Safari parks also known as wildlife parks are a zoo-like commercial drive-in tourist attraction around the world. At a safari park, you as the visitor will ride either in your car, a tram or at the Everglades Safari Park, an airboat. At Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee, your adventure will be more traditional as tour the park in your vehicle.

Everglades Safari Park

Everglades Safari Park opened in 1968 with the purpose to showcase South Florida and Everglades National Park. Not only are they dedicated to serving the tourist industry, but they also work with various schools and museums in the area to promote the preservation of the Everglades.

There are many ways to enjoy the park, the most known, is the airboat rides that take you throughout the Everglades. For safety, they adhere to the strict National Park guidelines, are an authorized Everglades National Park concession.

When you purchase their “Eco-Adventure Tour,” the airboat ride throughout the Everglades will be about 40 minutes long. Afterward, there will be a Wildlife Nature Show and as walk the Jungle Trail where there will be observation platforms and exhibits.

If you purchase your ticket(s) in advance and have a National Parks Pass, present it at the ticket booth and your prepaid fee will be refunded.

Lion Country Safari

Lion Country Safari located in Loxahatchee in the western end of Palm Beach County opened in 1967. It is the first “cageless zoo” in the United States and was named the third best zoo by the USA Travel Guide in 2009.

When the park first opened, it had its own two-foot narrow gauge railroad known as the Everglades Express. The railroad is now closed, but the locomotive was first donated to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami. Later, it was purchased by the Veterans Memorial Railroad. The organization restored it and runs on their railroad today.

Visitors drive through the park in their own vehicle while listening to a prerecorded CD. No convertibles are allowed in the park. While driving through the park, you will see giraffes, rhinoceroses, and zebras as they are allowed to roam freely throughout the park. Guests are warned to drive slowly and be careful not to get too close to the animals. You will be instructed not to open your car windows or doors.

Known for their chimpanzee exhibit as they live on an island system where they move to a different island every day. This replicates their natural nomadic lifestyle. As they would in the wild, the chimps live in complex social groups. For those interested in behavioral studies of chimps, Lion Country Safari has been very beneficial.

Upon finishing your drive through the park, you can then visit Safari World, a theme park that features exhibits, an amusement park, Animal Theater, petting zoo, mini golf, paddle boats, and a small water park. The most popular attraction is the giraffe-feeding exhibit.

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