California Safari: Safari West is a good place to get away from it all

Recently, our Family and the Baers (from SoCal) drove out to Safari West near Santa Rosa for a couple of days. About 30-45 minutes NW of Napa, we took our time getting there, stopping at a few wineries to kill time and relax before check-in.

Safari West is an 'African Wildlife Preserve and African Tent Camp'.  They have over 400 acres of open spaces, lakes, trees, dirt roads, and all that. They also have on-site lodging... big family size tents with all the frills (shower, sink, bed, electricity). I don't think there is air-conditioning and the space heater leaves a lot to be desired on a cold night, but there are plenty of blankets. No cellular service is available either (good).

Throughout the park are around 700 critters of roughly 80 species, including: giraffes, cheetahs, rhinos, cape buffalos, blue wildebeest, lemurs, gazelle, porcupines, zebras, and lots of birds. Many, if not most, of these are born at Safari West (most recently a new giraffe). 

A highlight of Safari West is the three hour tour, part walk and part open vehicle ride around the Preserve to see the larger animals. The Preserve is divided up into a few large sections by necessity as some of the animals just don't get along all that well (apprently Zebras are rather mischievous). You don't have to spend the night at Safari West to take the tour, the public is welcome to make reservations for the tour alone.

In addition to the animals, the tour, and the accomodations, there is an excellent buffet lunch & dinner available (reservations required), a snack shop with sandwiches/salads, and the service throughout the Preserve is first rate. No sulking unhappy faces around Safari West. No surprise as it seems like a great job to have. I'd highly recommend Safari West for a family, or romantic,  getaway. Kids will love the critters.

2010 - Safari West Gallery