7 Ways to Go (Really) Wild at Lion Country Safari

April 7, 2021

Did you know that Palm Beach County is home to Florida’s largest drive-through safari? See how one family spends a fun filled day at Lion Country Safari.

Lion Country Safari (LCS), located in Loxahatchee, was created to bring the experience of an African game park to families who would otherwise not be able to make such an expensive and time-consuming trip. When it opened in 1967, it was the first drive-through safari in the U.S.!
 
The mission at Lion Country Safari is to “be a leader in animal care, conservation and education, to inspire people through connections with wildlife in a fun, family-friendly environment.” My family, which consists of three kids (ages 8, 5 and 2) absolutely loves LCS. We are lucky to live very close to the park, and it is always top on the list when friends and family come to visit from out of state! Here are some of our favorite ways to go (really) wild at Lion Country Safari.

Note: Lion Country Safari is currently open, but some experiences may be closed or have changed due to COVID-19 safety protocols. Please check with the attraction for the latest updates before visiting.

 

1. The Drive-Through Safari 

Are you ready to leave South Florida and drive into Africa? That’s really what the Drive-Through Safari at Lion Country feels like. This safari takes around 45 minutes, and you are guided through the park by an audio tour that you can play on your phone. You can drive your own car, or if you are with a big group and want to be all together, there are vans available to rent for a fee. As you slowly drive through the safari, you are taken through different lands of Africa and South America. 

Family looking at a Rhino
Photo  by Meg Palumbo

Lion Country Safari is home to over 1,000 animals. One of my family’s favorites is the ostrich; make sure you follow the rules and keep those windows closed because yes, they do peck! We also love the zebras, which walk right alongside your car, and the rhinos are huge. The chimpanzees make us laugh, these guys are truly amazing acrobats! And the giraffes – tall, beautiful, graceful (more about them in #2). 

Family looking at an Ostrich.
Photo by Meg Palumbo

But the star of the safari is, of course, the lions! Even though the lions are in their own section and behind a fence, they are the “kings of the jungle” still. They are truly awe-worthy, and the cubs are so adorable and playful.  
 
Once the drive-through safari is complete you can either exit the park or go to the walk-through Safari World, where there is so much more fun to have!

2. Feeding The Animals

Lion Country is a place where you can truly get up close and personal with the animals. My family’s favorite thing to do at LCS is feed the giraffes! For $5 you get a pile of lettuce leaves. The giraffes come right over to you and grab them with their giant purple tongues.

Mother and daughter feeding a giraffe.
Photo by Meg Palumbo

We also love feeding the budgies (or parakeets). You can purchase a popsicle stick with nut butter and birdseed on the end. You walk into a fenced bird area and the birds land on the stick, and you! There is also the Lory Bird Aviary, where you can walk through the colorful birds and purchase nectar cups to feed them. Other hands-on wildlife encounters include a fish-feeding area and a petting zoo with sheep and goats that eat right out of your hands.

Small boy feeding a Lory Bird.
Photo by Meg Palumbo

3. Make a Splash in the Water Park Areas

Be sure to have your bathing suit either under your clothes or in a bag, because LCS now has water park play areas. They really are the perfect places to cool off from the South Florida heat.

Water play area at Lion Country Safari.
Photo by Meg Palumbo

Safari Falls features interactive elements like water slides, water cannons and a 550-gallon dump bucket. Safari Splash is my family’s favorite spot to end our day at LCS. This interactive “sprayground” has 23 different water options for the kids to splash around in.

4. Rides & Slides

The first time I went to LCS I was pleasantly surprised by the rides that my children could go on. Our favorite is the flying elephant ride (similar to the one at our favorite amusement park in Orlando!). We also love the classic carousel, and no trip is complete without a ride on the Rio Grande Train!

Small girl on a train ride.
Photo by Meg Palumbo

For the older kiddos, the slides are the way to really go wild. The Fun Slide is the classic sit-on-a-sack-and-gooooo! If you have your bathing suit on (which you should, if you read #3!) try Safari Plunge, where you can zoom down a 108-foot freefall water slide and a 214-foot curving water slide.

5. Explore Lake Shannalee

There are two great ways to enjoy Lake Shannalee, the lake at the center of Lion Country Safari. You can either paddle your way around on one of LCS’s paddleboats, or take a cruise on the Safari Queen, which offers glimpses of exotic birds and spider monkeys. Both are included with your admission to LCS.

Family on a paddleboat
Photo by Meg Palumbo

6. Mini-Golf 

Why go to a separate mini-golf park when one is included with your visit to Lion Country? Take a break from the animal fun and try out the 16-hole golf course.

Mini Golf Course
Photo by Meg Palumbo

7. Camp Out on the “Savanna”

The Travel Channel once named the KOA campground at Lion Country Safari one of the “top five places to pitch a tent.” Here you can fall asleep to the sounds of nature and maybe even wake up to lions roaring in the distance! The campground is located adjacent to the Drive-Through Safari preserve, and offers a choice of Kamping Kabins and tent sites. It’s not your usual way to stay in The Palm Beaches, but definitely a unique experience for the family!
 
These are some of our favorite ways to go wild at Lion Country Safari, but there is so much more to explore when you visit – from the life-size dinosaur replicas at the Prehistoric Park to the Safari Hedge Maze. I hope you enjoy Lion Country Safari as much as my family does! It’s an incredible gem here in The Palm Beaches.  
 
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Meg Palumbo
Meg Palumbo
Meg Palumbo is the proud founder and owner of Palm Beach Moms Blog. Written by a team of local moms, Palm Beach Moms Blog connects moms to information and parenting perspectives unique to Palm Beach County.