ZOOZ changed its name to Safari Niagara, but it still has the same owners and, more importantly, the same animals you’ve always loved.
ZOOZ is an animal park with a population of more than 400
creatures. Here you’ll find “lions and tigers and bears – oh my!” as
well as elk, buffalo, zebra, baboons, lemurs, Canadian lynx, giraffes,
wolves, a fox, a pair of wart hogs, a miniature horse, and all kinds of
exotic birds including peacocks, African crowned cranes, ostriches,
owls, eagles and swans. It’s easy to get so enthralled watching one pair
that you might just run out of time before you get to visit the rest.
can learn about how animals act at animal demonstration shows run
throughout the day. At one presentation, your kids get a chance to feed
leaves to the giraffes from the top of a tall feeding platform. At
another you can learn all about birds and “the wonders of flight”.
Playground & other family fun facilities
ZOOZ has a well-equipped playground with slides, swings, climbers, tunnels, bridges and tree huts. In the sandbox we saw kids playing with toy trucks and other items that seem to come with the property. The playground is a really nice addition since the whole place seems geared to younger children, and the playground gives them a place to relax after what could be a tiring though enjoyable stroll around the animals’ pens.
The splash pad looks like great fun and it made me wish I was a kid again. The teeter-totters in the pool have built-in splashers that send water squirting out at your partner as you go up in the air! How cool is that?
Among the other free activities are paddle boats and kites. No need to pay extra to borrow these items.
If you like fishing, you’ll find ponds stocked and ready. You can borrow the park’s equipment but you pay a small fee for bait.
The zoo also runs a series of evening concerts at their ampitheatre every summer (separately priced).
Getting around the park
ZOOZ covers about 110 acres (compare this with the Toronto zoo which is more than 700 acres) so it’s doable in one day. Since it’s a smaller place it’s also usually not as crowded with visitors. As one tripadvisor reviewer said, “We love the fact that the kids don't have to push their way through a crowd to see the animals.”
The Gator Express tram is a great way to tour the park before deciding where to start your fun. It does a loop of about 6 kilometres and you can get a pretty good view of many of the animals right from the tram. We sat in the front of the tram, though, and the speaker there didn’t seem to be working properly, so we missed most of the information.
But all of the animal pens and cages have information panels so you can get your facts there.
The park is wheelchair accessible.
You can buy a day pass or a seasonal pass. For two day passes for adults we paid less than $40 and that included 2 passes for the tram ($2 each) plus taxes. We saved $3 each on admission by checking for coupons online. Just google ZOOZ and coupons and you should find current vouchers.
You can buy food at the Zooz snack stand. I imagine the line up must get pretty long on busy days, though. We didn’t buy lunch as we just wanted a cold drink but were pleasantly surprised to see that prices seemed reasonable for a zoo. Great to see they’re trying to offer some healthy treats.
To save money, you can bring your own lunch and use the picnic
area for free.
When to GO
From May to October. After that the animals are moved to winter quarters.
Location of ZOOZ
The park is located at 2821 Stevensville Road in Stevensville, a small community in Fort Erie. Their phone numbers are:
(905) 382-9669 (PHONE); (866) 367-9669 (Toll Free)
The zoo is only 10 min from Niagara Falls, really easy to get to. It’s about 90-minute to 2 hour drive from Toronto, depending on traffic.
Stevensville is the birthplace of James L. Kraft who invented processed cheese.