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Safari Wilderness Ranch ~ An Unforgettable Animal Safari in Florida

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Did you know Florida offers safaris sure to thrill any animal-loving family? Take the kids on safari at the Safari Wilderness Ranch for an adventure they will remember long after the mouse ears have been put away. Here's what to know before you go.

Animal encounters on a family safari in Central Florida

Safari Wilderness Ranch in Central Florida provides an exceptional family adventure with animal encounters (Photo credit: Joann Woolley)

Why Safari Wilderness Ranch

Located in the heart of Florida's Green Swamp Wilderness Area between Orlando and Tampa, the Safari Wilderness Ranch is set on 260 acres of watershed land. Expect to see freely roaming, grazing animals like water buffalo, zebra, wapiti and antelope. This is not a zoo or theme park. You will feel as though you have left civilization behind and are truly entering the habitat of wild animals.

The game ranch strictly limits the number of visitors to the ranch to provide an exceptional one of a kind safari experience and protect the delicate landscape. If an Asian or African safari is not in your travel plans (and even if if is!), the Safari Wilderness Ranch makes an ideal way to create lifelong memories by safari.

Water buffalo eat specially made pellets at Safari Wilderness Ranch.

Water buffalo eat specially made pellets at Safari Wilderness Ranch in Florida (Photo credit: Joann Woolley)

Customized Vehicle Safari

After boarding a covered safari vehicle, each rider receives a cup of specially made pellets to to feed the animals. Imagine a herd of water buffalo coming up to your safari vehicle with mouths open at the ready to receive the gift you have come to share. Be prepared to smell their breath, that is how close you get to these animals!

Our driver guide, J.J., provided specific instructions for feeding the animals that approached the vehicle. Throughout the safari, she shared her knowledge of each animal herd with warmth and excitement, adding a bit of humor along the way. It was clear she truly loves her job and the animals who live on the ranch.

This is not a free for all safari where you can touch and pet the animals; there are rules for the safety of both the visitors and the animals. There is no shortage of undeniably curious animals to see up close at Safari Wilderness Ranch, yet there is such a vast space for them to roam. Everyone on board the vehicle has plenty of room to get up and move to capture that perfect photo, too.

During the educational and fun safari, our safari group stopped to witness a zebra frolic. The late afternoon warm Florida breeze reminded me that nature is something we must treasure and preserve.

Animals are free to roam where they please at the Safari Wilderness Ranch in Central Florida

Animals are free to roam where they please at the Safari Wilderness Ranch (Photo credit: Joann Woolley)

Camel Expedition

The next time I am in Florida, I want to go back to Safari Wilderness Ranch and try the Camel Expedition, during which visitors view herds of game animals from their perches on the backs of camels of various species. My children would love to embark on the only known camel-backed, game-viewing safari available outside of Africa.

According to Safari Wilderness Ranch's website, “Our camels are treated with kindness and respect — and they love their jobs. They line up at the gate each morning eager to go to work!” At the end of their safari treks, the camels rest and play in a large grassy pasture with trees and open sky.

Camel Expedition with Safari Wilderness Ranch

Camel Expedition with Safari Wilderness Ranch (Photo from SafariWilderness.com)

Additional Safari Wilderness Ranch Experiences

Camels and jeeps not your thing? Not to worry. You can also view Safari Wilderness Ranch's herd animals via kayak or horseback. Or, you can opt for the Llama Trek, during which safari goers hike through the ranch alongside a gentle llama.

At the conclusion of our Customized Vehicle Safari, our tour group got a chance to meet and feed ring tailed lemurs. These creatures are fun to watch, in part because they are so fascinated by us humans! They lined up to take and eat one grape at a time from our hands. Should your family decide to visit Safari Wilderness Ranch, I highly recommend you add the lemur feeding experience. The delightful glee of children interacting with these small energetic primates will make your visit complete.

Lemur Feeding at Safari Wilderness Ranch in Central Florida

Ring tailed lemurs indulge in grape treats at Safari Wilderness Ranch (Photo credit: Visit Florida)

Set aside a good portion of your day to come to the Safari Wilderness Ranch. I promise you will find it to be one of the most pleasant places to learn about animals. Your family will want plenty of time to soak it all in.

Have you ever embarked on a safari adventure? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Healthy Travel Mama: Visit Florida coordinated a media trip for the purpose of sharing family destinations. All opinions are my own, as always.

About Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama

Joann Woolley traded in the golden handcuffs of corporate America for the dream of having it all as a mompreneur, helping moms and babies better connect through baby sign language. Together with her high school sweetheart, she has three children who love to eat, play and explore. They are lucky to call San Diego home. On a personal quest to balance health and happiness, Joann explores ways to appease her family and keep her sanity while making health a top priority. Soon, she will be embarking on one of the most unique adventures, surrogacy. Help yourself to Mommy’s Slice of the Pie. Connect with her on Twitter at @sign4baby.

Comments

  1. Lyla G - Globetrotting Mommy says:

    What a fun spot! I’ve been to Lion Country Safari but will have to check this out next time. The llama trek sounds amazing.

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      Lyla, if you enjoyed the Lion Country Safari you will LOVE Safari Wilderness Ranch.

  2. Robin Masshole Mommy says:

    OMG that place sounds AWESOME!!! My family would love to visit there.

  3. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says:

    How fun! I would love to experience Wilderness Ranch with the kids. The lemurs look so cute!

  4. This looks like fun. We have something similar near us and the kids love it.

  5. Oh wow looks like a super fun time, I love that they have zebras there. Super cool!

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      Watching the zebras was one of the best things about this safari, Val. I hope you get to go check it out.

  6. This sounds like a really fun place to go with the whole family. I would like to try the Zebra Expedition.

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      You can’t go wrong with any of their expeditions, Pam. Start planning a safari now for next year!

  7. So many good ideas. We just went on a safari at Disney, lol. Close enough to wild for me. 😉

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      Rosey, you gotta love a good Disney safari! I think the difference in the time spent hearing about the animals makes a big difference in the connection felt by the folks visiting.

  8. Turtles! Safari! How fun, I’d love to go there the next time we head out that way.

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      Cinny, thee are so many cool animals to see and learn about. Let me know when you go!

  9. Melisasource says:

    My family would really enjoy this, especially my youngest son. It will be nice to see the animals up and roaming instead of hiding or chilling out like they do at the zoo.

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      You are exactly right! The animals here are so lively and quite different than what we witness at a zoo.

  10. Toni | BoulderLocavore.com says:

    This is a great place to visit this summer! We love visiting zoo but I think this wilderness seems to be much fun! Adding this to my bucket list!

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      Glad to hear it, Toni! This should be on every serious traveler’s bucket list.

  11. Jocelyn @ Hip Mama's Place says:

    What a fun place to visit with the kids this summer! Definitely checking this place out next time we’re in that part of the country!

  12. Nicolo1968 says:

    In my personal opinion the safari is one of th ebest place to go in the summer, it’ s cool, funny and interesting.

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      The animals are a ton of fun and what you walk away with is a great feeling about our connection to them.

  13. Karlaroundtheworld | Karla says:

    Those animals all look beautiful. A Safari experience is always fantastic and having it as an option in Florida is wonderful since the weather there is usually cooperative with these warm-blooded species.

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      You are so right, the weather in Florida really is a great match. I loved seeing them up close to see their beauty in a whole new light.

  14. Amy Desrosiers says:

    Aww, I love animals and would have a blast petting and looking at some like these in real life. I would love to visit a safari with my family.

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      This was my first safari experience and clearly it made an impact…. I hope you get to take your family on safari soon Amy!

  15. Awe this looks so fun. My girls love visiting places just like this.

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      Kristin, I bet they would! Let me know if you make it out there to Safari Wilderness Ranch.

  16. The lemur with the baby lemur!! Such a cutie! I love animals and I just want to squeeze them all – softy of course 🙂 How fun.

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      I know! I was head over heels with seeing the baby lemurs on the backs of their mamas. They are especially eager to grab the grapes haha!

  17. Kelly Hutchinson says:

    This looks like so much fun! I am not sure who would enjoy this more…me or my kids!

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      I bet it would be a toss up Kelly. This one is perfectly designed to please all ages.

  18. My animal-loving family would have a blast here. Riding a camel would certainly be a memory we wouldn’t forget.

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      There’s simply not a lot of places you can make this bucket list item happen, Crystal. Your family would have a whole new appreciation of animals in the wild.

  19. Nikki Wayne says:

    I remember the last time we have a trip on the zoo, my son loved the animals there. This is a great experienced!

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      I agree, Nikki, animal encounters are great experiences for the kids!

  20. Chrysa Kieke Duran says:

    I love visiting places like the zoo and even petting zoos. This safari adventure looks like it would be so much fun!

    • Joann Woolley, The Healthy Travel Mama says:

      This safari adventure really is so much fun, Chrysa! Thank you for stopping by.

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