Safari Park Virginia

Safari Park Virginia is an exotic animal sanctuary in Waynesboro, Virginia. It is home to elk, deer, bison, longhorn cattle, white-tailed deer and the king of the jungle himself – lions. Safari Park  is a unique place where your family can see animals up close in their natural habitat! This article will cover some basic information about the park, what they offer to guests and some safety guidelines so you can go enjoy a fun day with your family.

Safari Park is divided into 2 sections: Safari Drive Thru and Enchanted Forest.  The 2 areas are connected by a bridge over part of the African tiger exhibit which houses white tigers, lions and other animals that like to live in the grasslands.

Safari Drive Thru - Capture Memories
Safari Drive Thru – Capture Memories


Table of Contents

Safari Drive Thru

The Safari Drive Thru is where you park your car and get out to see the animals. The cost of entry is $25 for adults, $20 for children or seniors if they are 62 years old or older.  You will have no less than an hour walking around seeing animals.  You can stay as long as you like but there is no guarantee you will see every animal in the park before closing time.

The Safari Drive Thru is split into 8 different areas (see map below) each with their own unique collection of animals.  At all times, keep your eyes on your children, stay with the group and do not get out of your vehicle.  If you get out to take pictures or anything, please be sure to close all doors so the animals cannot get in!

Keep your eyes open while driving through Safari Drive Thru for Safari Rangers who will show you how to say “hello” in animal language! Don’t be surprised if you are asked to honk your horn or stop your vehicle. You will have the opportunity to feed some of the animals so please do not litter.  The animals might even jump up on your car (so keep that under consideration if you have a nice new car). If an animal is near or next to a fence, do not stick your hand or fingers through the fence.  This is a surefire way to get bit and you will have no one else to blame but yourself (and possibly your parents for allowing you to do it).

Enchanted Forest

The Safari Drive Thru leads right up to the Enchanted Forest where there are shows, other attractions, food and drinks.  The Enchanted Forest is an interactive play area that has animal statues you can climb on, a nature trail to walk around and board games for the kids.

If you would like to feed some of the animals or take pictures while they are eating, it will cost you $1 for 1 cup of feed and $2 for a package of crackers.  There are goats, horses and other animals you can feed and take pictures with.

If you would like to buy hay to feed the buffalo or elk, it will cost $3 for a small bale and $5 for a large bale. You can also bring your own food to feed the animals if you like.  Camel and donkey rides are also available for $3 per person (must be at least 42″ tall).

Enchanted Forest has a couple of shows every day; one at 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The shows are approximately 30 minutes long.

  • The first show is the Elk Bugle Theater which takes you through a journey of elk mating rituals and other important information about these majestic creatures.  They have some surprise guests that may come on stage with them!
  • The next show is called “Pachyderm Protocol” where they introduce you to the Asian elephants and their trainers.  They do tricks such as blowing a whistle, treating their trainer like a king and playing soccer!
  • The final show is the African Lions which is just another chance for you to see these majestic animals up close. This show takes place in front of the Safari Park Lodge where the lions will be fed right after the show.

The Safari Park is open 7 days a week (closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day).  Tickets must be purchased prior to entering the park.  Once you are inside, if you would like to do any of the attractions or feed some of the animals it will cost you more money.  

To get your tickets in advance and save money, you can order them right here on this website.  You will be emailed your tickets/receipt immediately so print it out and bring it with you to the Safari Park.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section or check out their FAQ page .

How much does the Virginia Safari Park cost?

Adults – $26.95, Children (3-11) – $18.95 and Seniors (65+) – $24.95

The Virginia Safari Park allows small and personal amounts of food and drinks (including water bottles) into the park if you want to bring them inside.  There are many dining options also available on the grounds such as a snack shack, restaurant, ice cream stand and more!

What time do the Safari Park Virginia hours open and close?

The Virginia Safari Park is open every day (including holidays) from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The last ticket sale at the park will be at 4:45 p.m. Please pay attention to any signs about tour times because some groups may leave the park early to help make sure everyone gets back in time.

Are there bathrooms or water fountains at the Virginia Safari Park?

The Virginia Safari Park has plenty of outdoor restrooms located throughout the property.  Please pay attention to any signs telling you where they are located for your convenience.

There are also water fountains located near each restroom area, be sure to bring a refillable water bottle with you if you plan on staying at the park for more than a couple of hours.

What is there to do at the Virginia Safari Park?

As far as attractions go, the Virginia Safari Park has plenty! If you are interested in seeing some of the animals up close, there are several attractions including camel and donkey rides for $3 per person, hay rides for $3 per person, feed the buffalo for $1 per cup or feed the elk for $2 a package.

If you would like to ride an African elephant, that will cost you $5 per person, and if you would like to ride an Asian elephant (Pachyderm Training Program) it will cost $3.50 per person.  You can also have a trainer guide you around the elephant area for free!

For those animal lovers out there, you can even spend some time getting up close and personal with a lion for a price of $5 per person.  The lions are not in a fenced enclosure, but you will have a trainer with you the entire time to make sure everything goes smoothly and that it is safe for everyone.

If you would rather stay close to the ground and see some African birds, visit the bird show which takes place daily at 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. The bird show will cost you $3 per person to watch, but it is free if you would like to take some photos or videos of the birds which are located all around the park’s property.

There are also many activities for children including pony rides, the petting zoo, mountain slide, gem mining and hay rides for $3 per person.  The petting zoo is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the mountain slide will cost you $5 per person (ages 3+), and the hay ride will cost $3 per person (ages 10+).

There are also many photo opportunities with the animals.  You can ride an elephant for $5 per person, get your photo taken with a camel for $3 per photo, take photos with some of the other animals located throughout the property and even feed an animal (like buffalo or elk) for $1 to $2 per cup of food.

There are also special educational programs offered throughout the day for groups of visitors to learn more about specific animals, etc.  The Safari Park also offers night tours and camping opportunities which includes transportation from your hotel and a buffet dinner!

Are there tours offered at the Virginia Safari Park?

Yes!  The park offers three different types of tours to choose from including a bus tour, walking tour or jeep safari tour.  All three tours will help you see more animals located throughout the park’s property, but you can choose which one works best for you.

Both the bus tour and walking tour will be about 2 hours long, while the jeep safari will be around 1 hour long.  There are also private tours available if your group would like to learn more about certain animals (lions, elephants, etc.).

The bus tour is $15 per person, the walking tour is $10 per person and the jeep safari tour will cost you around $20 per person.

The bus tour takes place Monday through Saturday at 9:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.  You will also meet the bus at your hotel if you are staying overnight in the park’s property.

The walking tour is only offered Friday through Sunday at 9:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m..  It should be noted that the walking tour is only offered from March-October.

The jeep safari tour takes place Monday through Saturday at 9:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.. On Sundays, it takes place at 3:00 p.m..

All of these tours will come with a tour guide, you can bring your own camera and there are restroom facilities on the bus.

The Virginia Safari Park is located at 400 Long Road in Natural Bridge Station, Virginia and you can call (540) 291-9453 for more information about any of their programs/activities or to make reservations.

What does the Virginia Safari Park do to help save endangered species?

The Virginia Safari Park is home to many endangered or threatened species including lions, tigers, bears and elephants.  There are also other animals on site that are not classified as an endangered/threatened species which include everything from elk to buffalo to zebras.

The Safari Park takes part in conservation efforts to help save many of these animals. Some activities they take part in include hosting an annual conference about endangered species, offering tours for school groups and holding fundraising events.

Safari - Zebras
Safari – Zebras

Do Safari Park Virginia offer military or senior discounts?

Yes. The Virginia Safari Park offers a 50% discount on tickets to active duty military personnel and all children three years of age and under receive free admission.  Seniors can get a 25% discount on tickets over the age of 65.

Do Safari Park Virginia offer student discounts?

Yes. Student admission at the Virginia Safari Park is $8 for students who are 12 years of age or older and $5 for children between the ages of 3-11.  This discount is available Monday through Friday with a valid school ID.

Are Fridays really “Half Price Days” at Safari Park Virginia?

Yes.  Fridays are always half price days at the Virginia Safari Park which means adults pay $15 for their admission, children between 3-11 years of age receive free entry and kids under 3 years of age get into the park for free.

What do you need to wear if I’m going to Safari Park Virginia?

You should come prepared with comfortable shoes, appropriate clothing for the weather and a camera to capture photos of your experience.  We recommend bringing insect repellent too!

What are some of the most popular activities at Safari Park Virginia?

The safari bus tour is the most popular activity that people take part in while visiting the park.  It is also one of the most economical activities at only $15 per person for adults and children 3 years of age and under receive free admission.

Are there any additional fees when I choose to stay overnight at Safari Park Virginia?

Yes.  The sale price of $95 per person is for a basic room at the Safari Park Lodge.  This is not inclusive of taxes and fees. You will have access to your room throughout your entire stay but there is also an outdoor pool, fitness room and arcade/game room available to guests at no additional cost. There is also a continental breakfast that is free of charge for all guests.  The price of this will vary depending upon what time you choose to take part in it on the day of your arrival.

How many animals are at Virginia Safari Park?

There are more than 2,000 animals at the Virginia Safari Park. There are approximately 400 different species at the park which includes big cats, bears, zebras and red deer.

What is the weather like at Safari Park Virginia?

The Virginia climate allows for great year-round adventures.  It is generally mild with an average daily high of 57 degrees (F) during the winter months and an average daily high of 80 degrees (F) during the summer months.

What kind of amenities does Safari Park Virginia provide for guests?

The park offers hotel-style amenities that include a restaurant and cafe, gift shop, retail store and lounge area.  There is also a theater where you can view educational videos about the animals and their habitats.

Are there any seasonal activities at Safari Park Virginia?

Yes!  Safari Park Virginia offers a heated outdoor pool and an arcade/game room for guests to use during the summer months.  The park also hosts an annual Easter Eggstravaganza event where children can search for eggs and enjoy crafts and face painting.

Do they offer any on-site activities or excursions?

Safari Park Virginia offers the option of booking guided tours of nearby attractions such as Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.  Visitors can choose either a morning or afternoon tour that includes lunch and some extra time to explore the grounds on your own.

What types of animals are allowed to be hunted on Safari Park grounds?

The Virginia Safari Park will allow certain types of wildlife to be hunted on their premises for an additional fee.  These include bison, deer and elk.  Before you will be granted access to the hunting area you will have to undergo a brief training session from park staff.

How long does it take to go through the safari park?

It will take you roughly 3 hours to make your way through the Virginia Safari Park.  This includes time spent on the bus and at each attraction along the route. Please note that the route you take can vary based upon your driver’s discretion.

Does the Virginia Safari Park have gift shops on site?

Yes, there are gift shops located in Safari Village and in front of the entrance gate to the park.  These offer a wide range of merchandise including books, clothing and toys that will remind you of your experience at the park.

What is the policy at the Virginia Safari Park regarding pictures and video?

Guests are allowed to take pictures and/or videos while visiting the park and of any personal interactions they may have with staff or animals.  However, guests are not allowed to photograph or film staff members without their express permission.

How many people are sent out on each bus in Virginia Safari Park?

There are two drivers that rotate throughout the day.  Each driver is in charge of 12-14 passengers at a given time. Families are seated together on the bus.

What safety precautions are in Virginia Safari Park for guests?

The park has taken proactive measures to ensure that their guests are kept safe while enjoying their time here.  There is a staff member on hand at all times to make sure that there is no interaction between the guests and the wildlife. The park has also installed fencing and other barriers to keep guests out of harm’s way.

What games or activities are available in Safari Park Virginia?

Safari Park Virginia offers a variety of different animal-related games such as hay bale maze and wild animal darts.  Each attraction offers different prices on a pay-per-play basis.

What types of tours are available in Virginia Safari Park?

Tour options vary based upon the day of the week and what time you visit.  Safari Park has daily tour options for adults and children that are available during certain hours of the day.  A nearby landmark that is typically included in these tours is Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.

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