Most families head to the zoo to look at animals, assuming exotic creatures are a luxury that can only be found on safari. But, don't write it off just yet. A corner of Canada specializes in phenomenal animal experiences rivaling those found in the African Savanna. In Hamilton, Ontario, visitors can view and interact with more than 100 species of animals — all of which can be enjoyed right from the backseat of your car.
Visitors to African Lion Safari will tell you nearly every corner of the park is photo worthy and all the animals seem to bask in the limelight, vying for attention. A little over an hour from popular travel destinations like Niagara Falls, Buffalo, and Toronto, not a lot of people know about this hidden gem so you won't have to fight the crowds to get a good shot. It's an easy day trip for families looking to experience more than just a day at the zoo.
There are two ways to get through the park: by bus or on your own. While a guide will offer additional information about the animals on the bus tour, drivers are in for a rare treat when they opt to take their own vehicle. All the animals are used to the constant activity and aren’t shy about getting close. Baboons will frolick on top of cars, giraffes will lick your windows clean, and an ostrich will gladly peak in through the sunroof to say hello. By the end of the day, you may leave wondering if the animals are the main attraction — or if you are.
But the African Lion Safari is more than just a drive-thru zoo. Some of its most popular exhibits include railroad tours, boat cruises around the primate and bird islands, and hands-on exhibits, like the Birds of Prey. The daily Elephant Swim is a seasonal favorite where guests can watch the entire herd of Asian Elephants splashing around to keep themselves cool. Park leaders try to keep the animals on a schedule so you know exactly when to come.