Your guide to San Diego Safari Park with a toddler and child

We absolutely LOVE being pass holders at the world famous San Diego zoo! There is so much to do with us having a 7 year…


We absolutely LOVE being pass holders at the world famous San Diego zoo! There is so much to do with us having a 7 year old and a 2 year old. Take a look at the list below to see some of the fun activities you are able to do with both a toddler and a child!

Here you will find the Mawazo Woods Discovery Area! This super cute area is a perfect safari area for kids to play and climb! There is shaded seating nearby for parents to kick back and relax.

The Gorilla Forest is amazing. The gorillas are almost always hanging out so you can see them. It is a large open exhibit with ample seating so you can sit and watch them interact or have a snack/lunch. Small children will need to be lifted up to see them as the ledges of the exhibit are high.

There’s lions here as the name says, but you know what else is here that is super cool? The Savanna Cool Zone! Kids can bring their bathing suits and play in this interactive water zone complete with spritzing palm trees and animals sprouting water. Please note, this area is turned off during fall and winter season.

There is a nice grassy area here where you get a really nice view of the giraffes and rhinos. This spot is for those who don’t want to ride the tram but still want to see some safari animals.

This is where you will find the amazing Africa Tram. Please note, on weekends and during busy season, the lines for this can be up to an hour long with the busiest times being between 12pm-230pm. The ride is about 25 minutes so make sure everyone uses the restroom beforehand. This tram is shaded and so much fun as you get a really good view of so many beautiful animals! You will use an elevator to access the tram so please know it might take you a little bit to get to the location. You can also walk past the tram and see some various animals.

Another nice area to see some animals up close and personal. Only accessible by the Arbor Walk.

A really cool spot to see some beautiful birds along your path.

A complete walkthrough area featuring a variety of different beautiful gardens and plants. 

My favorite playground is located here, the Camp Play Area. This area has lots of things for kids to climb on, including a slide. I would recommend this area more for kids who are 2 and up and the climbing is pretty steep. There are a few benches for parents to sit on but they tend to fill up quickly. 

When I tell you this is one of the coolest things you will ever experience, I mean it. After all, where else do you get to walk around with kangaroos?! If you kid is a runner, I would skip this as you must stay on a pathway for the animals safety.

The Safari Base Camp is for families who are wanting to spend the night at the zoo! Pick from 4 different packages and camp like a true safari master with your family. This is only offered a select few times of year. You can find more information here: 

The Nairobi Village is going to be your bread and butter! This adorable little area is completely setup for children. The petting kraal is located here where you can see, pet and brush goats! This is perfect for kids to get up close and personal with some docile animals. The petting kraal is open from 10am-4:45pm daily. There is also the Village Playground which is an African natural based play area. There are various reptiles here for kids to look at, as well as a bat cage. There is a screen where animated animals will also converse with your children. 

This carousel is so so cute! It featured an arrangement of different animals for kids to ride on. It is close to food and a bathroom as well. For only $6, your children will get unlimited rides all day!

A complete walk through for your children to experience various birds up close and personal. Not recommended of your children are scared of birds as they do walk and fly around.

Right after the bridge as you enter the park

Seen on the tram or by African Plains

Seen in Gorilla Forest

Seen on the tram or by African Plains

Lions can be seen in the lion camp or on the tram.

Tigers can be seen on Tiger trail.

Kangaroos and are in Walkabout Australia where you can get up close and personal.

Goats can be seen, pet and brushed at Nairobi Village.

Elephants can be seen from a distance in the elephant viewing area.

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