Animal Life and Guided Tours
Prices: Listed in the details section
Hours of operation: Varies by season; See Details.
Safari Tour Times
Regular Schedule: March 22 through October 26th
9am, 10am, 1pm, 2pm and 4pm (Daily)
Winter Schedule October 27th through March 21st
10am and/or 2pm Safari Tour Prices
Adults $68; Children 3-12 $30; Infants 1-2 $
We also offer Private Safaris by reservation.
Located just 40 minutes north of San Francisco in Santa Rosa, California, is a unique opportunity to experience an African Safari. Before we went to Safari West, we were reluctant to pay the tour prices for what we though would be just another animal experience. But boy were we wrong! After experiencing Safari West first hand, I now think the experience is worth every penny! It’s not just about looking at animals. The experience transported us to a different world and it was amazing to get face to face with some of our favorite animals like giraffes and rhinos.
We also really enjoyed the authentic African Safari jeep ride where passengers can sit on top of the jeep if they choose to. The ride was rather bumpy and could be uncomfortable for a young child. Our girls who are 8 and 11 had a blast.
The most impressive thing about Safari West is how happy the animals look. Instead of being caged up in a small enclosure at a zoo, here at Safari West, they roam freely over the 400 acres of land that make up the wildlife reserve. The animals are so happy that when we visited in spring, the Zebras just had babies (and were in hiding), and the birds were laying lots of eggs. We also loved our guide. She did such an excellent job educating us throughout our journey about the wildlife we encountered.
If you aren’t ready to jump on the plane with your kids to fly to Africa, Safari West will offer you an authentic safari experience at the fraction of the cost of an air plane ticket.
- Dress warmly even if the sun is out. It can be very breezy.
- Bring cash to bring to tip the guide. Everybody in our jeep tipped, she was so great!
- No pets allowed
Giraffes in Wine Country? Yes, at the far northern end of the valley, on open grass-lands and rolling hills, sits a wildlife preserve with more than 400 exotic animals and birds, as well as African plains animals, including zebras, elands, giraffes, impalas, Watusi cattle, and rare endangered antelopes. Private half-day, narrated tours are conducted in safari vehicles. You can stay overnight here in a nice tent cabin outfitted with two double beds; breakfast is included, and African food is available for dinner.
It’s hot and dry here in summer and early fall, so be prepared with hats and sunscreen. I don’t recommend bringing toddlers along unless you know they can handle
a three-hour, sometimes bumpy ride. The last time we went to Safari West, we saw a newborn zebra, and we loved it when the herd of Watusi cattle came pounding down the road and crowded up against the truck. What shoulders!
We have gone twice and both times the kids were enthralled! We did go in the summer and, while warm, it was fine. We brought water bottles to stay hydrated. The newer Lemur Island was fascinating to watch! We've been able to see a very young giraffe, as well as some of the wildcats up close. It's kinda expensive but I kept my eyes open for specials for locals so we were able to go. The shuttle ride is great--be sure to bring your camera for some great shots. Was able to tour the lodging facilities and they are amazing--it would seem like you were sleeping in Africa! Highly recommend.
We went on this safari to celebrate one of our children's birthdays. We went in January when you can get some good deals. The bonuses are that the weather is cooler and the animals are more active, and the place is not crowded. I hear it can be pretty crowded during the summer months. We enjoyed seeing the animals and learning about them firsthand. It was really cool when a giraffe came over to say hello and let us bet her. We did not stay and eat at the cafe, so I cannot report on the food. Because we had the birthday girl, we got to sit on top of the jeep, which was a great adventure. My recommendation is to go during the cooler months or at least during the cooler times of day so you can see the most animals.