What’s the Best San Diego Safari Park Tour? Chart & Reviews

With 18 choices, how do you pick the best San Diego Safari Park Tour/Safari? After the quick summary below, check the comparison chart for prices, tour duration & age limits. Then read the individual tour reviews and about their refund policy if you have to cancel.

Africa Tram’s the best free San Diego Safari Park tour. The 1-hour Wildlife Safari truck trip into the African fields is the most popular paid one. But a 90-minute Twilight Wildlife Safari with lunch is a better deal. Roar & Snore Safari overnight stays are family favorites. All require separate admission.

If you make purchases through the links in this post, I may be compensated. Read my Advertising Disclosure for more info. Thanks! ~ Nancy

*Save with a secret promo code on each San Diego Zoo or Safari Park 1-Day Pass. Go any day. Go directly to the gate. Click HERE to get your code, instructions & discounted tickets by email. By clicking the link above you agree to receive an automated email message. Valid only at aRes Travel, San Diego’s local authorized ticket seller. Read my full privacy policy.

From left to right: my sister, my husband Bob, me (Nancy Ulrich), and a hungry giraffe!
FREE with admission25 – 30 minutesAll
WILDLIFE SAFARI TOURS – Offered Daily. Ride into the large savanna habitats
– Wildlife (check HERE for daily discounts)$90 – 1101 hour3+
– Twilight$113 – 13590 min3+
– Deluxe$113 – 13590 min6+
– Southwest to Savanna$139 – 1492 hours6+
– Mimosa Safari$145 – 1552 hours21+
SUN-UP CHEETAH SAFARI TOUR – Sat, Sun. Early morning Cheetah Run Experience
– Cheetah$99 – 1101 hours10+
CART SAFARI TOURS – Offered daily.
– African savanna habitats$57 – 671 hourAll
– Asian savanna habitats$57 – 671 hourAll
– Deluxe$90 – 11090 minAll
– Flightline Safari (check HERE for daily discounts)$79 – 921 hour8+
– Deluxe Flightline Safari$95 – 11590 min8+
BEHIND THE SCENES SAFARI – Price is per person
– Saving Giants (Rhinos & Elephants) (Discounts) $90 – 110 90 min 3+
– Mission: Rhino Rescue (Discounts) $90 – 110 90 min 3+
– Walkabout Australia (Discounts) $90 – 110 90 min 3+
– Wildlife in Action (Discounts) $90 – 110 90 min 3+
– Deluxe: Born to Be Wild $113 – 135 2 hours 3+
– Deluxe: African Forest $113 – 135 2 hours 3+
ROAR & SNORE SAFARI – Per person. $30 for each child 2 years and under)
All-Ages Roar and Snore
– Classic Tent$149+Overnight3+
– Vista Tent$189+Overnight3+
– Premium Tent$229+Overnight3+
Adults-Only Roar and Snore
– Classic Tent$149+Overnight21+
– Vista Tent$189+Overnight21+
– Premium Tent$229+Overnight21+
Girl Scouts Troop Roar & Snore$139+Overnight5+ with adults
School Nights Roar & Snore$139+Overnight3-12 with adults
Supreme Roar & Snore$303+Overnight8-15 with adults
ULTIMATE SAFARI – Per person. Age limits & restrictions depend upon activities chosen
– Create a custom tour for yourself!$700+5 or 7 hours
– Find under Activities on Safari Park websiteVaries (≤ $20)30 minAll

Prices are given as a range because Safari Park charges extra for tours on peak days. Prices and availability can change without notice.

  • Least Expensive: non-holiday Mondays and Tuesdays thru Thursdays
  • Mid-priced: most Fridays
  • Peak prices: Some Fridays. Usually Saturdays, Sundays, and 3-day holidays (best time for aRes discount tour deals)

You’ll need to buy a Safari Park admission in addition to your tour ticket. Why not take advantage of the best admission discount from aRes Travel, the San Diego-based authorized ticket seller? Click on the koala’s furry face below!

And finally, here’s what else you can do at Safari Park. That’s a page that I wrote that covers the animal exhibits, shows, and keeper talks. And if you’re wondering where to eat I’ve also written an article on where’s the best food?

Wildlife Safari Tour

Inside San Diego Safari Caravan (now called Wildlife Safari) truck with shade cover.
My sister and my husband Bob observing the rhino ‘crash’

The 1-hour Wildlife Safari is the most popular tour at San Diego Safari Park followed by the 90-minute Twilight Wildlife Safari. You go inside the African animal enclosure in an open-air covered truck. Twilight tours add a light meal. Deluxe Safari is 90 minutes long and also tours the Asian enclosures.

The worst thing about these Safaris is that there are sometimes so many opportunities for close-up photos of animals that you won’t know where to point your camera first.  The best part of them is that you have the opportunity to feed giraffes if the animals are feeling hungry. Don’t worry, they’re ALWAYS hungry.

There are 3 different variations of this Safari plus an alternative for those with teenagers:

Wildlife Safari

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Price: $89 – 105 per person. Admission is separate for each person and required.
  • Age restrictions: Ages 3+. Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult
  • What’s Special: The overwhelming SIZE of a 4-foot long giraffe head next to yours. And how daintily they take the acacia leaves from your fingers.
  • Deals: Check HERE for discounted tours for SanDiegoing readers from aRes Travel — San Diego’s local authorized ticket source.

Twilight Wildlife Safari

  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Price: $109 – 129 per person. Admission is separate for each person and required.
  • Age restrictions: Ages 3+. Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult 
  • What’s Special: This tour takes place in the late afternoon/early evening. The animals become more active because it’s cooler than when the sun’s higher in the sky. Your photos may look more dramatic and colorful too. That’s because you’ll be taking pictures during the photographic ‘golden hour’. That’s the time shortly before sunset when the light is redder and shadows are softer.
    • You’ll also enjoy a glass of wine or a non-alcoholic drink with some tasty nibbles at a stunning overlook.
Feeding and petting rhinos on a San Diego Safari Park Deluxe Safari truck tour
We’re feeding (and petting) a rhino calf! (photos by Bob & Nancy Ulrich)

Deluxe Safari

  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Price: $109 – 129 per person. Admission is separate for each person and required.
  • Age restrictions: Ages 3+. Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult
  • What’s Special: The Deluxe Safari provides you with your best chance to pet a rhino. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s more likely than on either of the other truck safaris. Why? Maybe because the One-Horn rhinos in the Asian fields are a bit smaller than the White rhinos in the other safaris? Still, stroking the soft snout of a 3,500-pound animal instead of a 5,000-pound one is ok with me. And there are always hungry giraffes!

Combine A Truck Safari with a Zipline Experience

If you’ve got teenagers or other adrenalin junkies in your group, try the Deluxe Flightline Safari (further down this page). It combines a shorter truck caravan safari with a 3,520-foot zipline ride. Same cost, but more experiences!

Wildlife Safari Tips

Feeding a giraffe on a San Diego Caravan Safari, my sister Mary Beth.
My sister fed acacia leaves to a very gentle giraffe.

Feed giraffes, but don’t touch them. Keep your hands low during feeding. Raise your hand just a bit so that they can see the acacia leaves. Then let them reach down for the leaves.

Why? They use their heads as battering rams in dominance contests. Your friendly hand reaching towards their head can be viewed as an aggressive gesture. So no high-fives with giraffe horns. That avoids misunderstandings with a creature 10 times your size and makes for better photos as well.

Tips for your San Diego Safari Park Caravan Tour, like the safest way to giraffes like this one following the tour truck.
Giraffes on Wildlife Safaris are ALWAYS ready for snacks and photos!

THIRSTY? Bring drinking water in a container with a closed lid. Sip, don’t guzzle unless you’ve got an iron bladder.

MOBILITY ISSUES: If anyone in your party has mobility issues or needs to use a wheelchair call 619-718-3000 after you purchase your ticket. They will make arrangements for you.


  • Selfie sticks must be stowed away. They can scare animals.
  • No outside food, beverages, or bulky camera equipment (small tripods are ok if they’re used as monopods)
  • Admission is separate and required.


  • 5 or more days before reservation – changes allowed but $15 Administrative Change Fee will be charged.
  • Less than 5 days before reservation – changes not permitted


  • 5 or more days before reservation – changes allowed but $25 Cancellation Fee will be charged.
  • Less than 5 days before reservation – payment not refundable.

Sun-Up Cheetah Safari Tour

Cheetah closeup photo at San Diego Safari Park Sun-Up Cheetah Safari. Photo by Bob Ulrich
Photo by Bob Ulrich

Do you love cheetahs? Then this is San Diego Safari Park’s best tour for you. It’s the very best way to get amazing cheetah photos like the one above.

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Start Time: 8:00 AM on most Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays
  • Price: $99 – 105. Admission is separate and required for each guest.
  • Age restrictions: All ages ok. There must be a responsible paid adult present for every 3 children. Children aged 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Proof of age of children may be required.

You’ll get into the park early and meet your experienced guide for a walk down to Shiley’s Cheetah Run. There you’ll see a cheetah fly by at nearly 70 miles per hour from a prime viewing location.

After the cheetah chases the mechanical lure down the track you’ll head down to the Watering Hole at Kijamii Overlook. There you’ll get to see another speedster, this one flying through the air. After all that rushing around, relax with a savory brunch. Enjoy coffee, tea, mimosas, and the only San Diego restaurant view that includes giraffes, rhinos, and antelope.


  • Purchase your admission ticket(s) in advance online. You will be arriving before the ticket sale booths are open. Have your admission ticket printed or ready to be scanned on your cell phone.
  • To get the best viewing locations for all of these tour events, arrive about 30 minutes before check-in so you get the first pick. But don’t worry if you can’t be early. There aren’t any “bad” locations.

Cart Safari Tour

A Cart Safari is the best tour at San Diego Safari park if you’ve got small children or babies. The cart is much lower to the ground than the truck used in the Wildlife Safari. It’s much easier to get in and out to view animals while carrying infants or toddlers. The ride is also much smoother since Cart Safaris only go on paved roads.

You’ll have a private tour driver/guide. They’ll be masked and the cart has special screens to social distance your guide from your household group. But they’ll still be able to hear and see you to answer just about any question and direct you to wildlife feeding opportunities and photo stops.

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Price: $55+ per person. Admission is separate and required for each guest.
  • Age restrictions: None. Infants and children under the age of 2 are welcome as long as they sit on an adults’ lap. There’s a limit of two lap children per group. Children 15 years old and younger must be with a paid adult.
  • Two Options: Asian Cart Safari or African Cart Safari

There Are 2 Flightline Safari Zipline Rides and Tours at Safari Park

Flightline Safari

  • Duration: 1 hour. Includes orientation session and Fledgling flight
  • Price: $77 – 85
  • Age restrictions: 8+ years old. There must be one paid parent or guardian accompanying up to 3 children aged 8 to 15 at all times. If you’re 16 or 17 you may ride the flightline alone, but you must have a parent or guardian sign a liability waiver at check-in. 
  • Deals: Check HERE for daily discounts for SanDiegoing readers from aRes Travel — San Diego’s local authorized ticket source. TIP: The deals are best when you need them most, on weekends and holidays.

Take an exhilarating flight down a zip line 2/3rds of a mile long. Soar up to 130 feet above herds of wild antelope, giraffes, and rhinos. 

You’ll take a training course on the Fledgling run. There you’ll become familiar with the procedures and safety equipment. Once you’re comfortable with the short Fledgling flight, you’ll be transported to the launch platform for the Flightline Safari. You land near the campground at Kilima Point.

Deluxe Flightline Safari

This tour is a very good deal for groups that include restless teenagers looking for a bit more action. It adds a truck caravan tour into the African plains exhibits before your orientation session and zipline flight. You can get up close with the animals, take great photos, and ride the zip line for the price of just the Wildlife Safari truck tour.

  • Duration: 90 minutes.
  • Price: $89 – 105
  • Age restrictions: 8+ years old. There must be one paid parent or guardian accompanying up to 3 children aged 8 to 15 at all times. If you’re 16 or 17 you may ride the flightline alone, but you must have a parent or guardian sign a liability waiver at check-in. 

Safety Restrictions: You will be asked to sign a liability waiver. You must be able to understand the waiver and be able to follow instructions in English. There’s a weight limit of between 60 and 300 pounds (your weight may be checked). 

The safety harness must fit comfortably. Wear snug-fitting closed-toe shoes. Do not drink alcohol before the Flightline Safari. If the trainers or those assisting you think that you’ve been imbibing you will not be allowed on the zip line. 

If you don’t meet all of these qualifications you will be denied access to the zip line and there will be no refunds.

Behind the Scenes Safari Tour

If you’re looking for an insider’s view, these will be San Diego Safari Park’s best safaris for you. There are 3 different safari options available, each focusing on one animal or exhibit area. But no two Behind the Scenes Safari Tours are exactly the same. All of them provide an intimate look at off-exhibit areas that are inaccessible to the general population of Safari Park guests.

You’ll take a ride on a small electric cart and then explore on foot with a guide who’ll fill you in on the park’s animals and conservation initiatives. 

There are three Behind the Scenes Safari Tours:

Elephants & Friends

Have a close encounter of the pachyderm kind! See the Safari Park elephant herd from a private viewing area. Discover how they’re cared for and what’s being done to protect their wild relatives. Selfie sticks are not permitted on this tour.

  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Price: $89 – 105 per person. Admission is separate and required for each guest.
  • Age restrictions: Children 3-15 must be accompanied by a paid adult. A maximum of 2 children per group.
  • Deals: Check HERE for discounted tours for SanDiegoing readers from aRes Travel — San Diego’s local authorized ticket source.

Rhinos & Friends

Get close to rhinos. Explore behind the scenes at Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center. Here the Safari Park staff is developing assisted reproductive techniques that may bring back the Northern White Rhino from functional extinction.

You’ll also take a trip around the park’s large field exhibits and view many other species there. You have to be able to stand or walk for at least 60 minutes to take this tour.  Selfie sticks are not permitted here.

  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Price: $89 – 105 per person. Admission is separate and required for each guest.
  • Age restrictions: Children 3-15 must be accompanied by a paid adult. A maximum of 2 children per group. A maximum of 2 children per group.
  • Deals: Check HERE for discounted tours for SanDiegoing readers from aRes Travel — San Diego’s local authorized ticket source.

Roar & Snore Safari Tour

Safari Park Roar and Snore tents, animals, food.
Our wedding anniversary celebration at an adult Roar & Snore Safari (photos by Bob & Nancy Ulrich)

In my ever so humble opinion, and that of many others, this is the BEST safari at San Diego Safari Park. You can experience the sights and sounds of sleeping on safari in Africa without traveling there (no extra vaccinations needed!).

Fall asleep to elephants’ rumblings. Wake to the sound of lions roaring. But don’t worry about it being too noisy to sleep. Most of the time it’s so quiet that you can hear the footsteps of giraffes passing by. 

What happens at Roar & Snore? Close-up animal encounters, night-time guided walking tours, and a backstage look at some of the animal accommodations. You’ll also enjoy good food, and relaxing around a campfire.

The last time Bob and I went, we saw the inner workings of Lion Camp at night. Did you know that they sometimes put different colored glitter in each lion’s food? Me neither! The colored particles let keepers know which scat belongs to which cat. Examining their feces is just one way that keepers monitor lions’ health.

The sleepovers include a catered hot dinner and breakfast. They’ve got something for everyone with many gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan selections. For adults, there’s a cash bar. And everyone will enjoy sitting around the campfire eating s’mores and listening to the guides and campers trading stories of their wildlife experiences.

Most Roar & Snore Safaris include an evening or early morning Africa Tram ride. It’s magical. The animals in the African multi-species enclosures are at their frisky best. It seems as if they’re trying to get all of their sparring, running, and chasing done in the cooler weather. 

The campsite overlooks the African Plains multi-species enclosure loaded with antelope, giraffes, rhinos, gazelles, wildebeests, and many other animals. Clean restrooms and a limited number of showers are available. The tents are clean and spacious.

If you cringe at the thought of sleeping on a cot or the floor of a tent you’ll probably be happier spending the night at a nearby hotel. I’ve written a guide to the best local lodging close to Safari Park.

There are 3 different tent options:

Classic Tent

  • Price:
    • $149 (Ages 3+)
    • $30 (Ages 0 – 2)
    • Price is per person. Single campers pay 2-person tent price. Maximum 5 people per tent. Admission is separate and required. 
  • Size: 9 ft x 14 ft interior
  • Tent Type: Canvas roof, vinyl-covered tent floor
  • Furnishings: Sleeping bag pads. Bring your own sleeping bag, pillow, etc.

Vista Tent

  • Price:
    • $189 (Ages 3+)
    • $30 (Ages 0 – 2)
    • Price is per person. Single campers pay 2-person tent price. Maximum 6 people per tent. Admission is separate and required. 
  • Size: 9 ft x 14 ft interior
  • Tent type: Canvas roof, vinyl-covered tent floor. 
  • Furnishings: 2 single cots, 2 chairs. Bring your own sleeping bag, pillow, etc.

Premium Tent

  • Price:
    • $229 (Ages 3+)
    • $30 (Ages 0 – 2)
    • Price is per person. Single campers pay 2-person tent price. Maximum 4 people per tent. Admission is separate and required. 
    • Great for couples looking for a special evening or families of 4.
  • Size: 12 ft x 16 ft interior
  • Tent type: Canvas roof. Wood floors with rug. Electrical outlets (charge your mobile devices!), storage/night-stand
  • Furnishings: Queen bed with linens & pillows., 2 cots with sleeping bags, a fan and a space heater 

There are 5 different Roar & Snore Safari options:

All-Ages Roar and Snore

  • Best sleep-over option for families with young children
  • Age restrictions: For ages 3 and up
  • What’s Special: There’s an evening, after-hours Africa Tram ride just for All-Ages Roar & Snore campers and an easy guided walk. Full cash bar for adults.

Adults-Only Roar and Snore

  • Best option for couples
  • Age restrictions: Ages 21+
  • What’s Special: Adult topics like animal reproduction are presented by keepers. There are more animal experiences than during the All-Ages offering. The guided hikes are more strenuous. We went backstage at Lion Camp to see the big cats’ bedrooms and care areas.  It was dark in spots and the footing was a bit challenging. There was a cash bar for adults during dinner and the campfire experience.

Girl Scouts Roar and Snore

  • Age restrictions: Ages 5+ with adults
  • Pricing: $139+
  • What’s Special: This is a troop oriented event. There are group guided walks, conservation related activities and animal-oriented crafts.

School Nights Roar and Snore

  • Age restrictions: Ages 3-12 with adults
  • Pricing: $139+
  • What’s Special: This is a great field trip. The kids will get hands-on educational conservation & animal care experiences 

Supreme Roar and Snore

  • Age restrictions: Aged 8 – 15 with adults.
  • Pricing: $303+
  • What’s Special: This is a great bundle of activities. Soar into the Roar & Snore camp on a zipline Flightline Safari. Spy on animals in the Night Vision Safari with vision-enhancing goggles. See the Sun Up Cheetah Safari with an exclusive viewing spot. And finally ride into the herds of giraffes, rhinos and antelopes on a morning Wildlife Safari.

For more detailed information on what to bring, how to prepare, and a menu, check out the Safari Park Roar & Snore Safari page on their website.

Ultimate Safari Tour

Assemble a Safari Park tour that is customized to your interests and desired activities. Full disclosure, we haven’t been on this safari, but we’re saving up for it! Because of that, I’ve asked a LOT of questions on the phone to the booking team. I hope that you’ll benefit from my research. And if you go before I do, send me pictures!

When you book your Ultimate Safari know the answers to the following questions before you call:

  • What are your favorite animals?
  • Are you interested in feeding any of these animals?
  • Which animal exhibits would you like to see behind the scenes and find out more about how they’re cared for? 
  • Do you have any dietary restrictions? They serve you lunch on this safari. You don’t want this experience spoiled by food that you can’t eat!

Duration: 5 hours. It’s easy to add too many activities and animal experiences to this safari. You’ll have to be selective so you don’t feel rushed. Your planner will help you decide how much to see in the time that you have.

Price: Varies depending upon day and seasonality

  • $675+ for a 5-hour tour. Priced per person.
  • $50 – children aged 2 and under
  • Children aged 15 and under must be with a paid adult

Age and other restrictions: Depends upon the activities you choose.

You must book/reserve your tour at least 72 hours in advance. San Diego Safari Park usually only schedules one Ultimate Safari per day. The animals need to be fed and cared for daily and their keepers need to be notified so they can make special accommodations for Ultimate Safari visitors. 

Balloon Safari

Soar 400 feet up in a helium balloon. You’ll have great views of San Diego Safari Park and the San Pasqual Valley agricultural area that surrounds the park. 

Duration: About 30 minutes. You’ll spend 10 to 12 minutes at the highest viewing point.

Price: Varies depending upon peak hours and days. Plan on spending $20 or less. Reservations are NOT available online. Pay at the gate.

Ages restrictions:  All ages. 

Tips: The best times to fly are between 9:00 AM and noon, but it’s open until sunset. The ride may shut down due to windy or rainy conditions. Afternoons in Escondido can be windy. The balloon is grounded shortly before Cheetah Run at about 3:00 PM and afterward while any cheetahs remain near the Shiley’s Cheetah Run track. 

Africa Tram Tour

Riding the Africa Tram at San Diego Safari Park - Pre-COVID-19.
We’re on the Africa Tram Tour! (Photo by Nancy Ulrich)

Africa Tram is San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s best tour if you’re on a budget. It’s one of the highlights of the park. And it’s free with your park entrance ticket! We’ve ridden this attraction hundreds of times and plan to do it many more.

You get to see dozens of species at once, and they’re always doing something new. The many thousands of rare plants surrounding you and the over 900 acres of open California Sage Scrub habitat make it even more appealing.

Duration: 25 – 30 minutes.

Price: FREE with your paid admission to Safari Park, except for children in school groups. Ride as many times as you want to.

Ages restrictions:  All ages. Children under 2 years of age must remain in their parent’s lap.


  • Skip this one if you have booked a Caravan or Cart Safari, and you are feeling like you don’t have time to see everything on your list.
  • In a rush? You can purchase priority boarding. Check the kiosk at the entrance to the Africa Tram queue. 
  • When’s the best time to ride the Africa Tram? The peak hours are from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. So anytime before or after will be good. The animals are most active when the weather is cool. Many people try to take the first Africa Tram trip or one of the last ones for that reason. But there’s really not that much difference. You’re going to see spectacular creatures whenever you go. 
  • Where’s the best place to sit? We like sitting in the 2nd or 3rd car. The first car can be a bit noisy. However, that car is the only one with accessible seating for those with mobility issues. So it may be best for you. 
  • Which side of the tram is best? You’ll see animals on both sides. And you are encouraged to stand up if the vehicle is not moving. So you’ll be able to take great photos no matter where you sit. However, the cheetahs, zebras, and most giraffes and rhinos are on the right side.
  • Expect long lines on weekends & holidays. There are signs that tell you approximately how long the wait times are. They are fairly accurate. The longest times are from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.The wait times are shorter during Cheetah Run (around 3:30 PM). We also like late afternoon trips because it’s getting cooler and they’re less crowded. The last trip of the day starts 45 minutes before the park closes. 
  • Request an “Easy Access Pass” if you have difficulty standing for long periods or are of limited mobility. With this pass, any guest with a disability and 3 additional members of your group, can be directed to a separate boarding area. Park employees are glad to provide extra boarding and disembarking assistance (if requested), to those boarding from the Easy Access areas.

7 Tips for Better Safari Tours

  1. Save money by reserving in advance versus purchasing the same day in the park. Plus you’ll be more likely to be able to choose a convenient time. 
  2. Get the best deal by booking on non-peak days. Safari Tour tickets generally cost less on weekdays. Non-holiday Mondays and Tuesdays are the cheapest. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are a bit more expensive. You’ll pay the most on weekends and holidays.
  3. Include parking fees in your budget. Parking is not included and must be paid upon arrival at the parking entrance to Safari Park. Parking costs $15 for passenger vehicles and $20 for RVs. You can have preferred parking by adding $18 to either of the parking fees. “Preferred parking” means that you get a spot close to the entry/exit and you don’t have to walk uphill to get to the Park entrance.
  1. Arrive a minimum of 45 minutes before your tour or safari. This will allow time for you to travel from your parking or drop-off point to your safari check-in location. Leave earlier during holidays and on Friday afternoons when the traffic is usually heavier.
  2. Check in 10 minutes before the beginning of your safari.
  3. Know where your safari check-in location is. Check their map from the San Diego Safari Park website before you arrive.
  4. Download their map app. It’s available for both Apple and Android.Apple iOS download here.
  5. Android download here.

About Refunds or Cancellations of San Diego Safari Park Tours or Safaris

  • There are no refunds if you arrive late or are a no-show.
  • Make changes or cancellations early! There are no changes or cancellations less than 5 days before the date of your safari.
  • What if you get sick? Call them at 619-718-3000 as soon as you know that you can’t go. Their Reservations Sales Department is open every day at 8:30 AM. They will need your Order Number, so have it with you when you call.
  • Pay attention to the age limits and other restrictions for certain safaris. You won’t be given a refund at the last minute because you didn’t read the tour descriptions.
  • The park reserves the right to cancel any safari or tour because of bad weather, animal welfare concerns or concerns for your safety. If they have to cancel your safari they try to do it as soon as possible and do their best to reschedule your safari at your convenience. If you cannot reschedule, your money will be refunded.  However, if it’s raining and they don’t call to cancel, enjoy! The park can be wonderful when it’s wet. Check out my article on how to enjoy San Diego Safari Park if it rains.

Closing Thoughts

Take the Caravan Safari Deluxe or the Ultimate Safari if you’re visiting for the first time and may not be returning for a long while. Splurge a bit. If you’re feeling guilty about the extra expense, tell yourself that you’re spending the extra cash to help end wildlife extinction.

If one of the paid safari experiences is not in your budget, then take the Africa Tram. Maybe twice. Once in the morning and again right before closing time.

Maybe you’ve read all the way down this page and still aren’t sure whether the Zoo or Safari Park is a better fit for you? In that case, go to my page where I compare the differences between the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park and the pros and cons of each.

I hope that this has been a help for you to decide which San Diego Safari Park tour or safari will be best for you and your family.

Nancy Ulrich

I'm nuts...about animals, polymer clay, mixed media art & husband Bob. Happily planted in San Diego among good friends, family that I would have chosen if given the choice and optimism for a bountiful future for us all.

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