I drove my family of four up to Safari West in Santa Rosa to spend the morning on a safari vehicle tour. Super fun! I suggest this trip for tall four-year olds and up, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
We rode on a customized open-air military-grade truck through rocky dusty roads for about two and a half hours. The trek included stops every few minutes to watch animals do their thing and learn some interesting bits of trivia (a rhino's head weighs over 1000 pounds, who knew?!). No food is allowed but you may carry water bottles on the mini safari.
Because my sons measured over 48″, the four of us rode ON TOP of the vehicle wearing only lap belts — yep leave the car seats at home! Toddlers are welcome but they will sit on your lap or wiggle around the jeep with no seatbelts down in the main vehicle. The view from the top was hot and rewarding. And extra bouncy.
After a brief bathroom break, we took a guided walk through a different part of the animal preserve with cheetahs, lemurs, monkeys, and several kinds of rare birds. The second part of the tour is more like a zoo because animals are enclosed. It is off-road stroller-friendly.
The main safari tour begins and ends at the deli, which makes fresh family-friendly fare in large portions. We shared two sandwiches among the four of us and felt satisfied.
This adventure was a big splurge for my family. Much more expensive than the zoo but much cheaper than a trip to Africa!
Plan a visit to Safari West
- Children need to be 4 years or older to participate in the classic jeep safari. Children under the age of 4 can join their group on the walking portion of the classic safari tour. (Or take them to Train Town instead!)
- Register in advance either online or by calling. Get all your questions answered on the phone.
- You can also sleep there! I'd love to try their luxury tent cabins some day.
- More info here >