Sunday, September 8, 2019

Lion Country Safari is Florida's Only Drive Through Reserve

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.



This week, every precaution has been taken to ensure the animals at Lion Country Safari are safe. The week we went, however, there wasn't a storm cloud in sight, at least not at first. :) A 600-acre piece of land in Loxahatchee, which is located just outside of West Palm Beach, Florida, this property is unique because a large portion of it is drive-through. That's right, you drive at your own slow speed, through the property, stopping to look at whatever animals tickle your fancy. There is plenty of space for the other cars to go around, so you never feel rushed. I took my youngest son and my oldest granddaughter. We had a wonderful time!




It was really cool to see the animals up close and personal, just doing what they do. It was even nicer that they were able to move about freely and didn't have to live in a small cage!


I was excited to see the Ostrich in the photo above. There were quite a few there, but this one was close to our car. Years ago, when I took my oldest son and nephew to Lion Country Safari, we were held up by an Ostrich who thought it would be fun to put his head on our front windshield. I didn't know if that was unique to him, or if they all did it. I was curious to see!! I guess it was just unique to that one bird because this one didn't pay us any mind at all.


Others were a bit more curious.


The Wildebeest reminded me of Lion King. How could they not? We just saw the movie prior to visiting, but even if we hadn't, the cartoon version from years ago will forever associate the two for me. I think they are fascinating...I guess because they are so rare to see.


As an added bonus, and good to know, if you stop along the edge of the areas where there are no animals to be seen (it just looks like grass or water), you will often indeed find animals who just don't care to be in the limelight at the moment. We saw something big dart by in the background and got interested, but it never did resurface for us to identify


You're not allowed to open your car windows, but honestly why would you want to? Animals are wild, and they certainly don't know who you are, so my motto is always better safe than sorry.


The lions were behind a huge enclosure. They had toys and shade.


This one had a picnic table to lounge on, lol. That's a lot of weight on that table, right there! I for one, was glad we weren't able to drive up close to the lions. Not because they are menacing (and I'm sure they would be if provoked) but because I'm a big chicken when it comes to getting too close to animals in the wild, even though I love them!! I am not one you will find on a true-to-life safari. This one gave me an extra measure of safety because I could stay in my car and still be up close and personal with so many different types of beautiful animals, but if the lions had been on our side of the fence (and they never are), I wouldn't have gotten close to them.


Some animals looked at us while we looked at them. Some ignored us entirely. The only animal I felt like we might have bothered by being there that day was this gorgeous water buffalo. I mean, look at that face. If that doesn't say, 'quit being nosy and move along,' I don't know what does. ;) Or maybe it was my imagination. He (she?) was bigger than my car, and probably stronger too, so I took my cue and moved along. It was probably my imagination, but like I said, I'm a big chicken when it comes to wild things. :)


Not to dwell on this guy, but the bird to your right didn't seem at all bothered by him, and vice versa. You can also see that it probably was my imagination that he was perturbed by our presence because seconds later, as we started to drive away, it appeared he didn't even know we existed.


The speed limit signs made me laugh. It was necessary to mind them though because some animals would get up and walk right out in front of your car!


Seriously, one second they would be resting peacefully, and the next I guess they thought to get up and get something out of the refrigerator because they were up and at 'em, and definitely not looking both ways before crossing.


My granddaughter who is 6-years-old found this Impala to be very hilarious, especially when a group of his friends followed and we could not move for a couple of minutes. I kept saying, 'excuse me, we're trying to drive on this road' which was met with a peal of giggles from the backseat as well, but they simply weren't having it, in spite of my good manners!


I sat fascinated over this Ankole-Watusi who holds such huge horns on his head. I cannot imagine how they can walk around without a headache all of the time!! Word has it those horns are very useful, so I took it upon myself to do a little research. From the Lion Country Safari website we learned that these cattle are native to Kenya and Tanzania in Africa and have horns that can grow to be 8 feet from tip to tip. Blood that circulates through the horns is cooled and returned to the body which helps them tolerate extreme temperatures. Of course too, the horns help protect them against predators.


Seeing who hangs out with who was interesting too. The rhinoceros and zebra seemed to get along quite well, and hung out in groups of several of each in various patches. This guy though, was tired I guess. He was the only one who opted to nap instead of socialize.


It was really quite interesting to drive through, so much so that we were going to do it again on the way out (you can drive through as many times as you like on one admission ticket), but  a storm was coming in at the end of the day, so we opted instead to head home.


These kind of views just don't get old. I could sit and watch any one of these animals for hours on end, just to see what they do in a natural habitat. Seeing so many different kinds in their element then, was especially a treat.


Once you leave the drive-through area (or you can go to the walk-through park first, it doesn't matter) you get to the walk-through area. There are also a wide array of animals inside, some of which you can pet or interact with in various ways (shows, feeding, a bird aviary you can walk through, etc.). They also had rides, games and other various things to do that the kids would enjoy.


I rented a stroller for my granddaughter. She's big enough to walk, but enjoys that I still get her a stroller (and I enjoy the extra space for my camera, her water bottle, a change of clothes for the water park, etc.).


Honestly, I'm not sure what's going on here. The boy looks more wild than the lion, but I guess that's how that goes. Completely used to his antics, my granddaughter is just smiling sweetly for her picture, LOL!!


If you wanted to take a boat ride, you could. I was all in, but the kids had a different kind of boat in mind that was in the same area...


the kind that you paddle with your feet. :)


What I loved most in this area was the birds, especially the Flamingos which I never get to see in the wild. My 2nd oldest just took a trip where they run as common as our geese do here and he sent pictures. I imagine it would be hard to pull myself away from that if I were there too because they certainly held my attention. I didn't even know I had a 'thing' for them until I saw them this day. Aren't they just beautiful?


Not everything we came across was as lovely, but it definitely was still interesting. These big guys here are waiting to eat, as you can probably tell. Food was for sale in machines next to the water for a minimal price (I think it was just a quarter).


The kids enjoyed the rides (my son too, though he's probably officially outgrown this one). My grandbabe liked that it went up and down in the air, and she most certainly has not outgrown it as a means of delight and fun. :)


The care taken in the scenery all around, even in this area where the rides were was lovely. The lily pad area was pretty, even though I knew those fish were just underneath it. ;)


Some of the rides we rode more than once. The Merry-Go-Round was empty the first time we happened by it, so we rode several times. When we came back around to head to the water park area, it had quite the line, so I guess we just got lucky the first time. :)


We came across some memorable things on our way to cool off, including some prehistoric beauties lurking in the brush.


Let me just say that Florida has the best trees. I've been taking pictures of them since 1986. I truly never get tired of them, and could not resist getting a picture of this one in a rest area.


The Fun Slide is next to the big water slides, but word to the wise, ride this one first because you have to be 100% dry to get on it. Then head over to the water slides right beside it (You're welcome. We did it the other way around and didn't get to ride).


My granddaughter was too little to ride the water slides (or if she wasn't, I wasn't going to chance it, I honestly didn't even check...these are just too high in my opinion for her, so I kept her close to me). Little one and I got a Sno-Cone and enjoyed the cool flavored ice while my son rode them both.


Then we headed to the splash pad where she was ALL in. This area was a lot of fun for both of the kids, but she was getting a little pink so I took her aside, re-slathered her with sunscreen, put a shirt on her (just in case) and we headed over to the bigger water park that was just built  this year.


This area had a big dump bucket and lots of seating under umbrellas for the grown ups, or kids who needed to rest.


Little Miss went right to the little water slides, which are always her favorite, and then set out to find her uncle.


Squirting him with streams of water turned out to be a favorite thing to do. He kept going back for more, so I guess he didn't mind all that much. ;)


The boy got a kick out of squirting unsuspecting parents walking by with their littles. He's a stinker that way.


This addition to the park is fantastic. It is the perfect way to cool down on a hot day, and in south Florida, every summer day is a hot day (not complaining, I love it, just saying).


It was great to be able to let the kids go and run around and still be able to see them no matter where they were or what they were doing.


The sky started to get gray, so I told the kids it was time to head out. We passed this 'little' beauty along the way.


While we were walking, the skies seemed to clear up a bit (if you have been to Florida, you know this is normal) so when we passed this sign, I asked the kids if we should give it a try (to try and get some more things in before the rain came). Of course they were full of 'yes' 'yes' 'yes' and I was glad I listened because it ended up being just as great as any other area of the park we'd been in that day.


Playing putt-putt was a good way to air dry while we continued to monitor the skies.


This guy was pretty beautiful, and pretty old too. We see some pretty big tortoises running around down here, but none quite this size.


The Safari Maze was pretty easy to navigate, which led my granddaughter to believe she was quite brilliant because she was in charge of finding the way out (and I do attest, she is quite bright). :) My son pretended to be lost which made her feel even more happy and proud to lead the way for him to exit. Here he is pretending to be oh so relieved to find his way back to being maze-free. :)


The petting zoo was nice, and became quite comical when one of the big goats decided to lie down in front of the gate so the kids couldn't get out. With no food to bribe him, he wasn't moving for anything. We fixed the challenge by going 'in through the out door' (cue Led Zeppelin).


A little mining for gold,

and chasing each other on roller cars proved fun for them both.


 A moment of old-fashioned water pumping and a train ride ended our day (you see who the conductor was, don't you?). 😍


It started to rain moments after we got to our car, which was fine because by then, we'd had a very full day, doing so many great things at the Lion Country Safari, and we were ready to head home. I fully recommend carving out a full day if you are going, so you can enjoy all of the different areas on-site, as well as the drive-through safari you can take before or after (or over and over again if you like). The price is right for a day of fun, and don't forget your swimsuits and a change of clothes so you can enjoy the new water park.

If you get hungry there are food stations all around and a restaurant at the opening (or closing, depending how you look at it) gate where you can go inside and sit down for a meal. You'll find souvenir shops all around, and places to buy ice cold water. There are also free cool down stations where you can stand and be misted with water.

We didn't get to do everything the park offered, but we got to do a lot of it. We'll return again when the kids have some time off of school. It's worth the drive for us, and the memories we made were priceless.


Learn more about Lion Country Safari by visiting their website. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and/or YouTube.

63 comments:

  1. Wow, wow and wow.
    What a wonderful day - I am guessing everyone slept well that night.

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    1. Yes, a day like that surely makes everyone sleep soundly when they get home. :)

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  2. Wow, now that sure sounds and looks like a place to spend the day indeed. Seeing all the animals roaming freely would be fun, even if you get the odd ostrich that wants to peck at your windshield. The lion sure looks comfy on the table. Can't say I wouldn't have fun squirting unsuspecting parents below either lol

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    1. I wouldn't mind squirting the unsuspecting either. :)

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  3. These are so fun to visit. There's one in the San Diego area and I so enjoyed my visit there.

    Your son is most handsome.

    Have a fabulous day, my friend. ♥

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  4. Hi Rosey - looks to be a wonderful place ... so pleased you had the two of them, to entertain you and themselves - makes life distinctly easier ... I enjoyed seeing the animoooools ... such fun - cheers Hilary

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    1. We enjoyed the animoools too. Truly an affordable, fun day. :)

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  5. omg what an amazing time this seems to be- my kids would adore to do something like this if we had it near us!

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    1. It's a little bit of a drive for us, but so worth it to go!

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  6. It would be fun to take the grandkids to Lion Country Safari. It looks like a great place to visit and I know they'd really like the petting zoo.

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    1. The petting zoo was fun. Right next to it is the bird house. We went inside and my granddaughter wanted to stand still under a bunch of them and have me take a picture. I quickly warned her to move away, hahaha. :)

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  7. Those animals are so awesome and I would love to take that safari. Short of going to a real African safari this is the next best thing.

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    1. It's better for me. I'm too chicken to do a bona fide, 'in the wild' safari. :)

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  8. I wish we would have visited this place during our trip to Florida in June. It looks like such a great time.

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    1. Perhaps when you return? :) It's really a great way to spend a day, and totally affordable too.

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  9. That's cool you can drive through and see them. Better than Animal Kingdom even. Funny about the ostrich.

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    1. It is pretty great. I was pleasantly surprised to see the water park there now, makes for a perfect way to cool off during the day, so you can go back in for some more fun.

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  10. How fun! We'd love a place like this. We have a drive thru safari near us but it's been a while since we went.

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    1. I have been to this one years ago when my grown kids were little. I shouldn't have waited so long to go back. We had such a good time, we are considering annual passes.

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  11. It seems that you guys had a lot of fun! Amazing pictures btw, and beautiful animals. I would love to visit Lion Country Safari soon.

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    1. I hope you get to go. It's really a great experience.

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  12. How have I never heard of Lion Country Safari??? I grew up in Central Florida and now live in Southern Georgia. I am going to have to add this one to my travel bucket list. I know my daughter would LOVE all the animals!

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    1. Isn't it great to find something you haven't heard of in an area that you visit? I love when that happens. :) I hope you get to go the next time you are in the area.

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  13. Wow! What a jam-packed day! Kinda like a safari, but better.

    We went to Lion Country Safari in GA back in the seventies, when my sister-in-law and her family were visiting. OY! We went in our Mercury Commuter station wagon because it had plenty of room, but the major problem was... the car's air conditioning chose that day to give up the ghost. It was freaky deaky HOT, and the whole time we were going through the park with the windows all rolled up, of course, all the kids were whining non-stop about how hot they were. (As if WE weren't cooking, too?!) Kinda diminished the pleasures of the day... :) Sounds like YOUR trip was fantastic!

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    1. I didn't know there was a LCS in Georgia, once upon a time. That's a cool fact!
      Also, I've had a/c break in my car in GA. It was so hot it felt like I was melting, even with the windows down!

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  14. Wow, this looks like a great place to visit - what a fun family day out... my daughter would love it!

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  15. These animals are so beautiful. It's really cool that you get to go on a little safari and see them in a more natural environment!

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  16. Now that sounds like a lot of fun! I always like to drive through resumes because I feel like they have more freedom and I don't know why. I just think it's a lot more fun. If I ever get down there I will definitely check this out.

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  17. I'd love to take the kids to see this! We've always wanted to go on a Safari, but it's never been feasible. Now it is.

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  18. That looks like a ton of fun! I love that we can go on a Safari without actually having to take a trip all the way to Africa. I love seeing animals up close and personal like that.

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  19. I LOVED Lion Country Safari as a kid. We used to have one in So Cal somewhere.
    Glad you enjoy the adventure.

    Be and stay well, dear Rosey.

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  20. I grew up on the other side of the state and we went camping at LCS at least once a year! I remember when you could drive through the lion area and there were always a few rangers in there with bars on the truck windows and tranquilizer guns at the ready, just in case. I was once held up for 20 minutes by a giraffe that decided the middle of the road was a great place to rest and we weren't allowed to drive off the path, just had to wait for it to move! The water park area is new since I went, though, and that looks like so much fun!

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  21. I've never heard of this drive-through animal park before. We love these kind of places and will bookmark it for next time we're in West Palm. Thanks!

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  22. What a fun time! I love the fun slide. We go on it every time!

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  23. I love the combination of wild park and waterpark. Looks like a lovely place to spend an afternoon. I would definitely be stopping to take many many pictures!

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  24. What a wonderful experience and thank you for sharing it with me and make me part of it. The pictures are amazing!

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  25. I had no idea there was such a thing as a drive through reserve. This looks like a great experience. I love that you shared this. I'd love to experience it some day.

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  26. Goodness! So many fun things to see and do here. I could easily spend more than a day with the family soaking it all in. The only drive through safari we went to was the one in Ohio close to Cedar Point. Jason was on edge the whole time thinking the buffalo were going to scrape up his car or put a big dent in it lol. And, they didn't have all the extras that you get at Lion Country Safari. I'm debating FL as next year's family vacay spot and if we do go, I'm going to run this safari by the family to see what they think.

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  27. This drive through reserve would be great for the kids. The water park looks fun too!

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  28. I love drive through safari reserves! It looks like you and your family had an amazing time there!

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  29. I bet y'all had fun. This reminds me of our visit to Zoo Atlanta a few years ago. It was a fascinating and fun experience for all of us.

    -LYNNDEE

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  30. This is great for the whole family! I am sure we would enjoy a fun trip like this.

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  31. This safari is a great outdoor place to visit especially with kids. I love that there is also a place where kids can enjoy the water.

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  32. I love safaris! I love seeing different kinds of animals! I hope I can see some soon!

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  33. This place looks so beautiful and very interesting to visit. For sure kids would love this place so much!

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  34. How cool! I didn't even realize we had a drive through reserve here in Florida! We need to take the kids.

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  35. Now that is quite an amazing place to visit with so many exciting things to see and do. I'd totally prefer drive-through reserves so you can watch the animals go about their daily lives without being stuck inside a cage that is often too small.

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  36. Looks like so many fun things to see and do here. It has been some time since I went on a safari. Need to plan one soon.

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  37. I’ve never been to this safari before myself, but I likely wouldn't. It makes me so sad to see animals cooped up in countries where they are not native to. :-(

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  38. It looks like you all had fun! We have a wildlife reserve about an hour away that we go to on occasion.

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  39. Tiffany La Forge-GrauSeptember 4, 2019 at 6:24 PM

    My kids would have a blast doing this. They have always been fascinated by the beasts of the safari.

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  40. ahhh, what a pretty fun adventure! Looks like the kids had a great time. I would love to take my daughters there someday. Thanks for sharing!

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  41. Looks like fun, my kids will love it. If I plan a Florida trip sure I will add this Lion country safari too.

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  42. My daughter would really enjoy this. She does not like seeing the animals when they are all caged up. It looks likes everyone had a really nice time.

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  43. Oh wow, you really do get up and personal with the animals! They are lovely photos and I'm glad you enjoyed yourselves. My kids would too!

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  44. This looks so fun. So many things to do, with so many animals. I would love this myself.

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  45. This looks like an absolutely wonderful day out! Glad you all had a lovely time - this was a joy to read! :)

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  46. That looks like an awesome experience! I would love to check this out someday.

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  47. It's been awhile, since I've gone to the Safari Zoo in Omaha. I should go. This looks fun!

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  48. What a cool outing abd a safe way to get up close with the wild. The bit on the lions with toys made me laugh

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  49. I like that the animals look healthy.. we've been to a number of zoos and sometimes the animals look kinda scrawny or their fur looks dull.

    We have a safari experience here but unfortunately, it's only open at night. Our usual zoo has a good variety of animals but they are mostly kept in enclosures.

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

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  50. My dad took us there when I was a little girl. It has changed a lot since then.. looks even more fun!

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