African Lion Safari: Go Wild!

If you live in Ontario, it's likely that you have heard the jingle for African Lion Safari. If you have a child who likes to parrot everything he hears, it's even more likely that the mere mention of African Lion Safari puts that jingle ear worm in your head for the rest of the day (sorry, not sorry!).

After months of jingle singing and begging to visit, however, my five year old got his wish- we finally visited African Lion Safari. Celebrating its 45th year (FOURTY-FIVE!), African Lion Safari is Canada's original safari adventure and I can personally say that it is a BLAST for the entire family!

Our boat awaits!
Upon arrival (you pay at the gates, while still in your car, which is so smart!), park your car in the free(!) parking lot and head out to the "African Queen" boat cruise. I suggest fitting in the boat cruise (and train ride) early if you have younger children, as the line ups become longer as the day progresses and wee ones have trouble waiting.
The African Queen boat will take you on a 15 minute leisurely cruise of the Water Safari Lake, where you'll see the cutest ring-tailed lemurs, spider monkeys and marabou storks, amongst other animals. My boys loved the boat in and of itself, but were especially thrilled to see so many animals on their own islands and (luckily) the animals were very active and spent a lot of time showing off for us!

Some nosey zebras going right up to a car
So close!
From there, I highly suggest taking the Safari Tour Bus into the Games Reserve for the highlight of this day trip- an up close and personal encounter with some of the most beautiful and majestic creatures nature has to offer. I would highly suggest the bus trip, in lieu of driving your own car (which is an option), as the driver is incredibly knowledgable and provides fantastic background information during the approximately 45 minute ride. We were incredibly lucky to see a plethora of babies on our trip and had the chance to get extremely close to one of my favourite animals, a beautiful giraffe. The highlight for my boys was the baboons- we watched them climbing on cars and hitching rides as some brave souls drove along. This was by far our favourite part of the day and a definite must-do that my boys are still talking about!
My favourite site of the day- I couldn't snap enough pictures

Lastly, I cannot recommend the Elephant Round-Up show enough. There are three shows at African Lion Safari (Parrot Paradise and Birds of Prey, and Elephant Round-Up) that are all excellent, but the Elephant Round-Up was by far our favourite. The elephants, along with their trainers, play soccer, basketball and do some painting, along with a few, fun high jinx thrown in for added entertainment. Unfortunately, it started pouring rain during our show, which made getting pictures impossible, but that didn't stop us from waiting around to touch an elephant after the show was done- such an amazing experience!

To top off the day, I would suggest a visit (or in our case multiple visits!) to the kids playground- full of fun things to climb and a ball pit that made my 3 year old squeal with delight- and the AMAZING water park (sadly, it was raining so my kids didn't get to partake but on a warm day I think it would be difficult to pull them away). Make sure you partake in some delicious food offerings (we had Pizza Pizza-yum!- but there were hot dog and fries stands near the water park that I would have loved to try out) and ice cream (!), and make a quick visit to the petting zoo before you leave.
Crazy baboons hitching a ride!

All in all, despite the rainy weather we encountered, our day at African Lion Safari was so much fun! If you're going, plan to spend the entire day- pack some snacks (the parking lot is very close and we were able to make a few trips back and forth so that we didn't have to drag a backpack around) and your swimsuit and have some fun!! There is so much to see and do and children (and adults!) of all ages will take something away from what proved to be an educational and fun day!
African Lion Safari is a fantastic place to spend the day with your family and make some memories to last a lifetime!

*Disclaimer: I was provided with free entry to African Lion Safari for my family of four but opinions are, as always, my own!

1 comment:

  1. Ruth aka GrandmaJuly 28, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    Wow...they have added a lot of features since I was last there over 20 years ago!!!
    Looks like a great trip!!


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