African Safari Parks
Sometimes you just can't make it across the world to go on Safari in Africa, but you want to give your kids the experience of seeing elephants, rhinos, and zebras in the wild. What's a parent to do? That's why Safari Parks were invented. Safari Parks are wonderful re-creations of Sub-Saharan Africa with the native animals allowed to roam in their natural habitat.
Many of these Safari Parks offer real Safari-like tours with trucks and jeeps. You'll no doubt find the Big 5 animals of Africa in these parks, without cages, and with life-like African surroundings.
Safari Parks are great for kids, especially if you're considering flying across the world to do the real thing one day soon. A Safari Park can test your child's and your own threshold for the thrills of a Safari adventure. You'll see wonderful animals like lions, giraffes, elephants, zebras, and antelopes, just to name a few.
Most often these Safari Parks are bigger than your traditional zoo and cost more money to make and, therefore, more money to visit. The natural topography has to mirror the animal's native surroundings, so a great deal of research and development goes into Safari Parks. You can find these African safari parks across the US, Canada, and even in Africa itself.
Safari Parks in the UK
And you might be surprised to hear that we found more terrific safari parks in the UK than anywhere else… Knowsley Safari Park in North England, West Midland Safari Park in Central England, and Woburn Safari Park in Bucks to name a few.
Safari Parks in the US
Of course, there are a few in the US as well… Try the African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton, OH or Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge, VA, Not quite as rustic is Disney's Animal Kingdom resort in Florida.
Some of these African safari parks are more commercial than others, and are often known as Wild Animal Parks. Often these parks are so commercial that there's a real amusement park spin on them, with rides, shows, games, shops, and restaurants for the whole family to enjoy.
Drive-Through Safari Parks
Another big hit around the world is the drive-through Safari Park. Everyone has probably seen on film or in magazines the classic picture of dad driving the family van through a Safari Park with the kids in the back entranced. There are a couple tales of pretty close encounters between man and beast, but no one has ever been seriously injured at one of these.
There's no need to fear that a Safari Park will turn into a Jurassic Park situation. These parks have been around a long time, and often there are barricades set up that look so natural you don't even know they're there. Take for example manmade streams or electric fences that look like twigs. These things keep the animals away from you without ruining the illusion of being out in the wild.
African safari parks are the ideal way to give your family the Safari experience without traveling all the way to Africa. It's also a good idea to take a child to one of these parks before committing to an actual Safari in the future.
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