Lion Country Safari brings a wild drive-thru experience to Florida residents

Lion Country Safari, Loxahatchee, FL — Courtesy: Shutterstock — mariakray

Right here in the Sunshine State, Florida residents can immerse themselves in a four-mile safari with thriving naturalistic habitats and large herds of roaming animals.

Lion Country Safari, located in Loxahatchee, is the largest drive-thru safari in the state and the first one in the country. First opening in 1967, the facility offers over 600 acres of natural land and is home to over 900 animals.

“We wanted to bring that safari experience to the community, where, otherwise, it’s a very expensive trip to go to that kind of experience in Africa,” says public relations manager, Haley Passeser.

Today, nearly 500,000 visitors drive through their gates per year.

The safari preserve is divided into seven main habitats where guests can observe a variety of animals, including some of the largest herds of rhino, zebra, and giraffe on record in the U.S. 

The habitats include Las Pampas, a grassland area where guests can spot tortoises, alpacas, storks, and other bird species. The Ruaha National Park section is an unspoiled African wilderness known for its array of wildlife species such as Greater Kudu and Impala. The Kalahari Bushveldt is a dry plateau where ostrich and bongo run about. The Gorongoa Reserve is home to the African Lion, one of the most sought animals in the safari. Water buffalo, Nilgai, Oryx, and Blackbucks are found in the Gir Forest. Named after the most famous east African wildlife area, the Serengeti Plains preserve offers guests a glimpse of Wildebeest, Waterbucks, Watusi, and Eland. Giraffe, Rhinoceros, Zebra, Chimpanzee, and Gibbon can be found in the Hwange National Park area.

Zoogoers can go at their own speed and even pull over to get extremely close to these animals from the comfort of their own car. 

“The animals may very well roam right up to your vehicle and you can see them pretty much face to face on the other side of your window,” says Passeser.

On top of its impressive animal display, Lion Country Safari is a proud supporter of conservation efforts within the local community as well as in habitats throughout the world. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Lion Country Safari has participated in many programs that have brought several wildlife facilities and zoos together to create a better future for endangered and at-risk species.

Lion Country Safari is open Monday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. There is also a 55-acre adventure park on property with a water park, animal habitats, rides, a petting zoo, restaurants, and shops where guests can enjoy a tasty treat at Café Roar or Safari Snacks, or browse for a safari souvenir. 

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