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  • Writer's pictureMona Shah

MoJo’s Visit to a Slice of Africa

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a magnificent force for conservation. As wildlife habitats around the world continue to decline and many species are forced into extinction, this organization’s focus on conservation and the interconnectedness of animal and human health is critical.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is one of the largest safari parks in the world and has a wide variety of settings that recreate the natural habitat of many animals. Much of the park is inspired by the forests and savannas in Africa. Elephants and gorillas, lions, and giraffes are just some of the many mammals that live in habitats with African vegetation.

Other areas of the Safari Park are dedicated to wildlife from Australia and Asia.

The park is huge, 1800 acres, housing a large array of wild and endangered animals including species from the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. Explore walking trails that reveal unexpected sights of lions lounging in the grasslands, antelope and giraffes mixing and mingling, and rhinos wallowing in waterholes.

Be ready to walk a lot, but much of the park is flat, and there are ever helpful park rangers that are ever willing to offer you a ride, if neede

The park is in a semi-arid environment, and one of its most notable features is the Africa Tram, which explores the expansive African exhibits. Do not miss this experience, as it gets you up close and personal to the animals—safari-style—in their natural habitats. These free-range enclosures house antelopes, giraffes, buffalo, cranes, and rhinoceros. The Safari Park's Lion Camp features a 33,000-sq ft enclosure providing guests an opportunity to experience face-to-face encounter with lions.

The park is famous for its California condor breeding program. These magnificent creatures are seen as a symbol of power by North American tribes, they call it the "thunderbird," bringing thunder to the skies with the beating of its huge wings.

Fun fact: The California condor can reproduce asexually! Two captive California condors were born from unfertilized eggs, suggesting the critically endangered species is able to reproduce asexually.

They have some up close and personal with your favorite animal special safari’s (extra cost) that are pretty cool. Flightline is a zip line that provides you with a with a bird’s-eye view of rhinos, giraffes, and other wildlife in the savanna habitats below you.

Roar and Snore is great if you want to do a “sleepover” and wake up to the sights and sounds of the savannah. This would be ideal if you want to see what happens before they open the gates to visitors, including watching a cheetah run at top speed! In the other safari experiences, you can hand-feed a gentle giraffe in the heart of Africa or catch a glimpse of rhinos, elephants and zebras while enjoying an exciting guided safari ride.

The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park Wildlife Alliance’s conservation work around the world demonstrates the importance and impact of saving wildlife, and provides powerful stories to share with our children.

Today's most pressing drivers of biodiversity loss include climate change, invasive species, habitat degradation, human-wildlife conflict, wildlife trafficking, and emerging diseases. San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance seeks to address and provide solutions for these challenges through their approach to conservation.

By visiting and learning about these magnificent creatures, we can promote empathy and inspire people in ways that will cultivate a shared appreciation for nature and urge individual action on behalf of wildlife.

My hope is that we can inspire and encourage future generations so that communities, and wildlife that shares the ecosystems, thrive.


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