A Trip to Lion Country Safari

Lion Country Safari is a wildlife park located in Southeast Florida.  Almost halfway between West Palm Beach and Lake Okeechobee, it features both the original drive-through experience and a “theme park” as well.

Antelopes in Lion Country SafariOkay, it’s a little theme park, but it is there.  🙂

Driving Through the Park

This is Lion Country Safari’s original claim to fame.  It takes the flat scrubland of South Florida and turns it into a safari of sorts.  You drive  your car through the park, stopping wherever you like to look at the animals and/or take photos.  With a few exceptions, the animals are not fenced in and can walk up close to your vehicle.  Or, stand right in front of it, LOL.  🙂

Rhino at Lion COuntry SafariHowever, you cannot roll down the windows or get out of the car.  These are indeed wild animals, even if they are used to car traffic.

And by the way, they don’t allow convertibles or motorcycles in the drive-through area — only in the theme park area.

Anyway, when you get at the entrance, you’re given a CD (they might still have a few cassettes as well, for cars without a CD player) and it tells you what area you’re approaching and what animals you’re likely to see there.  And yes, you turn in the CD/cassette when you leave.

As an aside, it’s funny, because I’d lived next door to the park (almost literally — the house was within 3 miles of the park boundaries) for years and years before I finally broke down and went inside.

It was pricey, but fun.  It’s based on number of people in the vehicle, not per vehicle.  It’s a bit less than $30/person for adults, but there are discount coupons usually available if you check out the website.  However, you get admission to both the safari and the theme park, so it’s not too bad all in all.  And you can definitely make a day of it.

What Kinds of Animals Can You See?

Lion Country Safari ZebrasIt probably changes somewhat from time to time, but there are lots and lots of antelope, and they have no hesitation to sometimes stand in the middle of the road.  Zebras are also in abundance.

There is a lion compound, which is quite naturally fenced to keep the lions away from the antelope, zebras, etc.

Rhinos, elephants, giraffes, primates and various ibis birds were readily seen.  There were also some huge animal that kind of resembled a water buffalo.  All told, they have around 900 animals in the park.

Rides and Campground

There are rides in the theme park area; most are included with the price of admission.  There is also a sprinkler/fountain section where the kids can cool off in the water (no pool, though).

There is a KOA campground attached to the park.  I didn’t go into the camping area, so I can’t comment on it, but I expect it’s pretty nice.

And when it comes to food — yes, there is a restaurant in the theme park area, so you can grab something to eat.  It’s not fancy, but the food was reasonably good.

As for this Florida vacation spot, if you are in South Florida and you’re looking for something different, give this park a try.  Take I-95 to Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach and head west around 20 miles or so; it will be on the north side of the road.