San Diego Zoo Safari Park Planning Guide
San Diego Zoo Safari Park is 1,800 acres of carefully constructed habitats for some of the world’s most amazing animals. Alongside its conservation efforts, the Safari Park offers visitors a stunning safari experience, right in the San Pasqual Valley.
Originally developed to be a breeding hub for San Diego Zoo, the Safari Park is now one of the most popular theme parks in California.
With aRes travel’s amazing deals on San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets, the whole family can join in on the fun. These tips and tricks for planning your wildly wonderful San Diego getaway can help you maximize your time in America’s favorite city.
You will find a variety of interesting and authentic exhibits at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and, with so much to see and do, there’s sure to be something for everyone in the family.
From the plains of Africa, head to ‘Walkabout Australia,’ an exhibit that gives visitors the opportunity to encounter some of Australia’s most amazing native animals, including wallabies and kangaroos.
Or, you can catch a bird show at the Aviary, where you’ll watch majestic birds swoop and soar. While you’re here, don’t miss the award-winning California Condor conservation project.
After that, hop on a 30-minute African Tram ride, where you are sure to spot elephants and giraffes lazing about on the Califonia savannah. Then, make time to visit the Lion Camp to see these impressive beasts in their home.
Visitors to the park have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to feed lorikeets, search for lemurs and meerkats, and even take a hot air balloon ride. Your kids will never forget the magical experience of feeding the giraffes at twilight from the back of an open-air safari truck or testing their nerves on the Flightline Safari – a zip line that soars 130 feet above a savannah of roaming wildlife.
Adventurous guests can even book a sleepover to spend the night at the Safari Park, where they cater to all ages and camping tastes. Whether you want to rough it in a regular tent or enjoy a queen bed with a view, you’ll find a ‘Roar and Snore Safari’ package that’s perfect for you.
Tips and tricks for the perfect trip
When to visit
San Diego Zoo Safari Park is open every single day of the year – including holidays! However, opening hours do vary, so be sure to check the hours before planning your visit. You can do so up to 3 months in advance on the Safari Park website.
Every year from October 1 – 31st, kids go free. C, children aged 11 and under receive free admission to both the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park when visiting with a paying adult in honor of the founding of the San Diego Zoo.
Children aged 2 and under are always free.
The park is open come rain or shine and please note that you are not eligible for a refund or exchange due to inclement weather. Check the current weather at the Safari Park by following the links on the official site.
Though you could easily spend a day or more exploring the incredible exhibits, a minimum visit time of 4 hours is recommended to enjoy everything the Safari Park has to offer.
What to take
Strollers, wheelchairs, lockers, and scooters are conveniently available for rent at the park on a first-come-first-served basis: just head to Safari Outfitters on arrival.
Please keep in mind that the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a smoke-free facility, so it is best to leave your tobacco products at home.
You can pack your own food and drink to enjoy at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park picnic areas, which are within easy reach of the parking lot, the park staff simply asks that you refrain from bringing glass and plastic straws on the premises.
Visit the Ranger Base for the lost and found hub, first aid assistance, and any other information required during your visit, including plant identification. For your convenience, an ATM is also available at the Ranger Base.
In keeping with their conservation mission, San Diego Zoo Safari Park does not print maps or brochures to help keep their waste to a minimum.
Instead, you can download the official app on your Apple iOS or Android smartphone to access a GPS-enabled park map that helps you track your exact location in the park.
Alternatively, there are a number of links to follow on the official website that provide you with a whole host of useful information, including a Park Map that you can view as a PDF.
Directions & parking tips
San Diego Zoo Safari Park is located at 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, California 92027-7017. From Interstate 15, exit at Via Rancho Parkway (Exit 27) and follow the signs east to the Park.
It is important to note that the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park are NOT on the same site. They are 35 miles apart and the travel time between the sites is approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
Parking is $15 per vehicle and $22 for an RV. On weekends and holidays, preferred parking is $33.
Where to stay
There are a number of hotels conveniently located in close proximity to San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Those looking for luxury should consider the Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach. The top-tier hotel is located across the street from the beach and just a short drive from the Safari Park as well as other popular San Diego attractions. It boasts a Beach Café, complimentary family movies on the lawn (seasonal), and an outdoor heated pool, among a whole host of other amenities.
Located just off the Interstate 15 freeway is the Radisson Hotel San Diego – Rancho Bernardo. This charming location features a heated outdoor pool and a complimentary breakfast buffet.
Alternatively, the resort-style Holiday Inn Carlsbad/San Diego is another excellent option that is conveniently located near to some of San Diego’s most popular attractions. They offer free Wi-Fi, free parking, a fitness center, and a sunny courtyard for relaxing, ensuring that you’ll have everything you need for a comfortable stay.
Save big with aRes Travel
The tickets and packages available through aRes travel will have you saving big on your San Diego Zoo Safari Park adventure. The expert travel concierge team at aRes Travel can help you decide between discount ticket options, package deals, and exclusive hotel savings.
Discount ticket options
1. 1-Day Pass
Includes a discount on the gate price.
2. Family Pack 1-Day Pass
The Family Pack allows you to save when buying 3 or more tickets.
3. 2-Day Pass
Includes a discount on the gate price.
4. Go San Diego Card
A 1-, 2-, 3-, 5- or 7-day pass with huge savings on admission prices and flexible entry to over 40 top attractions, including San Diego Zoo Safari Park plus San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND® California, Knott’s Berry Farm, Knott’s Soak City Waterpark, and many more.
Packages – save more when you book a hotel
1. An Adventurer’s Paradise at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Includes your choice of 8 hotels and a 1-day pass to San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
2.Lions, Tigers, and Panda Bears, Oh My! The San Diego Zoo or Safari Park Package
Includes your choice of 108 hotels and 1-day pass tickets to either San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Each pass includes access to a number of attractions and amenities within the chosen site.
3.San Diego Family Fun Vacation Package
A bundled attraction package plus your choice of one of 383 hotels in the San Diego area. You’ll receive discounted prices for LEGOLAND® California, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, SeaWorld® San Diego, USS Midway Museum, Old Town Trolley Tours of San Diego, and Balboa Park Explorer Multi-Day Pass.
4.The Best of San Diego! Choose Your Own Adventure Package
Customize your own amazing San Diego vacation! This package includes your choice of discounted tickets to 5 popular theme parks, including LEGOLAND® California and SEA LIFE® Aquarium, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and SeaWorld® San Diego, plus your choice 18 hotel accommodations.
1.Go San Diego Card Package
This package includes 1-card access to 48 top attractions with a 1-, 2-, 3-, 5- or 7-day pass, plus your choice of 43 top-tier hotels.
2.See the San Diego Sights Package
This comprehensive bundled deal includes your choice of 73 hotels plus one sightseeing tour, with choices including The Old Town Trolley Tour, the Hornblower Cruise, and the SEAL Amphibious Tour.
For exclusive deals on San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets, amazing savings on packages and hotels, and some of the lowest prices on travel, call 1 (800) 434-7894 (international callers use +1 (619) 546-5622) to speak with an aRes Travel planning expert seven days a week, or book online now.