San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, CA 92027
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Open:
Summer Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Daily May 26 to Aug 12
Fall / Winter / Spring Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. Daily
Experience up-close views of more than 3,000 endangered animals in their world-class habitats at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Safari options available!
Todd Sarouhan
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means if you make purchases through them, I may be compensated at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Enjoy a Wild Journey
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Highlights

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Enjoy a Wild Journey at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Cheetahs Relaxing at the San Diego Zoo Safari ParkRhino Play Structure at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Just east of Oceanside and Escondido and not far from the Carlsbad and Encinitas beaches, you will find the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Located in San Pasqual Valley, this Zoo Safari Park is one of the greatest San Diego Attractions welcoming over 2 million people annually. Here, you will discover many different options to see the wonders of this glorious park.

Entrance Sign to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Entrance Sign to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The Safari Park lets you feel like you’re on a real globetrotting safari, all without leaving San Diego. It’s one of the best attractions for animal lovers, right next to the San Diego Zoo itself, and is a great choice for families, as it’s always a hit with the kids!

What is Featured at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park?

The park features free-range exhibits for various feral animals, including numerous endangered species that originated from Asia, Europe, the plains of Africa, and more. Choose between several safari options to view different angles of the park.

Climb among the treetops to see cheetahs, and gorillas, or take a thrill ride on California's longest continuous zipline over the open fields full of rhinos!

Watch as these colossal mammals run around the looming hills, through the swooping vales of this replicated desert animal empire. Visit the beautiful open-exhibit Zoo Safari Park, a half-hour north of the historical San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park.

With over 1800 acres of land housing over 3,000 animals, there are many sights to see, and while venturing through this intriguing Zoo Safari Park.

Like many Carlsbad hotels, The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa caters to families visiting LEGOLAND. As you'll learn on this tour with Todd, The Westin's 4-star luxury and beach access are also highlights.

Stay at the The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa

Get a Great Deal on Tickets to the Safari Park

Ticket Counter at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Ticket Counter at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Website Prices for the Safari Park

A local tip that’s easy to overlook is that all tickets to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are cheaper when purchased in advance online compared to gate prices.

I highly suggest buying a ticket before you visit. Tickets do not require you to select a specific date, though all tickets must be used within one year of their purchase date.

The Day Pass includes admission to the Safari Park and a ride on the Africa Tram, plus any regularly-scheduled experiences on the day you visit. Here are the prices:

  • 1-Day Pass, Adult: $72
  • 1-Day Pass, Child: $62

Discounts are offered on Value Days, which are listed on the calendar online. Prices on these days are:

  • 1-Day Value Day Pass, Adult: $68
  • 1-Day Value Day Pass, Child: $58

For a 2-visit pass, choose between two visits to the Safari Park or two trips to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Prices are as follows:

  • 2-Visit Pass, Adult: $124
  • 2-Visit Pass, Child: $114

Want to see it all? Pick up a 3-for-1 Pass, which grants you admission to three different San Diego animal parks for one day each. These are the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo, and SeaWorld San Diego. Pricing is:

  • 3-for-1 Pass, Adult: $199
  • 3-for-1 Pass, Child: $189

All prices are subject to change, so check the website for the most up-to-date information on pricing.

Keep reading for our tips on how to SAVE BIG on admission for the entire family to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and more.

Posing at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Posing at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The Best Way to Save on Admission to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pre-purchase an All-Inclusive Go City San Diego pass and for just $119 per child and $129 per adult, you will have access to over 50 different attractions around the greater San Diego area, including the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, world-famous San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld San Diego!

With the Go City San Diego pass, you will not have to pay at the gate; simply scan your pass upon entry. Instead of paying for each attraction you can pay just for the pass once. That’s a huge savings per pass!

Pre-purchase your All-Inclusive Go City San Diego pass through our website to receive an extra discount on top of the already low prices. Just use the code GVSD5OFF to get an extra 5% the already discounted pass.

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Save up to 55% with Go City San Diego

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is Full of Amazing Experiences

Southern Gerenuk at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Southern Gerenuk at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

There is no other experience in the world than seeing these astounding animals up close and personal in their naturalistic habitats.

Whether you choose to go on a safari tour or tackle the Park on foot, there are several different exhibits to enjoy! Meander over to the Africa Tram that runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and take a free excursion through African grassland exhibits.

After you take a ride on the complimentary tram, you can stroll on over to the Gorilla Trail, where you'll feast your eyes on a family of beautiful gorillas. This exhibit also hosts an activity center on the left side where your kids can see how they compare to the size of an adult gorilla.

This local San Diego gem also offers impressive amenities in addition to the splendid exhibits of animals. Need a break? No problem! Stop for some delicious food at any of the 17 places available. There is everything from burgers to snack stands!

Next, visit the Animal Ambassador stage where you'll have a chance to pet a large cat, a camel, and several other amazing animals that call the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, home.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is featured in our Unique Things to Do in San Diego!

Learn About How You Can Help the Conservation Efforts of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Global is a non-profit agency that collaborates with over 300 partners to protect wildlife from extinction. They work in over 52 countries to observe and study these wondrous animals in the field.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park works to provide naturalistic habitats for these endangered animals and help to increase the population by breeding them.

The Wild Animal Park site has ways to donate or adopt an animal now if you want to help with the conservation efforts and continue to save these magnificent animals.

Top Exhibits at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Giraffes at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Giraffes at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Explore the African Plains

Walk around this enormous enclosure that features animals such as:

  • Rhinos
  • Zebras
  • Giraffes
  • Vultures
  • and more!

This exhibit features over 300 acres, which is teeming with the wildlife of the African Plains. The arid-like climate creates an ideal enclosure for these fascinating animals.

Rhino at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Rhino at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Discover the Asian Savanna

The Asian Savanna is located just north of the African Plains exhibit. Full of one-horned rhinos, camels, and a wide array of other Savanna animals from Asia; this is an exhibit unlike any you've seen before.

You get to spectate as these animals gallivant through their vast free-roam enclosure. Many of the Asian Savanna animals are a threat of becoming endangered.

Elephant Statue at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Elephant Statue at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Venture to Elephant Valley

In 2003, the Safari Park rescued an elephant herd in Swaziland from a cull. Since then, the park has welcomed new elephants and has expanded to two large exhibit yards.

Stand on the Elephant viewing patio as you watch them enjoy a nice soak in the pond made just for them, aiming to please the spectators.

In 2024, work is underway on the Elephant Valley, revitalizing this section of the park and giving the elephants more space to roam and additional enrichment.

It will also include an overhead walkway where you’ll be able to look down at the elephants from above. The reconstruction project will reopen as the Denny Sanford Elephant Valley.

The new additions will allow for greater immersion and more interactivity between guests and the elephants while also shining a light on conservation efforts around the globe, making it a great educational experience for kids.

The project is planned for completion in 2025, though no exact date has been set. Expect construction in this section of the park throughout 2024.

California Condors Rehabilitating at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
California Condors Rehabilitating at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Be Amazed at the Beautiful Condor Ridge

In 1982, only 22 California Condors existed in the wild. The California Condor Program has now grown this population to over 500!

Check out these endangered birds living at Condor Ridge soar through the air with their massive 10-foot wingspans!

Your Kids Will Love this San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Little Kid in a Bamboo Forest at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Little Kid in a Bamboo Forest at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

At Wildlife Park, there are plenty of activities for your kids to enjoy. This is a family-friendly attraction that provides some areas that were created with your kids in mind.

The Conservation Carousel

For just $6, your child can take unlimited rides on the conservation carousel that features 60 rare and endangered animals to ride. Choose between a rhino, zebra, cheetah, and more!

This carousel is located right inside of the Safari Base Camp. This is a relaxing ride for the whole family to enjoy.

Unique Play Areas

Throughout the Park, there are several play areas to stop and let your children play freely at:

  • Savanna Cool Zone near Lion Camp
  • Village Playground over by Nairobi Village
  • Tiger Trail Play Area at Tiger Trail
  • Samburu Jungle Gym near African Woods

Desert Bighorn Sheep Exhibit at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Desert Bighorn Sheep Exhibit at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Educational Opportunities for All

The Safari Park has even more educational opportunities than the San Diego Zoo. Teach your child about animal conservation and take the time to read the information at each exhibit.

Local Tips
Did you Know?
San Diego Zoo Safari Park is one of the largest tourist attractions in San Diego County. So, what are you waiting for?

Tours at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Red River Hogs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Red River Hogs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Take a Journey on a Wildlife Safari

Enjoy a 1-hour tour of the African Savanna habitats with an expert guide on this caravan safari. This safari will give you a closer view of the newest babies of the exhibits, and you may even get to feed a giraffe or two!

Prices for the Wildlife Safari start at $90 per person, perfect for all members of the family from kids to seniors.

Behind the Scenes Safari

Discover the hidden world of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Uncover the mysteries of your beloved wildlife and meet the dedicated wildlife care experts who nurture them. Embark on an exclusive journey with an expert guide, exploring restricted areas.

Select from a range of exciting encounters starting at $90 per person!

Beautiful Tiger Cubs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Beautiful Tiger Cubs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Roar & Snore Safari

If you're looking to spend the night at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, this one's for you! Embark on an extraordinary sleepover adventure at the Safari Park, starting at $155 per person!

Each sleepover package guarantees a memorable experience, featuring engaging camp activities, exclusive after-hours glimpses into the fascinating world of wildlife, guided walks, delightful campfire s'mores, delectable dinner, evening snacks, and a satisfying breakfast the following morning.

Choose from a variety of age-appropriate sleepover categories, each offering its own captivating theme and get ready to create lifelong memories!

Fly on a Flightline Safari

Flightline Safari is one of the world's longest continuous ziplines. This zipline extends over two-thirds of a mile over the Asian and African animal exhibits.

For $79 per person, you can experience the adrenaline-pumping action of flying 160 feet above this while animals, at over 50 miles an hour! But be careful, don't scream, or you'll cause the rhinos to stampede.

Do be aware that prices for the adventures above are subject to change so check before your visit directly with the San Diego Zoo Safari Park for any price changes.

Safari Park+Zoo = Go Pass
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Visit this 1,800 acre park featuring over 3,000 animals in their natural habitats as you ride the African tram! Buy an All-Inclusive Go Pass and admission to the San Diego Zoo is included!
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Local Tips
What kind of deals does the Go City San Diego pass offer?

The Go City San Diego pass gives visitors the ability to save up to 55% on attraction admissions.

Combine our exclusive 5% discount to save even more and consider the All-Inclusive pass to maximize your savings. Plus the pass gives you the ability to skip the line when visiting select attractions.

Use our exclusive discount code GVSD5OFF to save an extra 5%!

How to Get to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park & Parking

EV Charging
EV Charging
Lot Parking
Lot Parking
RV Parking
RV Parking

No matter the direction you are traveling from, you will end up on Ranchero Parkway. From there, you will see signs for the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

To travel by public transportation, you will want to check in with the transit information service of San Diego since routes continuously change.

Preferred Parking at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Preferred Parking at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Parking Information

Parking costs are as follows:

  • General parking (cars and motorcycles): $20 per vehicle
  • RV parking: Starting at $38 per vehicle
  • Preferred parking: Starting at $38 per vehicle

EV charging stations are available as well.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Time at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Disabled Accessibility
Disabled Accessibility
No Alcohol
No Alcohol
No Smoking
No Smoking
Picnic Tables
Picnic Tables
Playground
Playground
Public Transportation
Public Transportation
Restrooms
Restrooms
RVs Allowed
RVs Allowed
Stroller Accessible
Stroller Accessible
Trash Cans Available
Trash Cans Available

San Diego Safari Park Hours

The San Diego Safari Park is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the summer. In the fall / winter & spring the doors close anywhere from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

As always, the time of operation is subject to change. Please check with the park before heading out for your adventure!

Best times of year to visit San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Since Safari Park has a desert-like climate, the animals are active year-round! The typical offseason is during wintertime if you want to beat the crowds. Although, you do risk more rain, and other attractions shut down, such as the hot air balloon due to possible inclement weather.

However, if you're wondering about the best time of day, the morning is best! The weather is cooler, and you can beat the crowds.

Stay Nearby

To maximize your time in the park, and to see the animals when they’re at their most active with minimal crowds, come early. The best way to arrive bright and early is to stay at a hotel near the Safari Park.

Personally, I suggest booking a room at The Fin Hotel. Its family-friendly atmosphere is great for parents and children while its chic, boutique layout lends it a touch of luxury.

The Fin Hotel is just a few blocks away from the shore at Oceanside too, so you can easily hop over to the beach. And don’t forget to pick up an All-inclusive Go City San Diego pass for park admission plus discounts on beach gear like surfboard and kayak rentals to make your stay complete!

Kids Bazaar Shop at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Kids Bazaar Shop at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Bring Sunscreen and Hats

There isn't a lot of shade when you're out and about on safari's or walking between exhibits. Be sure to bring some sunscreen and a hat to stay protected from the sun.

Get the App!

The app is a lifesaver when you look for a way to plan your day at the San Diego Safari Park. The app features a map of the Park, so you know where you are at all times.

Also, the app has this notable feature where you can select the animals you want to see. From there, it will tell you which exhibits you need to go to, so you don't spend most of your day wandering around!

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