Guest post by Karen Singleton
Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, Georgia, is a fun family experience for all ages.
How many people can say that they have hand-fed a zebra, water buffalo or giraffe? How close have you been to a camel or bison? If you are looking for a hands-on adventure less than 2 hours from Macon, I highly recommend the Wild Animal Safari.
This summer is a great time to visit the safari because many of the animals have young babies right now. One of the most spectacular babies is the baby giraffe (called a calf), whose name is Bakari.
As a seasoned Safari patron, I have a few tips to make the most of your family day out. My family choses to rent a “zebra van” for our drive thru the park, since the animals will slobber all over you and your vehicle as you feed them. The zebra van is a modified vehicle with open windows and bars to prevent the animals from becoming too cozy in the vehicle. This allows you and your group to have a personalized drive along the 3.5-mile road through some of the park’s 500 acres.
For the price of $22, guests can rent a 7-passenger van, or for $25, you can rent a 15-passenger van. Van rental is not included in the park admission price, but if you come with a group of family or friends, it’s a great way to experience the safari.
Admission to the park itself is generally $26.95 for adults, $23.95 for senior citizens and children ages 3-12, and free to children ages 2 and under. There are $2 discounts for online ticket purchases, as well as family 4-pack discounts, military discounts, and group discounts.
If you are reluctant to spend the additional cost for van rental, above the park’s admission prices, you can also drive your own vehicle, or you can ride one of the park’s large open-window tour guided buses.
Feeding the animals is one of the highlights of the Wild Animal Safari. You can only feed the animals the approved food pellets that you can purchase onsite, and they are sold in a variety of sizes and price points. We always bring a few extra plastic cups to help share the food pellets with my party inside the van. We also pack a roll of paper towels, wipes, and hand sanitizer for trip!
All the animals are really hungry in the morning, and I have had the best luck hand feeding when the park opens, which is at 10:00 a.m. All the animals seem to love the attention and crowd around the vehicle looking for you to hand feed them. Grandparents and parents delight in the excitement they see and hear from the children as they experience such a memorable adventure. It takes between one to two hours to drive, feed and see all the animals.
They have several family picnic tables if you would like to bring your own lunch. There is an onsite café with chicken tenders, pizza and other choices, as well.
Before leaving the park, take time to visit the Park Walkabout. This is a smaller, zoo-like portion of the Wild Animal Safari located near the food court and gift shop, with easy access to restrooms. You will see Bengal tigers, peacocks, lemurs, monkeys, alpacas, and more in this portion of the park. It’s a nice walk, and it gives families a different way to experience the amazing animals here.
If you are looking for an exciting family experience, the Wild Animal Safari is located at 1300 Oak Grove Road in Pine Mountain, Georgia. For more information, call them at (706) 663-8744, or check them out on the web at animalsafari.com/Georgia.