The African Lion Safari Ontario is one of the most unique zoos in North America, where the animals roam wild while humans drive through and observe them. Details about animals, shows, playgrounds.
The Safari has been around ever since 1969, ever since I was a kid (when I loved it). My sister and I recently checked it out again and it's still going strong. Find out why!
What we found was more than 1000 animals including 130 species grouped into several sections.
The biggest area is the drive-through game reserve. This is the highlight of the African Lion Safari Cambridge. You can take your car through and go at your own speed, or you can take the air-conditioned safari tour bus for an extra $5. The bus takes about an hour to drive through. I found the narration a little hard to hear (especially over the screaming children and babies on the bus), but in spite of this, I enjoyed the trip and saw many cool animals including: Baboons, Lions, Zebras, Elegant grey-crowned cranes, Cheetah and Oryx. (NOTE: The bus does linger so you can take photos. Most of the photos you see on this page were shot through the bus window with my very basic digital camera.)
There are signs all over the place like this one:
… warning people who drive their own cars through NOT to open their windows but there are still those who open them to take a picture. I saw at least two drivers doing this in the vicinity of a rhino. Look at this guy; would you really want to meet him with nothing between the two of you?
A colleague of mine, even with the window rolled up, had the side of her car swiped by a rhino's horn (and your insurance doesn't cover this since going through a park with WILD ANIMALS is considered a risk).
In another section of the African Lion Safari in Ontario you'll find caged animals like in a traditional zoo. These are set up in a row of private enclosures and include mostly birds. There's also an elephant area which we didn't get to on this trip.
Aren't these lemurs adorable? They remind me of cats! We saw them on the boat tour.
One thing that's really lovely on a hot sticky day is the African Queen Boat ride. This is a narrated open-air boat tour that offers great breezes as you cruise around a small pond with islands that are home to animals such as lemurs and monkeys. Our only complaint was that it was too short! We would have loved to have stayed on for a second trip around except the crowd that was waiting would have probably beat us to a pulp if we're tried!
There's also a train that you can take through a small area with more animals.
The park offers several live animal shows practically every 30 minutes. The shows last about 20 minutes, which gives you 10 minutes to rush to the next show at a different stage (not far away). We saw the parrot show and the elephant show, both really funny. Watching the parrot riding on the bicycle was hilarious.
African Lion Safari Ontario is well respected among animal parks for its elephant-breeding program, by the way. This is something I didn't know before seeing the show. Elephants are really smart. We saw two playing basketball and soccer and they both scored!
The park has a great wet play area and climbing apparatus for little kids … a great way to cool off the little ones cranky from the sun and heat, and give the parents a bit of a rest too.
NEXT PAGE: Practicalities (When to Go, Cost, Location etc)
Ontario Travel Secrets > African Lion Safari