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Zip-lining at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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I wanted to surprise my husband with an uplifting and exciting birthday excursion. My plan was to slowly give out clues to him and Travel Mamas fans on Facebook and Twitter before revealing that we were going zip-lining at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. But my husband guessed where we were headed after the very first clue. Nonetheless, we had a blast zipping over the heads of wild animals at the San Diego Zoo‘s sister park.

Zip-lining at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Feeling a little nervous before zip-lining at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

Safari options

The first clue I gave was, “There is only one place you can do this in San Diego.” Yep, my husband guessed our destination from that one statement. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is the only place you can zip-line in all of San Diego County.

The Flightline Safari is one of several “Safari” experiences at this massive animal park. The Africa Tram Safari, which takes riders on a guided expedition aboard a tram through a African Savannah-like display of animals, is the only Safari included with your park entrance. All other Safaris cost an additional fee. Choose from such options as the overnight Roar & Snore Safari camping adventure and the Ultimate Safari, which includes up to eight hours of customized educational fun within the park, exploring behind-the-scenes areas and experiencing animal interactions with your own personal tour guide.

Soar over rhinos on the Flightline Safari at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Soar over rhinos on the Flightline Safari (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Zip-lining at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Flightline Safari goers soar along one of the world's longest continuous zip-lines. The Safari starts with an orientation, time to don zipping gear, and then a short practice zip through a stretch of shady trees. Next zip-liners board a truck to reach the take-off point, a vertigo-inducing 160 feet above ground.

After my initial nerves at take-off, the Flightline Safari zip-line was actually a relaxing and peaceful way to experience the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. All I could hear was the sound of wind whipping past me as I gazed at the rhinos and deer below, trying to take in the awesomeness of that moment.

All suited up for my zip-lining adventure

All suited up for zip-lining at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

Flightline Safari Add-ons

Once not enough for you? Zip-liners can purchase a second flight at a discounted price. You can buy this in advance or on-site, but the second flight must take place immediately after your first ride.

Helmet cams and video footage are available for an extra fee. (I don't think this option was available when my husband and I embarked on the Flightline Safari or surely I would have ponied up the extra cash for this!)

Photos are available for purchase. I looked horrible in my zip-lining photos, but my husband looks cute in his picture below, don't you think?

The birthday boy zip-lining at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The birthday boy zip-lining at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (Photo credit: SharpShooter Imaging)

Explore the San Diego Wild Animal Park

You must purchase an entrance ticket to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in order to zip-line, so plan to make a day of it. This animal park is just as impressive as the more well-known San Diego Zoo. The Safari Park encompasses a whopping 1,800 acres, compared to the zoo’s 100, so pack your walking shoes and get exploring.

In addition to standard animal exhibits featuring such creatures as lions, lemurs and elephants, you'll find specialty offerings like Cheetah Run, in which the world's fastest land animal races on a 330-foot track at speeds up to 70 miles per hour. Another favorite is Lorikeet Landing, where you can come nose to beak with these colorful birds when you offer up cups of sweet nectar (available for purchase for a nominal fee).

A giraffe spotted on the African Tram Safari

A giraffe spotted on the African Tram Safari

What you should know before you go

  • Although you may be inclined to whoop it up while zip-lining, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park requests that riders remain silent as to not disturb the park's animal residents.
  • For safety's sake, you may not consume any alcohol before riding the Flightline Safari. (Even if it IS your birthday!)
  • The Flightline Safari takes about one hour total, including orientation and the test zip.
  • Children must be at least 8 years old to participate.
  • Zip-liners must weigh between 60 and 300 pounds.

Learn more about the San Diego Zoo Safari Park now!

Have you ever gone zip-lining? What did you think about the experience? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Travel Mama: Thank you to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park for hosting our Flightline Safari for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine, as always.

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments

  1. Lisa Goodmurphy says:

    I would love to visit the San Diego Zoo Safari Park – we weren’t able to fit it in on our first trip to San Diego. I’m not sure about the ziplining though – pretty sure that I would end up screaming and get kicked out of the park!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Lisa – I think the fact that you can’t scream makes it a more peaceful experience. I highly recommend you give it a try the next time you’re in San Diego!

  2. Riding a zip line is much calmer than riding a roller coaster. I’ve been on a zip line near Santa Cruz and another near Arenal in Costa Rica. Both times the people running the zip line were well trained and very helpful, making sure the experience was spectacular.

  3. How sweeeeeet, you think I’m cute…. 🙂

  4. This is so awesome, Colleen. I’ve always wanted to zip-line and SD is right in my backyard! :] 160 ft. is insane, though. I’m nervous just thinking about it.

    Great post.
    Thanks for sharing!
    – Candice

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Candice – I swear it’s only scary for a minute before you take off and then it’s just pure fun! I hope you’ll give the Flightline zip a try sometime! 🙂

  5. would be so nice to visit the safari park and try the zip-line look deadly on the picture

  6. Awesome! I really got into zip-lines after doing the first time in the Philippines. I imagine doing it in the zoo flying over giraffes and rhinos must give this activity a whole new dimension! Definitely will go next time I’m in SD! 🙂

  7. Patricia Bemiss says:

    How much does the Flightline cost? I have zip lined a few times in Mexico and was a little nervous standing in line. However, you think there will be a rush as you leave the platform, but there isn’t, it’s just very smooth. I even went upside down on my third zip line ride and I was 69 years old! I’m so glad to know I can zip line here and at the Safari Park Zoo, what a plus!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Tickets currently cost $75 each. This does not include admission, which is separate. A second zip costs just $29. Have fun!

      • how many days prior to our visit should we reserve our zip lining?

        • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

          Hi Ken – I suppose you should book as soon as you know when you’d like to zip-line at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park! It looks like you can book up to 9 months in advance. Especially if you’re visiting during peak season (summer, spring break, Christmas – New Year), spots may book up. You’ll save money when you book in advance, too. Enjoy!

  8. Christine Grines says:

    Hi- Confused… your review says the price includes admission to the safari park but your comment from 2014 says the zipline does NOT include admission? So we purchase the zipline and then pay an additional cost to get into the safari park? OR is the additional cost only if you want to go to the actual zoo?

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Hi Christine – Sorry about the confusion! Indeed you must purchase an entrance ticket in addition to paying for the Flightline Safari. I have updated the text to reflect this. Zip-lining at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park now costs $79 per person. Have fun!

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