Virginia Safari Park
Virginia Safari Park - A Photographic Journey
The Safari Park in Natural Bridge Virginia is a great day trip for anyone in Central Virginia. With the downturn in the economy, this beautiful park nestled in the mountains is a great up close introduction to wild animals.
Let me make this perfectly clear. This safari park is as entertaining for children as it is adults. My college aged daughter and I had a great time. While we were there, we saw retired couples, families, schools and teenagers.
How much time you spend at the Safari Park is entirely up to you. You can bring a picnic and enjoy the grounds. Drive through, then park and walk around the petting zoo, big cat, birds and giraffe area. Get back in your car and drive through the park again. Drive through the park, leave to eat lunch and return later in the day. Your entrance fee allows you to return to the park all day long.
The safari park is far different that visiting a traditional zoo. It will give you the feeling that you have really left "reality" and found the animal kingdom! You won't see the "big 5" while you drive through the park, but you will get a bit of the same feeling you get when you are on an African Safari; all without the airfare!
Too far from Central Virginia to take a day trip? Want a better idea of what you really will see when you go? Sometimes being an armchair traveler is as good as it gets. Follow me through the safari park with this photographic journey.
Sit back, relax, put on your safari hat and enjoy!
Where is Natural Bridge Safari Park?
Before you go, what you need to know!
Adults-$14.00 / Children [ages 3-12] $10.00/ Seniors 65+-$13.00
HOURS OF OPERATION for 2009
March 14 - May 22
9 AM - 5 PM Daily (Last car admitted at 4 PM)
May 23 - September 7
9 AM - 6 PM Daily (Last car admitted at 5 PM)
September 8 - November 29
9 AM - 5 PM Daily (Last car admitted at 4 PM)
Buckets of feed - $ 3.00 or 4 buckets for $10.00.
Giraffe grain - $.50/handful
SAFARI WAGON RIDES
Spring: (March 14-June 14) Saturday and Sunday 1PM and 3PM Only.
Summer : (June 15- September 7) Daily 11:30, 1:00 pm, and 3:00 pm.
Fall: (September 8- November 22) Saturday and Sunday 1PM and 3PM Only
Ready for a day trip?!
Virginia Safari Park - Enter Here!
We're here, now what?
After you pay your entrance fee and get your buckets of feed, drive straight ahead and through the gates into the animal area of the safari park. You are given a 16 page color brochure that will tell you about the animals in the park as well as the park rules. You must remain seated. You must remain in the car. You can however go through the park as many times as you want in a single day.
Within seconds my Mini Cooper was surrounded by the guardians of the gates, zebras!
From here on out, keep your windows open and take your time. A wagon tour is available if you have children and would like to learn more about the animals in residence at the Safari Park.
IF you like animals and love the idea of getting up close and personal, an adult will find they are having as much fun as the kids!
Zebra CrossingClick thumbnail to view full-size
Zebras are best known for their distinctive white and black stripes. Their stripes come in different patterns unique to each individual. They are generally social animals and can be seen in small harems to large herds. In addition to their stripes, zebras have erect, mohawk-like manes. Unlike their closest relatives, horses and donkeys, zebras have never been truly domesticated.
Is your momma a llama?Click thumbnail to view full-size
The llama is from South American and is widely used as a pack animal by the Incas and other natives of the Andes mountains.The height of a full-grown, full-size llama is between 5.5 ft (1.7 m) to 6 ft (1.8 m) tall at the top of the head. Llamas are very social animals and like to live with other llamas as a herd. Llamas are intelligent and can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions. When using a pack, llamas can carry about 25% to 30% of their body weight for several miles.
Did you bring lunch?
Wildebeest, yaks, bison, buffalo, cattle and watusi FYI
Wildebeest- (Africa) Also known as a gnu. A baby can run 307 minutes after it is born!
Yak - (Central Asia) A wild ox. It's long hair goes almost to the ground!
Bison (North America) The largest mammals in North America
Swamp Water Buffalo (Asia) The primary draft animal of southern China.
Scotch Highland Cattle - (Scotland) Their long hair acts as a rain slicker!
Safari Park Wagon Ride
Look into my eye!
Buffalo, camels,and cows oh my!Click thumbnail to view full-size
(Africa & Middle East)
There are two main kinds of camels. The dromedary, one-humped or Arabian camel has a single hump and is well known for its healthy low fat milk, and the Bactrian camel has two humps.
Contrary to popular belief, water is not stored in the hump!
Is it an antelope, or is it a deer?Click thumbnail to view full-size
Oh Deer! FYI
Fallow Deer-(Europe & Asia) Has flattened antlers shaped like the palm of the human hand.
Sika Deer -(Eastern Asia and Japan) Has over 10 individual sounds. Is regarded as sacred in Japan
Axis Deer - (India) Considered the most beautiful member of the deer family. Also called chital which means "spotted" in Hindustani
Pere David Deer - (China) No longer live in the wild. The current world population is entirely from this herd.
Rocky Mountain Elk - (Western U.S. & Canada) A great jum
Which way did you say?
Hoofed animal with an even number of toes. (Africa & India)
Scimitar Horned Oryx - Able to live for weeks without water!
Beisa Oryx - Can raise their body temperature to 116 degrees fahrenheit.
Gemsbox Oryx - The largest of the Oryx.
Eland - The largest antelope in the world!
Blackbuck This antelope can reach speeds of 45 miles per hour.
Nllgai - The largest antelope in India
After you drive through the safari park...stop at the Safari Village
Once you have made your way around the safari park, there is still more to see. After you exit through the open animal area and you head toward the gift shop, you will see parking to the left as well as a sign pointing you to the Safari Village.
Inside this portion of the safari park you will find a petting zoo, an aviary, big cats, kangaroos, warthogs, flamingos and of course the giraffes. Make sure you have plenty of quarters on hand so you can feed the giraffes. Giraffes eat different food than the bucket feed you purchase before you drive through the park!
Safari Village Entrance
Inside the Safari VillageClick thumbnail to view full-size
Giraffes Part1Click thumbnail to view full-size
Want to play hide and seek?
Giraffes Part 2Click thumbnail to view full-size
The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an African even-toed ungulate mammal. the tallest of all land-living animal species. It is covered in large, irregular patches of yellow to black fur separated by white, off-white, or dark yellowish brown background. It is approximately 4.3 metres (14 ft) to 5.2 metres (17 ft) tall.
If you can't go on a real safari, which is better?
Can't get to Virginia? Here are some other Safari Parks
- Wildlife Safari - Winston Oregon
mmLoadMenus(); � � Wildlife Safari is a non-profit AZA accredited Zoological Park dedicated to conservation, education and research since its inception in 1972. Wildlife Safari is a fun-filled family destination where you can view over 5
- Welcome to Wild Animal Safari!
Â Â Â Â Â Please choose a park below to enter site: Â Powered by Sonnar Internet Inc. Â Â
- America's Safari parks: for those in search of African-style adventure, here's something to roar abo
America's Safari parks: for those in search of African-style adventure, here's something to roar about! from Travel America provided by Find Articles at BNET
- Longleat - As featured on BBC's Animal Park
Longleat House and Safari Park - As featured on BBC's Animal Park
There are more than animals to see at the the Safari Park..check out the view!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Stop at the gift shop for a souvenir of the day
It's a new breed of camel...photocamelographer (the photographer!)
Children's Books starring Safari Park animals
I hope you enjoyed a day at the Safari Park. Any thoughts or suggestions, I am all ears! Thanks for stopping by!