Wildlife Safari Drive Through
“Where you are captive, and they roam free”
Hello Bend! The Wildlife Safari is a world-renown haven for hundreds of animals from all over the globe. If you’re a Central Oregon parent of kids who LOVE animals, you’ve most likely heard of it, but shuddered as you imagined the 9 hour round-trip drive time commitment to get there. As the stay at home orders had us cooped up and slowly losing our minds (and the amazing concept of the safari that includes the idea of a “drive-through” zoo instead of a walk-through, making it COVID safety protocol compliant), we decided to do it! Here is an overview of our adventure–we had the BEST time, and turned it into an adventure for the memory books! Not knowing what to expect along the way, or even when we got there for that matter, we kept open minds and had an awesome time. With the kids out of school for the summer officially, we wanted to highlight the Wildlife Safari on the blog and share our experience so you can add it to your list of summer excursions! Not only that, but we’ve teamed up with the Wildlife Safari to host a ticket giveaway for a few families of our lucky readers! Details are outlined at the end of this post–stay tuned!
As we made the drive over towards Roseburg, we discovered a glorious stretch of southern
Oregon we’d never explored before. There is no shortage of beauty on this drive with the North
Umpqua River running parallel to the highway. The drive is flanked by a steady stream of gorgeous waterfalls nestled in the heart of the Umpqua Forest. As we drove along the river, even the kids enjoyed the scenery! It was a unanimous decision that a waterfall hike would be the perfect way to break up our long road
trip and we recommend it for kids and adults! Check out our blog post on Toketee Falls ! We can’t wait to add a few more treks on the list for next time we make the drive.
The Wildlife Safari Drive-Through is open daily to visitors allowing you to enjoy animal
encounters from the comfort of your own vehicle. Plan to spend about an hour and a half to
drive through the Wildlife Safari park. The setting is lovely with 600 acres of rolling hills
abundant in foliage and water resources. Frank Hart, a successful business man, founded the
Wildlife Safari in 1972. He was looking for a location that was ideal for a large reserve that could
display animals from around the world in a natural setting, resembling African and Asian
terrain, so a large variety of animal life could be supported. In 1986 the park received
accreditation from The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which signifies that Wildlife
Safari has established and maintains professional zoological management standards as judged
by other professional members of the Association. Of the thousands of zoos, Wildlife Safari is
in the ten percent that proudly passes the stringent inspections to maintain the accreditation
by the AZA. We can’t just write a quarantine blog post about a wildlife safari without referencing the notorious Netflix special Tiger King. Not knowing what to expect at this Safari, and with the documentary fresh in our minds, we were pleased to find that the Safari had a feeling of sanctuary for the animals, and it held no similarities to the conditions that cemented the infamy and notoriety of the show. In fact, Wildlife Safari is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and any money paid goes towards the animals and animal conservation!
During the drive-through, you will encounter a wide variety of animals from Africa, America and
Asia. The kid’s favorite were the giraffes and zebras! There are many opportunities to feed the animals at Wildlife
Safari. We skipped all feedings as our visit was earlier in the COVID-19 orders and we weren’t sure what the recommendations were. If feeding the animals interests you and your kids, I recommend asking which animal feeding stations are open upon arrival and making a plan to avoid confusion.
Check out their education promotions, summer camps, and Junior Zoo Keeper programs here!
“Today, Wildlife Safari is one of the largest tourist attractions in the Northwest, hosting an
average of 150,000 visitors a year. Wildlife Safari is known for educational outreach programs
and an internationally renowned veterinary program. Wildlife Safari’s biggest accomplishment
is the Cheetah Reproduction Project, which is the most successful Cheetah Breeding program in
the Western Hemisphere. Since the park’s opening, Wildlife Safari has produced 214 cubs and
There are many things to do at the Wildlife Safari, in addition to the drive through park. Check out their park “Today” Page to get updates on current events and COVID closures. The Always Free Safari Village is open daily (outside of COVID closures) and features a botanical wonderland, animal exhibits including cheetahs, alligators, cougars & more, keeper talks throughout the day, a children’s petting zoo and more, all for free!
We’ve teamed up with Wildlife Safari, and are offering a few lucky families FREE tickets to enjoy this incredible animal haven!
HOW TO ENTER:
** GO FOLLOW: @wildlife.safari AND @hello_bend_oregon on Instagram and Facebook
**COMMENT BELOW on the blog:
1. Who would you take to the Safari?
2. What is your favorite Safari Animal!
**TAG 3 PEOPLE WHO YOU THINK WOULD LOVE THIS GIVEAWAY!
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