Labor Day weekend, we spent a day at the Wild Animal Park. The last time I had went, it was winter and the weather was very dreary, so I wanted to see it on a warm day. A little too warm for my taste, but I digress.
On the previous visit, I wasn't aware of the Journey into Africa tour and that zoo members get this free of charge (a great b-day present from Joey!). I knew of the Photo Caravan (where you get up close and personal with some of the animals) and the Rolling Safari (where you look awesomely cool in a helmet on your Segway), but those cost quite a bit of additional moolah, even for zoo members.
Glancing around on the website prior to this most recent visit, I came across the Journey into Africa tour and I made it my goal not to miss out on it this time around.
The 30 minute ride is similar to the backlot tour at Universal Studios Hollywood Theme Park. You climb aboard a slow moving 'train' and you're educated on the animals you pass over the loud speaker by the tour guide, who's also the driver. The ride takes you all around the exhibit, where animals roam freely on wide open land representing different locations in Africa.
There were too many animals for me to remember, mostly hoofstock, but I DO remember seeing rhinos, giraffes, elands, gemsboks, ostriches, and oryxes. We also saw a rhebok (I think) that was only 1 week old trotting along with his mom.
I really enjoyed getting a close up view of the animals in their 'natural' habitat. But I would recommend sitting in a car closer to the front. You'll be able to see exactly what the guide sees and take decent pics. Unlike us cool kids who sat in the back of the train and our view was often blocked by trees.
They should pay me for this promotion..
As I already mentioned, since we are members, we got to do the Journey into Africa tour for free. Not only that, I used coupons to get friends in the park at a discounted rate which included the tour, had coupons for discounted food, free parking, and got a free large tote bag at the giftshop!. If you plan to visit both the Zoo and the Park at least once within one year, the membership well worth the cost.