Experiencing the Natural Wildlife Safari in San Antonio Coming Out of COVID-19

Ok, so this weekend we took our first family trip out of the house to see what life would be like now that we’re coming out or somewhat coming out of COVID-19.

Our kids have literally been locked in the house or close to it since spring break so they were beyond ready to get out and explore, but even with getting out we wanted to take as few risks as possible, so we decided to see what experiencing the Natural Wildlife Safari here in San Antonio had to offer now that we are coming out of COVID-19.

We were also looking for something that everyone could enjoy from the teenager down to the baby and we figured this would be a good happy medium.

Our Arrival

 

Not to our surprise, there were A LOT of other families who had the same idea as us.

When we got there it was a long line to enter into the safari, which initially had me kinda worried, but I had my patience hat on and it surprisingly went pretty fast.

When you arrive, you drive up like you would at most attractions pay for your tickets out of your window, then you’re given instructions on how to engage during your visit.

We were informed that ordinarily you can feed the animals from the car, but given the current circumstances, the staff was the only ones doing animal feedings, and we were given a quick rundown on how to behave while you’re driving through.

You know, the obvious like:

  1. Stay in your car, these are still wild animals
  2. Keep your limbs in the car
  3. Don’t feed them the babies snacks

so on and so forth, and despite the specifics you still had a few people trying it, like hanging out the window, but there is staff rolling around in golf carts shutting all of that foolishness down, lol.

Anywhoo, as I digress.

Once we got in we were told there were a couple of walk-up spots that we could enjoy, we were given instructions on where the bathrooms were and told to have a good time.

Admissions Price

 

Soooo, here’s the only thing that was like whoa to me when we got there, and it’s the ticket price.

So they charge per person, not per car which was kinda a turn off for me.

In my mind, I’m thinking why am I paying per person when I’ve only got 1 car driving through?

I’m spending my gas and driving my own car AAAANNNNDDD you gone charge me per person in the car, geeshhhhh!!!!

Then on top of that my 16-year-old and 12 year old were charged as adults, BOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

So just be prepared if you have a sizeable family that you need to be prepared to cough up a few coins.

Now on the flip side of that, you can take your own food for your own picnic so it’s not like they’re MAKING you buy their food, so it kinda evens itself out.  What we paid to get in wasn’t the issue I think more so for me it was the way the pricing was positioned.

Could just be because I’m a marketing person, my marketing mind was like just charge me more per car but don’t itemize the tickets.  When you itemize the tickets I’m now thinking about the stuff I mentioned before which then made me go, whoa, and you never want anyone to go whoa when they are pulling out their credit card right? lol

Anywho, just a little food for thought.

The Animals

Now that we were in and past the admission drama we were able to experience the park. Overall we enjoyed it as a family experience, but don’t think you’re getting like the San Antonio zoo here, and I could imagine that’s because it would be extremely hard to keep a big ole elephant calm while all of these cars are driving through.

I imagine Lions and Tigers can jump small fences so in order for you to get an up-close and personal experience that they offer it’s got to be with animals that aren’t as big of a risk right?

Idk about you, but I can do without a 2-ton bear coming charging at my car cause he wants you to feed him, okay….

So you’ll see more animals like antelopes, goats, ostriches, giraffes, zebras and such, you know the safer ones.

This is a family place we don’t want to traumatize the kids.

The Experience

We enjoy our family time so for us, this was a bonding moment and let’s get these kids out of the house before they strangle each other, lol.

All of the kids are in love with animals so for them it was great because we got to drive by animals and they could literally look out of the window and touch them if it were allowed.

We had a few come up to the car because they were used to being fed and were looking for us to feed them, and that made the kids’s day!

I’m rather scary, so I rolled up the window with the quickness when they started coming my way, but at least the kids were happy, lol.

Everything wasn’t open of course, but the car ride was fun, and the opportunities to get out and stretch our legs were great as well.

The kids have to go to the restroom everywhere we go (this drives me crazy) so we stopped outside of the African Safari area to let them go to the restroom, take a few pictures and give me an opportunity to play with my new gimbal for my phone.

We then headed back to the front, visited the gift shop, got close to some giraffes, and called it a day.

 

How Long Should You Expect to Spend at The Park

 

We got to the park late afternoon, maybe around 1:30 and it closes around 5:30 I believe and we left right when it closed.  I can’t tell you what we did with all of that time, but it must’ve been worth it because it didn’t feel like we were there that long.

Driving is a slow process, but you’re not in any hurry because you came to drive.

We saw animals then we laughed at other people’s experiences with the animals, and enjoyed the sites.

We got out of the car twice, once to let the kids take a restroom break, and the other just to explore the grounds to see what was there.

We were there 4 hours and a lot of things were closed, so I could only imagine what it would’ve been like if everything was open, and if there were a lot of people out.

Despite there being a long line of cars, the walk-up areas weren’t crowded at all.

Overall to say we needed to find something to keep us busy I believe we would’ve enjoyed the trip even if it was social distancing.  It’s a nice little activity to keep the kids entertained no matter what age and get in some quality family time.

Now would it be a normal hangout spot, probably not, but it definitely served its purpose for the weekend.

The animals were cool, the kids had fun so we’re happy parents.

So tell me, what kind of creative do you have in store for your kids for the Summer I need some new ideas for when they come back after spending time with the grandparents.

Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear!

I’ll also have a nice video of our experience updated towards the end of the week :-)!

 

 

 

Kae Whitaker
kaewhitaker@kaewhitaker.com

Kae is the founder of Kae Whitaker Media Group, a boutique digital marketing firm located in Katy, TX.

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