Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lion Country Safari with Grandpa and Grandma

After visiting Butterfly world we headed north another 30 minutes to Lion Country Safari just inland from West Palm Beach.  Lion Country Safari first opened in the late 60s and was the first drive-through safari park in the country.  It is home to over 900 animals such as lions, white rhinos, zebras, giraffe, and many more.  Since there are no cages, the animals roam freely throughout the park.

As we entered the park, we were given a narrated CD to guide us on our journey.  I was so glad that we were in Dad's rental minivan.  The windows were huge and allowed incredible views for Daxton since his car seat was much higher than in our Nissan.  The safari was broken up into regions, separated by cattle guards.  All of the animals (excluding the lions and chimpanzees) roamed freely which was pretty incredible to see, especially when they were inches away from the windows and crossing the road in front of our car! 

Some of the animals we saw along the way...
Giant Tortoise, several different kinds of birds, Ostriches, different caribou and deer.

I loved how the animals food was placed adjacent to the road which allowed up close viewing with most animals.

The lions were the only animals with a tall fence around the perimeter.  There were too many people disregarding the warning for getting out of their cars to take pictures.  In 2005 Lion Country Safari built a fence around the enclosure for liability and safety.  Most of the lions (there were about 10 of them) were resting near the fence perimeter so we were still able to get a good look.

Water Buffalo

I can't remember the name of this large bull but it definitely took it's time checking us out and slowly walking across the road.  It was pretty cool until we remembered we were in a rental car.  We were very glad he didn't damage anything!

What I thought to be the most amazing aspect of the whole experience, was the sure number of animals on the safari.  I was thinking we would drive around and see 2 or 3 animals of each kind, but it was drastically the opposite.  There were over 20 white rhinos alone!  And when we came across the zebras it was a herd of over 40!  It was such a cool experience.

Our view of another car driving next to white rhinos.
They even had 3 different baby rhinos interacting with their mothers.

I'll be honest, I rolled down both Daxton and I's windows several times to take pictures.  I figured as long as they were at a good distance away it would be fine.  While viewing the zebra, I had the window down for a picture and didn't notice one walking up from behind our van.  All of a sudden it's nose was entering the van.  It was pretty cute to watch him sniff around and then move on.  What gorgeous animals!

The chimpanzees were also separated from the vehicles, but not by fences.  The chimps live on an island system within a large area surrounded by water.  Their muscles are so dense that they physically can't float/swim.  In order to replicate their nomadic primate lifestyles, everyday a bridge opens to another island for them to move to and explore.  Several different primate specialists have come to Lion Country Safari for the sole purpose of observing these animals in their natural environment.
It was a great experience, so much so that I ended up taking my friends later that week.  It was a fun way to end such a remarkable couple weeks together.  I love my parents so very much.  They have been my biggest support system throughout my life and continue to support Dallas and I unconditionally.  It is very difficult being so far away from them (can't get much further from Washington state than Florida!)
We love you mom and dad.
Daxton and I had so much fun exploring and creating new memories.  We all know how much Daxton loves his grandparents!  Thank you so very much for giving us such incredible experiences and for showering us with love, Popsicles, and dance parties.  
We are truly the most blessed with both of you in our lives! 

1 comment:

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