Go on Safari!

Immerse yourself in Africa’s essence at Safari West! Climb aboard a safari vehicle and adventure among herds of giraffes, wildebeest, cape buffalo, zebras, and other African hoofstock. Along the drive, guests will have the opportunity to stop and observe the majestic rhinos. During the tour, encounter cheetahs, primates including lemurs, and birds from different regions of the world.

Join us in our mission to promote conservation and impart knowledge that enables every person to make well-informed choices for the environment and wildlife. Join us – you’re the vital element in this extraordinary journey!

Immerse in Nature. Educate and Engage. Advocate for Conservation! Advanced Reservations Required Book Now
  • Good to Know
  • Pricing & Times
  • Wild Manners
  • Accessibility

Age Requirement

For the safety and comfort of all our guests, children must be at least 4 years old to participate in the Classic Safari Adventure. Many of our Private Adventures are exempt from age restrictions.

Top Seat Height Requirement

For the safety of our guests, children 4 and up wishing to take a turn on the top seat must be at least  45 inches tall .

Gratuity and Tipping Policy

If you enjoyed your safari, feel free to tip your guide. They work hard and appreciate the recognition. Please Note : If you reserved a private vehicle or made a group reservation for 10 or more, a 10% service charge is included.

Cancellation Policy

We are more than happy to help you reschedule your exploration or provide you a gift card for the amount that was charged so that you can reschedule at your leisure. Please note that your gift card is entirely transferable, should you choose to gift it to a loved one or donate it to a charity or other organization instead.

Pets are not allowed at Safari West. If you have a pet that is not a service animal, we ask that you respect the important work of service animals by not claiming that your pet is a service animal. Please see the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) description of a service dog noted below. This is for your safety, as well as that of your pet, fellow guests and the animals of the Safari West collection. Please do not leave your pet locked in a parked car!

Service Animal Policy

We welcome guests with special needs who bring their service animal to enjoy our facility and the wonderful creatures making their homes here. Our policy is to assist all guests in making their time at Safari West enjoyable. A service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. “Companion” and “comfort” dogs are not “service animals” protected by the ADA.

  • Service animals are permitted to visit Safari West. However, service animals are prohibited from all areas where our exotic collection is not separated from guests by a physical barrier.
  • Service animals may also be restricted in certain areas due to the sensitivity of our animal collection.
  • If you are spending the night, your service animal is allowed in one of our accessible tents.
  • Your service animals are restricted from accompanying guests while on tour.
  • Service animals must be housebroken.
  • Service animals may not display vicious or aggressive behavior toward other people or animals. This includes barking and/or growling. If your service animal is disruptive at any time, you will be asked to remove your service dog from the park.

If you need to bring your service animal, call (707) 579-2551 at least 72 hours in advance to make arrangements.

Safari Adventures are always in season!

Adults (18 – 61), Seniors (62+), Teens (13 – 17) and Children (4 – 12)

Please be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before your safari is scheduled to begin!

Please Note: Weekend rates apply for Holidays. These include – President’s Day • Memorial Day • Spring Break (March 18 – April 19) • Labor Day • Columbus Day •  Martin Luther King, Jr.  Day • Thanksgiving Week • Christmas Eve – New Year’s Day (closed Christmas Day)

Rules, Safety, and Etiquette

Safari West is the home of more than 800 wild animals, with all their natural behaviors and instincts. They are not trained pets, so we must act in accordance with their world rather than expecting them to understand ours. We are pleased to offer you a truly enjoyable and memorable adventure on the Sonoma Serengeti, so to get the most from your visit, please keep these few common-sense safety rules in mind and practice your wild manners.

Respect our Wild Friends

  • Please stay at least three feet back from the animal enclosures.
  • These animals are not to be touched . Be especially aware of children who may not understand that these animals are not like your pets at home. They may bite, kick or otherwise defend themselves if startled.
  • If you see anyone harassing the animals, throwing objects or poking sticks into the animal enclosures, or teasing them in any way, please alert a staff member immediately.
  • Never feed the animals. They eat special diets in the wild, and the Safari West animal staff sees that they enjoy the same appropriate foods here. Snacks that you love can be harmful to them.
  • No running! The animals interpret running as a sign of danger and are likely to panic and hurt themselves.

Safari Truck Etiquette

We recycle! Throughout the lower area of the preserve are recycling bins. Please save your plastic water bottles, soft drink cans, and other recyclables until you can dispose of them in a bin. Children who wish to sit on the top of our double-decker truck must be at least 45 inches tall. Our guides stop occasionally along the drive to allow seat changes so that everyone who wants a top-tier ride will get a turn.

Lost and Found

Safari West is not responsible for lost items. Please keep a close eye on your belongings during the course of your stay as you will be exploring a large, mostly undeveloped preserve. Should you misplace an item, Safari West maintains a Lost and Found Location at the front office. Please check with us there if you should lose (or find) anything of value.

Welcome to Safari West!

We go to great lengths to ensure that our safari adventures are accessible to everyone and in compliance with all ADA requirements. If you or a member of your family have special needs due to mobility or sensory issues, please contact us and we’ll work with you to plan your safari excursion. Safari West is indeed a special place and we will do everything possible to provide our guests with equal enjoyment of the wonderful experience offered by our park.

Our classic safari vehicles are customized Dodge Power Wagons and are not ADA accessible and unfortunately are not equipped to handle wheelchairs or other mobility assisting devices. If a guest utilizing a wheelchair can safely transfer themselves unaided or with the assistance of a family member, friend, or personal assistant, the Classic Safari Tour remains a viable option.

For guests unable to transition into the Power Wagons, we are able to provide one customized vehicle capable of accommodating most wheelchairs. It requires advanced planning and has some restrictions on seating capacity. Please contact our reservations team at 707-566-3667 to discuss options.

We currently have two fully accessible tents on the property. Both rooms are fully wheelchair accessible and include appropriately equipped showers and bathroom fixtures. These rooms also feature designated parking spaces at the foot of the ramps for easy loading and unloading. They also benefit from close proximity to the restaurant, offices, and gift shop.

Service Animals

Service animals are welcome at Safari West; however, due to concerns about guest safety as well as the safety of the animal collection, service animals are restricted from all safari tours and anywhere where there isn’t a barrier between the collection and our guests. While service animals are welcome to join you in our overnight accommodations, they cannot join you on tour unless you have reserved a Service Animal Serengeti Trek. This variant on the paratransit Serengeti Trek foregoes the walking portion of the tour. Instead, it accesses as much of the lower grounds as possible from within the paratransit vehicle.

Hearing Impaired:

Because of the cost of live, on-demand certified interpreters, Safari West no longer pays for live, on-demand, in-person ASL interpreters.  However, guests with hearing impairments are welcome to bring their own live ASL interpreter and Safari West will waive the admission charge for the guest-provided interpreter.  Similarly, as a further reasonable accommodation, Safari West will provide a complimentary safari tour to a non-professional ASL signer for a hearing-impaired guest, e.g., friends or family members who sign for the guest.

Vision Impaired:

With advance notice, a tactile tour can be provided for a visually impaired guest. A sighted companion will almost always accompany a visually impaired visitor. Should this not be the case, the guest will be accompanied by one of our guest service personnel.

Safari West offers free parking to our guests. Our parking lot has several accessible parking spaces for disabled persons supplying a valid disability-parking placard. Additional reserved parking spaces for placarded vehicles may also be available upon arrival. If you or a member of your party has any special needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us at  707 566-3667

Let us help you plan the safari adventure of a lifetime at Safari West!

Safari Tour

400 Acres of Exploration

From cheetahs to lemurs, giraffes to wildebeest, there’s always something amazing waiting just around the bend. Alongside one of our highly-trained safari guides, head out on a 3-hour excursion to get up close and personal with nearly a thousand animals. With over ninety species making their homes here, Safari West truly is Sonoma county’s very own slice of the Serengeti.

Hit the Road

Climb aboard one of our custom safari vehicles and roll out to explore the Sonoma Serengeti. From the canvas-covered shade of the truck, go in search of the marvelous megafauna of Africa. Your expert guide will track down graceful giraffes, nimble impala, imposing cape buffalo and maybe even a few hulking rhinoceros. You never know what you’re going to find!

Take a Stroll

While the view from the safari truck guarantees a great look at the herds, some animals need a more subtle approach. On the safari walk, saunter through the Amani Oasis Aviary where demoiselle cranes preen along the path and scarlet ibis soar overhead. Come face-to-face with a black-and-white colobus monkey, search out a cleverly camouflaged cheetah and watch the courtly parade of flamingos around their lagoon home.

Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalo by John Burgess

Safari at Dawn with Giraffes and Roan Antelope

Giraffes and Roan Antelope on the Sonoma Serengeti by Nancy Albury

Safari Tour with Kudu

Kudu by Katie Desmond

Safari with Giraffes

Safari with Giraffes by Mark Pressler

Ring-tailed Lemur

Ring-tailed Lemur by Marilyn Wyett

Amari Oasis Aviary Birds

Amari Oasis Aviary by John Burgess


Zebras by Nancy Goodenough

Safari Bontebok and Roan Antelope

Bontebok and Roan Antelope

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Safari West Wildlife Preserve and African Tent Camp


Beyond a zoo, far more than any drive-through park, Safari West thrives as a world-renowned preserve dedicated to conservation and home to the earth’s most graceful, majestic and exotic creatures. Here you can go on safari and see animals roaming wild and soaring free, just like they do in the wilds of Africa. Enjoy the zoological gardens and grounds complete with leaping lemurs, and other primates, birds winging in our tree top and Oasis open-air aviary and cheetahs splendid in the grass. Experience the most unique photo opportunities short of getting on a plane and flying to Africa. Reserve a guided safari through our collection and immerse yourself in the wonders of a truly wild world!


Phone number, (800) 616-2695.

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Fun Things To Do in Cities Around the World

Giraffes, African Safari, Africa

Go on an African Safari in the heart of California’s Wine Country @ Safari West Wildlife Preserve

Safari west animals & tours.

You don’t have to travel all the way to Africa to go on an an exciting Safari adventure. Safari West – a stunning wildlife preserve – is nestled on 400 acres in the heart of California’s Sonoma Wine Country.  The stunning wildlife preserve is home to over 400 exotic African mammals. We saw more giraffes here than we’ve ever seen in one place before. And bird-watchers will love seeing so many birds from around the world.

Bring out the kid in you and get an up-close view of these magnificent creatures in the natural habitat and see for yourself what makes Safari West one of the Santa Rosa’s most popular attractions. Visited by over 60,000 people every year, the wildlife preserve is fun for kids and big kids too. During your visit, expect to see everything from zebras, cheetahs, giraffes, lemurs, antelopes, white rhinos and monkeys, to desert turtles, flamingos, swans, macaws… and a whole lot more!

Note: The animals may touch you but you are not allowed to touch them. Expect to see over 90 species of animals and up to 900 individual animals on the tour.

Open-air safari jeeps have covered tops and open sides. Everyone gets a great view of the animals. Our jeep had three rows of bench seating and a raised area on top that seated up to four people. During the tour, our guide rotated the group so that anyone who wanted to sit on the top could get a chance to do so. There are seat belts on the top seating bench only. Tours can be quite bumpy as they pass over miles rugged terrain in the beautiful wildlife preserve – there’s so much to see at every turn.

Private Safaris & Private Animal Encounters

A selection of Private Safaris are also available if you’re looking for a more personal touch. Private Safaris include your own vehicle and Safari West guide. Private Animal Encounters such as Behind-the-Scenes Tours are also available by advanced reservation only.

Glamping in a Luxury Safari Tent

Safari West makes a great day trip or an overnight “glamping” stay (glamorous camping) in a Luxury Safari Tent. Each tent features a private viewing deck, en-suite bathroom and hardwood floors. Fall asleep and wake up to the sounds of Safari wildlife. We really felt like we were in Africa! Overnight guests enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast.

Savannah Cafe

Enjoy a delicious lunch and/or dinner at the Savannah Cafe. We loved their BBQ dishes! It’s a fun place to have a beer or a glass of wine and meet other Safari West guests.

What To Bring

Wear comfortable, casual clothing. Bring layers. Don’t forget a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and bottled water. Temperatures can be high during Summer months. Be sure to bring a pair of binoculars if you have one. Also, if you’re planning on staying overnight, bring a flashlight (it’s helpful in finding your way back to your tent at night). Our iPhones came in handy for taking pictures, videos and using the flashlight.

Directions & Reservations

It’s hard to believe that Safari West is only 75 miles north (about a 90-minute drive) from the bustling city of San Francisco. Be sure to call ahead to make your reservations. No pets are allowed.

Note: Peak season is April-August.

Google Map of Safari West

More Info on Safari West

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Safari West: An African Safari Experience in Sonoma California

Last updated: June 11, 2019 - Written by Jessica Norah 17 Comments

I was really surprised to learn that there was an African wildlife preserve called Safari West located only 75 miles north of San Francisco. Safari West is a 400-acre wildlife preserve containing over 100 species and over 700 individual animals, including giraffes, cheetahs, zebras, flamingoes, rhinos, cape buffalo, lemurs, and wildebeest.

Opened in 1993 by Peter and Nancy Lang, Safari West strives to promote wildlife advocacy and conservation through breeding, education, research and public interaction. The preserve shares similar environmental features to an African savanna and guests can take open-air guided wildlife safari drives to see many of the animals roaming the expansive property. 

The smaller animals are kept in enclosures that are reachable by a walkway and you can also visit the open-air aviary containing all sorts of exotic birds. Guests can even stay overnight here and see and hear many of the animals in the evening once the daytime crowds leave.

After hearing about Safari West, I had to visit and so I took Ethan here as a surprise birthday trip back in October. We had just recently returned from East Africa and wanted to see how it compared to our time in Tanzania and Kenya over the summer. We’ll share all the details you need to plan your own trip to Safari West as well as share our experience doing the safari drive and staying overnight!

giraffes at Safari West Santa Rosa CA

Table of Contents:

Basic Information on Safari West

Getting there.

Safari West is located in Santa Rosa, CA  within Sonoma County about 75 miles north of San Francisco.

There is a local small airport called the Sonoma County Airport, which is about a 10 minute drive from Safari West. The closest major airports are San Francisco International Airport (86 miles, approximately 1 hour and 35 minute drive) and Oakland International Airport (80 miles, approximately 1 hours, 30 minute drive).

The best way to reach Safari West is by car or taxi.

The official address is 3115 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. However, you should note that the actual guest entrance is on Franz Valley Road.

You should be able to follow signs to the entrance once you are close. GPS systems can get confused here so ignore your GPS if it wants you to make a turn onto Loch Haven Road. 

Phone Number?

You can call Safari West at +1 (707) 579-2551 -or-  1 (800) 616-2695

Safari Tour Options & Prices?

The regular safari group tours are about 3 hours in length and include both a walking portion (30 to 45 minutes) and an open-air drive portion (up to 2.5 hours long).

They range in price depending on the time of year but as of June 2019, the Adult tickets (age 18 to 61) range from $83.00 to $115.00, Seniors (age 62+) from $80 to $100, Teens (13 to 17) $80 to $100 and children (3-12 years of age) are $45 to $50. Groups of 20 persons or more can receive a discounted group rate, and children under 4 years of age CANNOT be taken on this tour. 

In addition to the regular group safari tours, Safari West also offers private and custom safari tours, tours that are more scientific and focused on biology and evolution, and private animal encounters. Speciality custom private tours can also include beer or wine tasting during the tour.

The private behind the scenes encounters include things like feeding the animals, having a private animal presentation of smaller animals, getting to visit the cheetah barn, and playing zookeeper for a day. 

Reservations are necessary to visit Safari West and reservations for tours, lodging, and other options can be made by phone (1-800-616-2695) or online through the Safari West website . Booking for the safari tours can also be made online via Viator here .

Food options at Safari West?

There are a couple of food options at Safari West so you won’t go hungry or thirsty during your visit. Delilah’s Snack Shop is open during the summer and on select winter days in case you need a quick pick-me-up of pre-made sandwiches, granola bars, muffins, chips, ice cream, and other snacks, as well as a variety of beverage options, including soft drinks, coffee, wine, and beer.

For those wanting a full hot meal, Safari West’s Savannah Café provides ranch style BBQ lunches and dinners that are inspired by the South African Braai. Guests can dine indoors in the café area or Elephant Room where you’ll dine surrounded by African murals and artifacts, or outdoors on tables or benches near the fire pit. There is a small bar area selling wine, beer, and port.

If you spend the night at Safari West, a complimentary breakfast is served at the Savannah Café.

NOTE: Meals at the Savannah Café are by reservation only so please be sure to reserve prior to your visit if you would like to eat lunch or dinner here during your visit. 

Staying Overnight at Safari West?

You can also extend your safari experience by spending the night in one of Safari West’s 30 luxury tents. These tents were imported from Africa and sit on wooden platforms with decks and include a regular bed and private bathrooms.

T ent cabins are set up with a King bed, Double bed, or Family style with bunks and futons available for children. Rates are based on double occupancy and are seasonal and range from $300 to $400 per night, depending on season and location. Each additional guest is $25 plus tax. There is also a cottage available for up to 6 guests for $350 to $400 per night.  

A continental breakfast  at Savannah Café is included for those guests staying overnight.

All overnight lodging and meals must be booked in advance of your visit.

Lodging Options near Safari West?

If you are not lodging overnight at Safari West, we recommend considering spending the night in nearby Santa Rosa which is about a 20 minute drive from Safari West.

Santa Rosa offers a number of lodging options from budget motels to luxury hotels.  A few options to consider in Santa Rosa:

  • Hotel La Rose – A 3-star hotel located in a historical building on Historic Railroad Square in downtown Santa Rosa that offers comfortable rooms, free parking, and a 24-hour front desk. Good location for those wanting to explore Santa Rosa downtown area on foot.
  • My Big Art Project – If you are looking for a quirky but cozy bed-and-breakfast option, you might give this one a try. It offers comfortable rooms in the house of a local artist with lots of art displayed in the rooms and includes a vegetarian continental breakfast. Within walking distance of downtown area.
  • Vintners Inn – A 4-star luxury hotel which offers lots of amenities, including free bottle of wine upon arrival, a private balcony or patio in every room, on-site spa, and an on-site restaurant and bar. Great spot for couples looking for a romantic stay.
  • America’s Best Value Inn – A basic budget option in Santa Rosa offering free parking, a 24 hour desk, and continental breakfast. Good option for those traveling on a budget.

Accessibility at Safari West?

Safari West strives to make the experience as accessible as possible. If you or a member of your travel group have special needs due to mobility or sensory issues, contact Safari West in advance to see if they can accommodate you.

The classic safari vehicles are not ADA accessible and unfortunately are not equipped to handle wheelchairs or other mobility assisting devices. However, if scooter or wheelchair users can safely transfer themselves unaided or with the assistance of a travel companion, the Classic Safari Tour is an option.

The vehicle that was previously used for wheelchair users on the safari tours was destroyed in the California wildfires in October 2017, but Safari West is looking to get a replacement. Two of the overnight tents are wheelchair accessible.

Need more Information about Safari West or Sonoma County?

If you have further questions about the Safari West Wildlife Preserve and African Tent Camp, you can visit the Safari West official website . You can also call them or email them: [email protected] (general inquiries) or [email protected] (reservation inquiries).

It should also be noted that Safari West has full accreditation in the American Zoo and Aquarium Association .

You can also find more information about planning your stay in Santa Rosa through the Santa Rosa Convention & Visitors Bureau official tourism website and the larger Sonoma area through the Sonoma County Tourism bureau website .

If you are traveling elsewhere in northern California, you might want to check out our planning guide to the Pacific Coast Highway , things to do in Napa Valley , and things to do in Redding California .

Our Visit to Safari West Wildlife Preserve and African Tent Camp 

We drove up to Safari West on a weekday afternoon from our home in the San Francisco Bay area to be on time for an afternoon classic safari tour. Ethan was driving but didn’t know where we were heading as the booking was a birthday surprise. Safari West is located near a lot of vineyards and farms, so once we got near Santa Rosa, Ethan was convinced we were going wine tasting and to stay in some sort of bed-and-breakfast.

When we pulled up at Safari West, he was really surprised that it was a wildlife preserve. He was even more shocked once he learned about how large the property was and that we were actually going to go out on a drive and stay overnight as his first impression was that it was a petting zoo.

I was quite delighted to see a large cage of Traveta weavers near the entrance to the main office. These East African birds are notable for their golden color, loud noises, and intricately weaved nests and I kept missing the opportunities to see these birds and their nests while in Africa.

If you’ve been following the blog, you know that Ethan and I were in East Africa for almost a month this summer, with most of that time spent in Tanzania . It was pretty amazing to have missed these little birds in Tanzania, but we got the chance to see them up close in California! A good start to our stay.

Taveta golden weaver bird Safari West

The Safari Tour at Safari West

Most visitors take the Classic Safari group tour, which is what we took and it includes a walking portion and then a longer open-air drive part. The total time of the tour is 2.5 to 3 hours. We met our guide and were part of a group of about 10 people. The guide was very amiable and provided information on the primary animals and also about some of the staff’s caretaking duties as well as some of the conservation efforts.

Some of the highlights were the cats (cheetah, serval, and caracal), the primates (especially as there was one very rambunctious baby Patas monkey bouncing around), the lumbering porcupine, and the bird aviary. It was interesting to see black-and-white colobus monkeys here as we had seen them high up in the treetops at the very beginning of our Mt. Kilimanjaro trek in Tanzania. 

You’ll see a lot of different bird species, some are just roaming freely like the guinea fowl, cranes, swans, ducks, and flamingoes and some are in the aviary and other enclosures.

Within the aviary, we were greeted by a very social demoiselle crane who apparently often acts as a guide to groups entering her aviary. While in the aviary, be sure to also look for other non-feathered critters such as the tortoises and blue duikers (cute little deer-like animals).

We did not go past the lemurs or some of the other birds closer to the entrance during the walking tour, so be sure to go check them out before or after your tour. The lemurs are very fun to watch.

group of pink flamingoes Safari Wes

After the walking tour, we took a 10-minute break and then got into a waiting safari jeep vehicle. Most of the other members of our group were older and no one else wanted to climb into the upper level seat so Ethan and I got to spend the entire ride here. Sitting on the top is obviously a better viewing spot, especially for the giraffes, but it is bumpier up here. Normally the driver will stop and have people switch spots during the tour so everyone can sit on the top if they wish.

The first stops were to see some of the antelopes and the crowd-pleasing giraffes. The giraffes tend to be very curious and you’re likely to get very close, which made Ethan happy as these are his favorite animals.

My favorite stop was to see the southern white rhinos as we had not gotten an opportunity to see a rhino up close on our trip to Africa (the black rhino found in eastern and central Africa are sadly critically endangered) and it was great to see these amazing prehistoric-animals. I was pleased the guide took a few minutes to explain the plight of all rhinos in Africa due to poaching for their horns.

We covered a lot of ground, stopping whenever we saw some new animals, with some of the remaining highlights including the zebra, cape buffalo, kudu, sables, and wildebeest.

Our guide/driver was very willing to answer questions from us and the other guests and it was interesting to see some of the same animals we had seen on safari in Africa as well as getting to see some new species. It was not exactly like our safari experience in Africa, but it was a good experience and definitely gives visitors a taste of what it would be like to be on safari in Africa.

safari jeep at Safari West California

So while you will see the smaller animals on the first part of the walking tour with the guide, the great part is that if you book a tour you can also return to see the animals after your tour at your own pace. This includes the cheetahs, monkeys, lemurs, porcupines, birds, etc.

One of my favorite animal experiences was getting a cup of tea and taking a quiet walk after dinner along the path and watching the animals. Many of the animals were busy playing, feeding, and jumping around their enclosure now that the heat and crowds had gone. We had the path mainly to ourselves and it was really magical to walk around and hear the animals at night.

One benefit of spending the night is being able to have more time with the smaller animals. We also walked around a bit in the morning after breakfast and this is also a great time to see the animals being active with few people around. 

black swan in lake at Safari West

Our Dining Experience at Safari West

During our visit, we had both dinner and the complimentary breakfast at the Savannah Café. The first part of the dinner was self-service hot and cold appetizers which included chicken wings, tomatoes and cheese, fruit, and olives which was served inside the Savannah Café. This gave guests some time to mingle while the staff was setting up the dinner buffet outside and grilling the meats over the fire pit.  

Several of the guests purchased local Napa or Sonoma wines that are available by the glass or bottle along with South African wines, port, and beer. So lots of folks were sharing bottles and having pre-dinner drinks together.

The main part of the meal was served buffet style outside with soup, your choice of grilled meat, grilled vegetables, beans, and mashed potatoes. All the food was good and hearty, but it is pretty casual grilled food so if you are looking for more gourmet dining, I would eat elsewhere in Sonoma.

We were also given dessert after our meals, which happened to be cake which was a perfect treat to celebrate Ethan’s birthday! But perhaps the best part was that later in the evening the staff brought out marshmallows that could be roasted over the fire pit! I love toasted marshmallows so I ate these until I started to feel a little sick. 

The next morning, the breakfast was a self-service continental buffet that contained the regular staples of pastries, breads, fruit, cereals, and drinks (coffee, tea, cocoa).

Safari West Savannah Cafe

Sleeping Overnight at Safari West

We stayed in a Hillside King tent overlooking the lake. The luxury tents have walls made of pale green canvas and are built on high wooden platforms with wooden decks attached. When we walked inside the tent, we could see we would not be roughing it like in regular camping but this was clearly glamping.

Our tent had a plush king-sized bed, polished wood floor, lamps, desk and chair, floor heater, and several decorations from Africa. The bathroom had a flush toilet, hot shower, toiletries, and gleaming copper sinks. The wooden deck was spacious with a table and chairs that overlooked the lake and a cooler to store drinks and snacks. We were very comfortable here and slept well; it did remind of some of the luxury tents we had stayed in while on safari in Africa.

Note that the tents do not have wireless Internet and many people do not have cellular phone service in parts of Safari West, depending on your carrier. A good reason to plan to take a technological break for a day.

Please also keep in mind that Safari West is a wildlife preserve and like in African camps, you can hear the animals at night. We barely heard the animals from our particular tent, but the tents close to the flamingos and cranes can get a lot of noise from the birds. I never knew flamingoes were so loud, but the flamingos and the cranes were pretty vocal at night during our stay so you might want to be closer or further away from these critters depending on your sleeping preferences.

If you can sleep with a bit of noise, it can be a unique experience to fall asleep to the sounds of birds, monkeys, antelopes, and other wildlife.

Tent lodging at Safari West

Our Overall Thoughts on Safari West

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Safari West and it made for a great overnight stay from the San Francisco Bay area. I think that staying overnight made the visit particularly memorable as we got to spend a lot more time wandering around and seeing and hearing the animals. Having the opportunity to see the animals early in the morning and late at night was really great.

I think a visit to Safari West would make a nice break in a Sonoma wine tasting trip, especially for families. A safari tour here allows visitors to get a taste of what it would be like to take an African safari, or in our case it was a great way to relive some of the great memories of our trip to East Africa.

We experienced great service throughout our stay, and would definitely recommend Safari West for visitors wanting to get a little wild while visiting Sonoma Wine Country!

Safari West safari wildlife tours Sonoma

Would you visit Safari West if you were in the area? Have questions for us about our time at Safari West, or comments from your own visit? As always we welcome any comments or questions! 

**Disclosure: We were offered a complimentary safari tour and stay in order to review Safari West and its services; however, this article contains only our own honest thoughts and opinions. We paid for our own food during our visit.**

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Joan Barker Post author

February 15, 2016 at 10:59 pm

I am attempting to make a wall quilt. I wanted to use one of my images from my trip to Safari West. However, I have lost all of my photos. Would you mind if I used one of your giraffe photos?

Joan Barker

travelcats Post author

February 16, 2016 at 4:03 am

Hi Joan, I am sorry to hear that you lost your photos from Safari West! Sure, I am happy to send you one of your photos for your wall quilt. Just email me at [email protected] and let me know if you have a specific giraffe photo in mind and I’ll send it via email. ~ Jessica

Kelley Post author

May 9, 2015 at 9:53 am

We are planning to book a safari and overnight in June for my son’s birthday because he is a huge animal lover. Is there a tour time you would recommend to see the most animal activity? Any recommendations of which area to stay in…we have our choice of hillside or base camp? We are looking for the area where we can see the most animals from our tent. Thanks!!

May 10, 2015 at 12:25 am

I would probably just book the regular safari group tour at Safari West as the walking part takes you along all the smaller animals in the pens/enclosures and then the drive takes you around all the main fenced areas where the larger animals roam. Then your family can stroll and see all the animals outside the enclosures at any time if you are staying overnight. If once you are there, you are still wanting more, you can inquire about booking a private animal encounter and see what is available but these are pretty expensive. I would recommend a tent near the antelope & giraffe enclosures and bird ponds (I think this is called Antelope Alley) if you want to be more likely to hear and see some of the animals. I would specifically note that you have a preference for a tent near the animals when booking. Mainly the birds are active at night, but you can see the antelopes, birds, and giraffes during the day from this area. Good luck and I am sure your son will enjoy his birthday at Safari West! ~ Jessica

AwesomelyOZ Post author

April 10, 2015 at 7:46 pm

A true Safari in Califrornia!? No way!? That’s so awesome! I want to go to California hopefully next year so this is a great thing to keep in mind. 🙂 I love how you and Ethan are wearing Independent Cat Travel shirts – that’s just precious! 🙂 Great photos, love seeing all the animals and it’s good to know they have an overnight option for the full experience. Have a great weekend Jessica and thanks for sharing!! Take Care -Iva

April 23, 2015 at 9:05 pm

I hope you make it to California next year – there are sooo many great places that you could put on your itinerary! Yes, aren’t those t-shirts cool:)

casacaudill Post author

April 9, 2015 at 9:19 pm

We spent the day at Safari West last month but because it was a last minute trip, we didn’t get a chance to stay overnight. How loud were the animals in the morning? 🙂

April 10, 2015 at 9:40 am

Hi there, we barely heard the animals from our tent (a Hillside King) up above the lake. We did hear a little noise from the ducks and geese on the lake in the morning. But the people right across from the flamingo ponds and giraffe/antelope enclosures could really hear the animals (particularly the birds) in the evening. I never knew that flamingoes and cranes could make so much noise! The sounds are muffled by the canvas but you’ll definitely hear them. So if you want to avoid much of the noise, I would specifically ask for a tent away from the birds and let them know that you are sensitive to noise. If you want to be lulled to sleep by the animal noises ask for a tent near the birds and giraffes:)

Enjoy! Jessica

April 10, 2015 at 10:05 am

Those flamingoes were surprisingly chatty when we arrived first thing in the morning!

Megan | Traveling Nine to Fiver Post author

April 8, 2015 at 6:36 pm

Thank you for sharing. I live just over in Sacramento and have been hearing a lot about Safari West and have been curious if the overnight stay is worth a trip. Sounds like you had a great time. I’m curious, have you been down to the San Diego Wild Animal park, does it compare? That is my judge for any wildlife trip.

April 10, 2015 at 9:33 am

Hi Megan, I have not been to the San Diego Safari Park but it does look similar to the African portion of that park as it specializes in African species primarily. It also does not have some of species that San Diego does, such as the lions and elephants. So I think if you have been to that park, this one would probably not be worth the trip up north unless you were in the area. It is amazing that California has more than one of these safari type parks!

Meredith Post author

April 8, 2015 at 1:03 pm

Wow what a great find! It seems especially rare to find a wildlife preserve of this size in the U.S., but especially with such variety and amenities. I think staying overnight would be particularly fun!

April 23, 2015 at 9:04 pm

Hi Meredith, yes, I think staying overnight definitely enhanced our experience here!

Seana Turner Post author

April 8, 2015 at 6:09 am

I would definitely visit this place. I need to remember this post because I’d love to do another wine country trip. I’ve never been to Africa, and since I”m not terribly adventuresome, I think this might be just the right amount of “roughing it” for me:) I had no idea this existed!!

Yes, I think a place like Safari West is great for those who would love to experience an African safari closer to home. It is amazing how many people keep saying how they never heard about this place in Sonoma County even though they’ve been or lived there!

Eden Post author

April 7, 2015 at 12:06 pm

Wow, I had no idea this existed in California, definitely need to go back and visit here someday. Your photos are beautiful by the way 🙂

April 23, 2015 at 9:00 pm

Thanks Eden! Yes, we are lucky to have so many attractions that keep up so busy exploring!

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safari west wildlife preserve

Safari West

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Safari West World’s Great Wildlife Preserves

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Safari West

Safari West is a 400-acre (162-hectare) private wildlife preserve located in Santa Rosa, California. The park focuses on species native to Africa and features a savannah-like safari park for African-style wildlife, an open-air aviary, a special preserve for primates, and more. Safari West is home to more than 800 wild animals, but it’s not a zoo. Instead, the park is part bed and breakfast, offering overnight lodging in luxury tents complete with en-suite bathrooms. Guests can also enjoy safari jeep tours, educational programs, and more.

Safari West Introduction

Looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life? Safari West in Napa Valley is the perfect place to do just that. This 400-acre wildlife sanctuary offers guided, open-air jeep tours that are perfect for getting up close and personal with some of the most amazing animals on the planet. Whether you’re looking to learn more about these creatures or simply want to experience their beauty firsthand, Safari West is sure to leave you with lasting memories.

The Animals of Safari West

Safari West is a 400-acre private wildlife preserve located in Santa Rosa, California. The park focuses on species native to Africa and offers guided, open-air jeep tours daily. It is home to more than 800 wild animals, including herds of wildebeest, rhinos, giraffes, lemurs, and more. The preserve also offers African tent camping and educational programs for kids and adults.

Safari West is a great place to learn about African wildlife and their habitats. The staff is passionate about conservation and educating the public about the importance of preserving these animals. The park offers many opportunities to see the animals up close and personal, making it a great experience for all ages.

The Habitats

Safari West is a 400-acre wildlife preserve located in Santa Rosa, California. The park focuses on species native to Africa and offers a unique recreational educational experience that promotes conservation. Safari West is home to more than 800 wild animals, including giraffes, rhinos, and lemurs. Guests may explore the Sonoma Serengeti on African wildlife alongside romping herds of Wildebeest, or they can stay overnight in one of the luxurious Safari West tents. An African adventure in the heart of California wine country, Safari is a must-see for any animal lover.

Looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city? Safari West is the perfect place for you! Located in Santa Rosa, California, Safari is a 400-acre private wildlife preserve that offers jeep tours of its grounds. On these tours, you’ll have the opportunity to see herds of wildebeest, rhinos, giraffes, and more. You can also book a private tour for your group. These tours are designed to educate guests of all ages about the importance of conservation. So not only will you have a blast on your safari adventure, but you’ll also be supporting a good cause.

The Weather of Safari West

Today is the perfect day to visit Safari West in Napa Valley. The weather is going to be great, with temperatures ranging from 5 to 14 degrees Celsius. Generally, the reliability of the situation is good, so you can rest assured that you’ll have a great time. Safari is a 400-acre wildlife sanctuary that offers guided, open-air jeep tours daily. However, It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in California and it’s definitely worth a visit. You’ll get to see all sorts of animals up close and personal, and you’ll learn about conservation efforts firsthand. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy the experience of this place.

What to Wear

Generally, Safari West is located in the heart of Napa Valley and is home to over 800 animals. The preserve offers jeep tours, safari tents, and a variety of other activities. When visiting the place, it is important to wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket or light sweater. The preserve is open to the public, even if you are not staying overnight.

What to Bring

If you’re planning a visit to Safari West in Napa Valley, there are a few things you should remember to bring. Firstly, be sure to wear comfortable shoes as there is some walking involved on the tour. Second, don’t forget to pack sunscreen and hats for everyone in your group – the California sun can be quite strong. Finally, remember to bring your camera and binoculars. You’ll want to have plenty of memories (and pictures) of your time at this amazing safari park.

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  • The Okavango suite is artistically styled with a beautiful blue hue and aluminum colors providing you with a feeling of relaxation and rejuvenation. Meerkats are waiting to greet you in D. Arthur Wilson’s “No Meer Family” giclee print. The spacious bathroom offers a shower large enough for two people. A shower seat is available if needed. Also available if needed are the toilet safety frame and rails in the shower. Both decks are charming with the back deck boasting lovely views of the sprawling valley and beautiful sunsets.

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  1. Safari West

    The mission of Safari West is to promote conservation by providing a unique recreational educational experience including information about propagation ... Inspiring Wildlife Posts. See all News ... ©2001-2024 Safari West Wildlife Preserve and Tent Camp ...

  2. Go on Safari!

    If you or a member of your party has any special needs, please don't hesitate to contact us at 707 566-3667. Let us help you plan the safari adventure of a lifetime at Safari West! 400 Acres of Exploration. From cheetahs to lemurs, giraffes to wildebeest, there's always something amazing waiting just around the bend.

  3. Safari West Wildlife Preserve & African Tent Camp

    Safari West Wildlife Preserve & African Tent Camp. 707-579-2551 [email protected]. Visit Website. Book Now. Save to My Trip. 3115 Porter Creek Road. Santa Rosa, CA 95404.

  4. Safari West

    1,841 reviews. #1 of 148 things to do in Santa Rosa. Nature & Wildlife Areas. Open now. 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM. Write a review. About. Have a wild adventure at Safari West, home to nearly 1,000 creatures. There are several fun wildlife excursions you can pick from: join a safari adventure, go behind the scenes on a guided tour, or even come face ...

  5. Safari West

    Safari West is a 400-acre (160 ha) private wildlife preserve located 12 miles north of the city of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California, United States, owned and operated by Nancy and Peter Lang. The selection of wildlife emphasizes species native to Africa, including giraffes, rhinoceros, cape buffalo, watusi cattle, antelope, cheetahs ...

  6. Safari West Wildlife Preserve

    Safari West Wildlife Preserve is nestled on 400 acres in the heart of California's wine country in Santa Rosa. Safari West is home for over 400 exotic mammals and offers lodging in unique cabins shipped from Africa and re-assembled on the property. Visitors are surrounded by giraffe, gazelle, scimitar-horned oryx, ostrich and other species of ...

  7. Safari West Wildlife Preserve and African Tent Camp

    Beyond a zoo, far more than any drive-through park, Safari West thrives as a world-renowned preserve dedicated to conservation and home to the earth's most graceful, majestic and exotic creatures. Here you can go on safari and see animals roaming wild and soaring free, just like they do in the wilds of Africa. Enjoy the zoological gardens and ...

  8. Safari West in California Wine Country

    Safari West - a stunning wildlife preserve - is nestled on 400 acres in the heart of California's Sonoma Wine Country. The stunning wildlife preserve is home to over 400 exotic African mammals. We saw more giraffes here than we've ever seen in one place before. And bird-watchers will love seeing so many birds from around the world.

  9. Safari West: An African Safari Experience in Sonoma California

    Safari West is a 400-acre wildlife preserve containing over 100 species and over 700 individual animals, including giraffes, cheetahs, zebras, flamingoes, rhinos, cape buffalo, lemurs, and wildebeest. Opened in 1993 by Peter and Nancy Lang, Safari West strives to promote wildlife advocacy and conservation through breeding, education, research ...

  10. Home

    ©2001-2023 Safari West Wildlife Preserve and Tent Camp. Share: Safari Spotlight: Lesser Flamingo. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Twitter Pinterest Email

  11. Safari West Review: Is Safari West Worth The Money?

    The Safari West wildlife park is located in the outskirts of Santa Rosa, CA, about 20 minutes outside of the city center. Santa Rosa is located in Sonoma County and is situated just over an hour north of San Francisco, CA. The park has a private parking lot available for day tour visitors and overnight guests.

  12. Safari West

    Safari West is at 3115 Porter Creek Rd. Guided tours of the 400-acre wildlife preserve, home to more than 900 exotic animals and birds, are conducted by a naturalist in open-air safari vehicles. The preserve's residents include giraffes, zebras, antelopes, wildebeests, Cape buffalo, gazelles and elands.

  13. Safari West Wildlife Preserve

    Connect with us!https://www.facebook.com/SafariWesthttps://instagram.com/safariwest/https://twitter.com/SafariWesthttps://www.pinterest.com/safariwest/Safari...

  14. Safari West World's Great Wildlife Preserves • ABC Distributor

    Safari West is a 400-acre (162-hectare) private wildlife preserve located in Santa Rosa, California. The park focuses on species native to Africa and features a savannah-like safari park for African-style wildlife, an open-air aviary, a special preserve for primates, and more. Safari West is home to more than 800 wild animals, but it's not a zoo.

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    Starting at $200 per night | Ages 18+ only | 2 guests | No pets. The Kilimanjaro suite offers a luscious, exotic palette of color throughout. Delicately carved African masks adorn the cabin as well as the art of Lisa and D. Arthur Wilson. The large, rustic entertainment unit is home to familiar games and books as well as Scott Smith's ...

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