Going on Safari… in California!


We had the opportunity to travel to Santa Rosa, California, where we were able to participate in an African Wildlife Safari experience at Safari West.  Our time at Safari West included a stay in a luxury tent, and a safari tour.  We had planned on doing the safari tour the evening we arrived and we were super excited.  We walked down from our luxury tent to the meeting area to pick up our safari truck.  These trucks are very similar to those that were originally used for safaris in Africa.  As an added bonus, they have installed some extra seats right above the driver for an excellent viewing angle.  We made certain to get up to those seats, and we were lucky enough to be the only ones who wanted to be up there on our tour, so we got to spend the entire tour up riding high on these seats. 

Sonoma Valley California - Safari West Trucks

Safari Trucks

After we were all loaded up,  the safari began, and we were taken up the road and into one of the pens with the animals.  That’s right…they actually drive right into the pens of a number of the animals!!!  You get a very up close and personal look at some of the animals, but don’t worry there is no predatory animals ;).  They have approximately 700 animals on site of many different species, including many newborns!  This is a small sampling of what you could see on the tour. 


Sonoma County California - Safari West Giraffes



Sonoma County California - Safari West Zebras


Sonoma County California - Safari West Rhinoceroses


Sonoma County California - Safari West Ostriches

African Buffalo

Sonoma County California - Safari West African Buffalo

Many breeds of antelope (Impala, Elan, Sable…)

Sonoma County California - Safari West Antelope

Sonoma County California - Safari West Antelope

Another Baby!!!!

The driving tour lasts about 1 hour 45 minutes, but it goes by so fast as you snap picture after picture of these close encounters with the animals. 

Sonoma County California - Safari West Cheetah


Sonoma County California - Safari West Monkeys (with baby)

Monkeys (mom with baby)!!

Sonoma County California - Safari West African Crane

This little lady (an African Crane) just wants to be friends with you!

Sonoma County California - Safari West Duiker

A Duiker, the smallest antelope in the world.

One thing that really stuck out in our mind is, unlike some places, they really try to recreate the natural environment of the animals they bring in.  That is why they have focused on African animals (most of the animals are comfortable with the climate in Sonoma County, California) and they have tried to keep them grouped with animals they would commonly encounter in the wild (again minus predators).  They seem like a group that are really thinking about what they are doing!

It is a great experience that we would recommend to everyone, especially for animal lovers and children (although we would recommend not taking any kids under 3 on the driving tour because of the roads you are driving on in the trucks with no seat belts)!  We thoroughly enjoyed our first safari experience!

A special thank you to Safari West for hosting us during our time in Santa Rosa, California!

What is your favourite animal encounter? Tell us in the comments below!


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2 Responses to Going on Safari… in California!

  1. Pingback: Experiencing the Luxury Tents at Safari West | Travels4Couples

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