Most are only accessible through the tour. I definitely plan to go back. Mary in Oakland