Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Janelle Visits: Lion Country Safari

While Janelle was in town visiting at the beginning of April, we planned for lots of fun adventures.  Our second day together we spent the morning at Butterfly World and then drove up north to the Lion Country Safari.  I ended up getting a membership there (surprise, surprise) since we've taken so many of our visitors.  It is one of Daxton's favorite places.

One thing I love most about Lion Country Safari is that we see so many different animals and interactions each time.  Since it's an open drive-through safari park, we were able to drive our own vehicle at the max speed of 10 mph.  They only rule is to not roll down windows...which we sometimes forget...
Daxton loves that he gets to sit in the drivers seat and steer.
Every visit brings new interactions, animals close to the vehicles, feeding and interacting with each other, etc.  We knew Janelle would love the experience!

Some of the animals we were able to observe...
Ostriches (which Daxton calls Oshishes)
We saw 20-25 throughout the park, but there are probably more.

We saw two males and eight females within the park.

From Central Asia, Mongolia, and Syria, these animals are an endangered species due to extreme habitat loss.  They reminded me of America's donkeys.  We loved watching the babies of the family.

We lucked out with how active the Asiatic Water Buffalos were.  They usually are lounging in the ponds throughout the park, but this time they walked right in front and next to our car for several minutes.

The Blackbuck from India are some of my favorites because of their gorgeous twisting horns, but I also love that they are full grown at 3ft tall.  Daxton kept squealing in his high pitch voice how cute the "babies" were.

What we were most excited about though, were all the Southern White Rhinoceros we were able to see.  Several of them were up walking and even crossed in front of our car!  We counted over 20 that were visible.

We were also able so see over 40 Zebra throughout the park.  I love that their stripe patterns are each unique.

As you can see, we weren't too great about keeping our windows shut.  We of course always kept them rolled up around the Ostriches and other more inquisitive animals.  Daxton loved watching all the different animals around him.  I love that his mind is like a sponge right now, so curious and excited about the world around him.

We also loved the baby giraffe and thought it was so cool how they stretched their legs out in order to bend down to eat their food.

Trying to take selfies are especially fun with a crazy toddler!

After the drive-through portion of the park, we got out and explored the rest of the enclosures.

We had a blast feeding all the Koi fish, although Daxton wanted to throw in one little fish food pebble at a time.  It was taking forever so Auntie Nellie "accidentally" spilled the rest into the pond.

The grounds are covered with the most interesting plants.  We had a lot of fun wandering through the gardens and dense tropical forests.

This was pretty much our view the entire day...
The back of Daxton's body, running off in the distance!
Good thing there were no crowds and he could simply run freely.  South Florida is absolutely perfect for an inquisitive and active toddler!

One of Daxton's favorite things to do is feed the giraffe.  We've been able to feed them at several different zoos and he has become very familiar with them.  Giraffes are such unique, graceful, and beautiful animals.

Taking turns feeding the giraffes lettuce...
I love the different facial expressions from Daxton.

I love how all the different paths are lined with thick green vegetation.  We found some fun bongo drums that Daxton immediately wanted to play.

Daxton is getting much more brave at the petting zoo.  He approaches the different goats on his own now and feels comfortable petting their backs.  He is quick about it, but he isn't as nervous as he used to be.

As we were watching Daxton, I felt something rub up against the back of my leg.  I looked over and a goat was leaning right up against me.  He wouldn't move and kept rubbing my leg.  I think it was hoping I had food or something.  He just stood there for several minutes.

They were eyeing Janelle as well and kept trying to get into her purse.  We obviously didn't have any food and they lost interest after awhile.

On our way out of the park, we took Daxton on a few of the kiddy rides available.  It was silly that one of us had to ride with him on this stupid train!  Janelle was a sweetheart to go on it with him again after he refused to get off with mommy.

We also found some fun signs to pose with as well.  Gotta love tourist traps!

It was such a fun-filled and exhausting day!
We were able to see and do so much.  I'm so glad that Daxton's used to me dragging him around everywhere on our adventures.  It makes it that much more easy when visitors come into town!

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