Hi loves! I hope you all have had an amazing week so far. Now that all of our summer travels have concluded, I can finally get back on my regular schedule. Whatever that schedule is, lol. If you keep up with me on social media, you know that my family and I made a trip down to the Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon. It was a three and half hour drive to the safari. I honestly don’t know why we never made it out sooner. It was so worth the commute and more.
Wildlife Safari was built in 1972 by Frank Hart. Frank wanted to build a place in the Pacific Northwest that would help endangered animals. In 1986, Wildlife Safari became accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Seasons & Hours:
OPEN 363 DAYS PER YEAR!
November 8- March 12
Drive-Thru, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(Last vehicle admitted at 4:00p.m.)
Village & Gift Shop
10:00a.m. to 4:00p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas
March 13- November 7
Drive-Thru, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(Last vehicle admitted at 5:00p.m.)
Village & Gift Shop March 13- September 1
9:00a.m. to 6:00p.m.
Village & Gift Shop September 2- November 2
9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m.
**Keep an eye out on GROUPON, Living Social, and Portland Perks for deals**
If you do not plan on doing any of the encounters, and just doing the drive-thru- give yourself a good couple hours. Also, admission gets you two drive-thru. In case you miss an animal.
Wildlife Safari also offers animal encounters. You have to at least do one of these on your visit. The experience is well worth it. The encounters are $15.00 per person, but check out sites like: Groupon for discounts. They will not offer every encounter, but you can get some pretty cool ones at a discount. You can find more information on the encounters here.
My family and I chose the following encounters:
Feed the Giraffes
Lions Up Close
Meet the Cheetah
Lions Up close
The first encounter of the day was the Lions up close. As a group, you are driven out to where the lions are kept. Here you get an up close look at the lions with their trainers. Trainers provide tidbits about the lions and the pride, as well as the training they go through. The encounter lasted about 30 minutes. Totally worth the $15.00 for the encounter. You do get to see the lions during the drive through, but the view isn’t that great. Also, depending on the time of day you decide to do the drive through, will determine where the lions will be. The earlier you go out the better chance you have of seeing of them closer.
Feed the Giraffe
The giraffe feed is a must do! You are driven out to where the giraffe’s are. You are then provided with greens to feed the giraffes. I would say this encounter took 30 minutes as well. We got to feed the male and female giraffes on the property. They seem to just roam around freely. They will come up to your vehicle, if you’re nearby for an opportunity to get some great shots. Watch out for those black tongues!
The vehicle that you take out to the encounter.
As you can see, you get hands on with the giraffes. The giraffes loved my daughter so much that it attempted to eat her hair, lol.
Meet the Cheetah
With all the animal accidents that have been happening lately, this one was a bit scary to do. There isn’t a fence keeping the cheetahs from pouncing on you, but they are kept on a leash by the trainer. They really are just big cats! In this particular encounters, you get up close and personal- no touching! But..if you choose, you can get pictures with the cheetah!
Wildlife Safari is also well known for their cheetah breeding program. Since 1972, 178 cheetahs have been born at the park. Because of this, this makes Wildlife Safari one of the top breeders in the US.
Price: $15 per person
4×6 prints of your pictures are available.
$10 for 2 prints and $5 for each additional copy.
Camps & Classes:
Wildlife safari also has some great educational programs. I was able to meet with two of the program educators and tour the learning facility. Wildlife safari currently provides junior zookeepers/explorer program, day camps, and an overnight safari adventure camp. If we didn’t live so far away, I would love to send my daughters to one of the day camps. The day camps are for ages 4-11, between one to four days a week. The day camp provides games, crafts, animal encounters, and hands-on activities.
The animals used in for the programs are rescues or animals that used to be pets. I guess people just didn’t realize how hard it would be to take care of some of these animals, but it’s good to know that they go to amazing places like the Wildlife Safari!
They have a parrot, rabbits, snakes, hedgehog, possum, tortoise, rabbits, ferrets, sugar gliders, and my favorite…the cavy’s!!
How cute, right? They originate in Patagonia, but somehow they ended up as pets here in Oregon from two different owners. Again, the owners did not anticipate how much care they needed!
For more information about the day camps or other programs they offer, please click here.
Safari village is the “home base” for the park. Here you can find guest relations, the cafe, snacks, gift shop, and over 300 animals to view for free throughout the day.
We also did a little jewel/fossil digging….
You can also see the badger in action here through out the day!
The drive through is such a fun experience! You get to do it from the comfort of your own vehicle or pay for a safari tour. We did it from our personal vehicle. We saw everything, but the hippos- who was hiding in his little shelter.
Another fun little thing you get to do on the drive through is the animal feed. During the Asia stretch, you can pay $5 for a feed cup to feed the animals along the way.
Beware of this guy! He likes to hog the food…
My family and I had an amazing trip! We are already planning our next visit, because we want to do the other encounters. There is so much to do at the park to where you could easily make a weekend trip out of it. I hope you all enjoyed our mini getaway to the park and get a chance to experience it for yourselves!
Wildlife Safari is a non-profit 501 [c]  organization operation solely on gate admissions, donations and grants, receiving no state or federal tax funding. Please consider joining us in our mission to support wildlife. You can donate here.
**Tickets provided for free for review, all opinions are honest and my own**