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San Diego Zoo's Wild Safari Park TR


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Hello everyone! I visited the San Diego Zoo's Wild Safari Park today! The park had a very opposed name change, and was formerly known as the Wild Animal Park.

 

The park itself has had a very major turnaround over the past few years, going from a very rustic feel, to a modern and updated feel. The only loss was the former tram ride called the WGASA Busch Line. Supposedly the designer of the monorail named it "WGASA", which is an acronym for "Who give a $@#% anyway"...

 

This in turn caused the downfall of the Asian Area, which has since become nearly abandoned. I did not visit this area during this trip because it's a 30 minute hike uphill with little shade. The only other area was not visited was the Gorillas, because we ran out of time.

 

Also with the name change came updates all over the park along with new pricing options. You now buy a "Safari" with your ticket. Various options are given including:

 

Zipline Safari (Flightline)

 

African Tram Safari (standard Safari, included in ticket price)

 

Cart Safari (small vehicles get you up closer to the animals)

 

Segway Safari (Segways with offroad tires that take you into the backroads with an upclose encounter)

 

Truck Safari (the Safari that allows you to ride in a truck and feed various animals inside the exhibit)

 

Ballon Safari (A hot air ballon that takes you 400 feet up in the air for a true brids eye view of the park)

 

 

All of these attractions are upcharges except for the African Safari which is included in your ticket.

 

If you intend to visit, I recommend the Zipline Safari, which takes a good two hours, but is absolutely amazing, but for $75 a go...

 

 

Anyway, here's all the pictures from the park, enjoy!

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Welcome to the Wild Anim...er Safari Park...

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Inside the entrance building. You can purchase various upcharges and food at the booth on the left, and a giant park map is on your right.

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The mega map on the side of the entrance hall.

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Onto the main attraction! The animals!

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They had various birds up on the hill side of the entry path that leads in and out of the park.

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These guys were pretty active...

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One of the exhibits held these guys. When I left, they were exactly the same, and that was 5-6 hours later!

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A macaw was just chillin' up there.

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Another bird asleep. Many of the animals were still snoozing when we arrived.

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Near the entrance, they have 4-5 different meet-n-greets with various animals. Right as we arrived, they brought out an (Golden?) Eagel. Whatever breed it was, it was American . :p

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This guy was huge, but only weighed around around ten pounds!

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I'm a big scary golden eagel! Gimme some candy!

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The trainer allowed for some great photo ops.

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Meerkats!

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All of these guys were just sleeping.

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This guy was standing guard while the others were sleeping.

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The Mambasa Labgoon Area was quite beautiful, and had an abundance of wildlife.

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The lagoon area is huge, and is populated with thousands of birds, fish, and other animals.

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The area had fun little touches like these lilly pads which you could hop onto.

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A duck.

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Another view of the fort on top of the waterfall.

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More birds nesting.

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I love this area!

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Another duck.

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There were gease with just sleeping in the middle of the walkways on the water with people walking by.

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This was a giant-ass pelican! It was 4-5x larger than a normal pelican.

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Ring Tail Lemur!

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They were running all over their little island.

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The warthogs had just gotten their breakfast and were "pigging out".

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OM NOM NOM

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They ate out of the ball.

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This little chick was wandering around chirping.

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This is a shoebill stork that is always hiding out.

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Very cool bird!

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More giant-ass birds!

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Entrance to the first Safari, the Zipline named Flightline.

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The Lorikeets were very active in their exhibit. You could buy nectar, and they would fly over to you faster than an ACEr to a buffet table. ;)

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They were big on grooming.

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The moneys were hanging on the edge of their exhibits and checking everyone out as they walked by.

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Now we head out onto the Rift Valley Area, that overlooks the whole lower section of the park.

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The overlook provided some great views. The Ballon Safari is right below.

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This area mimics an African Safari, and takes up a good majority of the park's land.

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Another look at the Ballon Safari.

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Some Giraffes were grazing a few hundren feet away. Good thing I had my trusty 36x zoom.

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A panoramic diagram that explains what you're observing.

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Down we went! Thos shows the platform we were on moments before. There's about 150ft. up.

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The Ballon Safari rising into the air. This thing is really scary to watch on windy days when it remains in operation.

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The ending of the practice zipline for Flightline. The main zipline is an hour away, and takes you all the way down the side of this valley.

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Heading to the exhibits, they displayed the section of the map that corresponded with the area.

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Ballon Safari signage.

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The water area was a huge hit, and is always packed in the afternoons with tons of kids and teens.

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This is the new remodeled Lion Camp with a Cheetah Run.

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Signage

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Sleepy Cat is Sleepy.

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Probably my favorite shot of the whole update.

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Info

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Occationally you'll see Lions snoozing in front of where the people are standing.

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A view towards the Africa Tour.

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The main attraction!

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The queue has tons of signs and TVs telling you various facts.

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This queue fills up very fast in the afternoons.

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AKA we're paying a couple extra bucks to skip you suckers.

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The trams are "eco friendly" and what this?

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I had no idea these were from Chance until today!

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As we began our tour, we passed the Segway center.

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The first animals we see are Cheetahs! They were resting in the shade in tall grass.

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Then some giraffes.

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And a giant pod of Flamingos.

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More wildlife!

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A small island held most of the African Birds.

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The Ballon Safari heading for the heavens.

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The Vulture exhibit was strangely lush.

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Rhino!

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Flightless bird is flightless.

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There were many active animals.

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I'll post more pictures soon!

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It's interesting to see The Wild Animal Park... SDZWAS... whatever it's name is now compared to my first visit there in 1984... Yes, that long ago. I do remember the Monorail, as it reminded me of the one at Kings Dominion and Kings Island (Anybody have any clue if it too was an Inty Monorail). I also remember (Fondly!) the "There are NO bathrooms on this safari, so use them before you board!' signs all over the place.

 

Sad to see them go, I can only hope they'll ressurect them again in the future!

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I haven't been there since my last trip to San Diego in 2005 which included the Wild Animal Park, San Diego Zoo, and Sea World. I've always enjoyed my visits to the Wild Animal Park and almost prefer it over the Zoo as it is more interactive. The WGASA Monorail was my favorite, I'm sad to see it go, as the 45 minute ride gives you a good chance to see animals in their natural surroundings. I know they have a tram now, but its not the same as a monorail. I also really enjoyed the African Outpost section and feeding the Giraffes, feeding the lorikeets, and the butterfly aviary. I'm glad they added a zipline, it looks cool and I may have to try it next time I visit there. I don't know why they changed the name though to San Diego Zoo Safari Park as I thought Wild Animal Park was a better and catchier name.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 5 months later...

More pictures!

 

Sorry these took nearly 6 months to post.

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The tram went all around "Africa". This giant exhibit is modeled with different parts of Africa.

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This giraffe was watching the tram as it went by.

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Beautiful Animals

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Springbalk? Can't remember exactly.

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This shows off a large portion of the African exhibit.

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I really love this park.

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Asses

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I think every Rhino I saw was asleep.

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The wild asses are shy, so they're put in a different exhibit thanb other animals.

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I just love the atmoshpere of this park!

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The entire tour takes around 30 minutes to complete, on a two mile loop.

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n a few years, this area will look more like a forest.

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Looking out over the valley.

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I really love the views!

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Coming back around you take a higher route with better views.

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Coming Around...

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These animals were on a hilly section above the tram.

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Flyby!

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Giraffes!

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OM NOM NOM

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This is the only time I've ever seen a Giraffe sitting down!

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Nevermind, I found some non-sleepy Rhinos.

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That;s the end of the Tram Safari. The next area was the African Loop, which is a very long winding path with African animals that takes around 30-45 minutes to walk through at a leasurely pace.

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Segway Safari. Let's just hope there aren't any cliff nearby ;)

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This is the feeding Safari.

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Cheetah Chillin' in the tall grass.

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The path at the beginning of the loop.

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Looks like someone had one too many drinks.

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This section is out on a lake, with a man made island in the center.

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Another view of the prop car.

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Those were the flamingos from earlier.

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There were a gazillion ducks sleeping right here...

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Bright Sun is Bright

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Mother duck and her chicks.

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I'm pretty sure there are more ducks here than there are all other animals combined!

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This area is very nicely done.

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What's this?

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ON NOM NOM

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I randomly got this realy interesting shot.

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Where else can you get awesome landscaping like this in a ZOO!

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Going down?

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This area of the park was beautiful.

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This area was very photogenic.

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Don't touch my eggs.

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More animals.

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It took me like ten shots to get this, the bird wouldn't sit still.

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Vulture

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The head looks so disproportional...

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Wild Safari Park is really a little gem here in Southern California. It is one of those parks that just can't be covered in one day if you want to check everything out. Especially if somebody in your group becomes fixated on a specific display, like the banzai trees.

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Great pictures! I'm still pissed about the name and tram tour changes. Oh well, guess I should get over it.

 

They changed the tram tour too?! Dammit they wrecked my childhood ! I used to live 15 minutes away from this place and would go with my family all the time. Why did they take out the monorail and put in these things?

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Great pictures! I'm still pissed about the name and tram tour changes. Oh well, guess I should get over it.

 

They changed the tram tour too?! Dammit they wrecked my childhood ! I used to live 15 minutes away from this place and would go with my family all the time. Why did they take out the monorail and put in these things?

 

 

The park was becoming extremely worn out and run down. As part of a rejuvenation process they removed the WGASA Busch Line for a purported set of Two Eco Friendly Tram Tours, one of Africa, one of Asia.

 

Sadly, the Asian loop never happened as of today, and the Asian area has declined drastically because of it.

 

Not to mention the HUGE amount of eyesores left behind by the empty concrete tram beds running through the park...

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