On one of our last days in San Diego after Labor Day this year, we used our Costco park hopper passes to visit the San Diego Wild Animal Park. It is up in Encinitas so it was a long drive and unlike the Zoo they charge for parking ($10) which was a bummer. We went the day after the big county wide power outage and I think many people must have assumed the park was closed so there were no crowds. (The picture above is of some Macaws in a tree.) At the entrance they have a neat area where you can see an animal up close to learn more about it, out at the “meet and greet” was a Monitor Lizard named Tarzan. The kids liked seeing his long tongue flick out while he ate some breakfast.
The big plan was to get on the African Safari and see the park that way but the trek to the Safari is long. I don’t like to complain but when you are with little kids your time is at a premium, it was hot as well (great time to be in San Diego, for a heatwave, at least that meant the beach was perfect the day we went!). Once we got on the safari though, we loved it. The picture above is the view 3/4 of the way to the tram entrance. Isn’t it expansive? Amazing to see Wildebeest running across green plains (gave me chills, but I can’t think of Wildebeest without thinking of this video, it has NSFW language but Billy Connolly is hillarious), a 13 month old Rhino being nursed by his mother, and to learn of the conservation efforts of the Zoo.
After the Safari we saw the Lions, sleeping of course. Nearby was a splashpad and a picnic area so we settled in for lunch and let E and R get a little wet. It was already time to beeline it to the exit so we’d be back in time for afternoon naps. I was able to get some free ice from the concession stand which is one of my standbys, you can usually get cups of ice for little or no charge. We got to see some Meerkats as we made our way to the exit. The next day we headed home and concluded that though we loved seeing all the attractions, maybe our next trip will be a beach only one. These parks take a lot of walking and work and the kids don’t have the stamina for too much. That said, it was a great trip and we learn more about traveling every time we do it. Oh, and there was a fantastic rainstorm on the drive home which was fun as well.