Lion Country Safari

Lion Country Safari is Home of the Drive Through Safari Adventure. It is located in Loxahatchee (near West Palm Beach), in Palm Beach County, Florida. It is Florida’s only drive-through safari and walk-through amusement park which was founded in 1967 and is the first ‘cageless zoo’ in the United States. USA Travel Guide named Lion Country the 3rd best zoo in the nation. The park consists of over 1,000 animals, kept in large fenced areas with approximately 5 miles of paved roadway running throughout.

Visitors enter the park in their own vehicle, driving slowly at their own pace, and view the animals while listening to a recorded narration on audiotape or CD. Some animals, such as giraffes, rhinoceroses, and zebras, are allowed to roam freely, even crossing the road in front of vehicles. Others, such as lions or chimpanzees, are segregated behind fences or water barriers.

Visitors are warned to drive slowly and carefully, to avoid stopping too close to animals, and not to open their car doors or windows. The lions, whose ability to roam freely with cars was one of the parks original attractions, were separated from visitors by a fence around the road in 2005, due to visitors ignoring warnings and opening their car doors. Park guards still maintain a strong presence from their vehicles near and around the animals, especially the lions den to ensure visitors do not open windows or doors.

A unique aspect of Lion Country Safari is the chimpanzee exhibit. The chimps live on an island system where they move to a different island every day, replicating their natural nomadic lifestyle. The chimps live in complex social groups, as they would in the wild. Because of this, Lion Country Safari has been useful to those interested in behavioral studies of chimps. As of 2006, chimpanzees living at Lion Country Safari include “Little Mama,” one of the oldest chimpanzees in captivity, born in 1938. Lion Country Safari also serves as a retirement facility for chimpanzees who were once used in research laboratories and entertainment.

After visitors have driven through the park, they can visit Safari World, a theme park with some zoo exhibits, and amusement park fare such as a Ferris wheel, a petting zoo, a small water park, and a giraffe-feeding exhibit. Food is available at Lion Country Safari’s main restaurant.

Lion Country Safari is located in West Palm Beach, Florida conveniently located approximately 20 miles west of downtown West Palm Beach, approximately 59 miles north of downtown Ft. Lauderdale and approximately 78 miles north of Miami. Lion Country Safari is just 15.5 miles west of I-95 on Southern Boulevard (SR 80/98/441). Lion Country Safari is easily accessible from the Florida Turnpike or Interstate 95.

From I-95
Take Southern Boulevard (Exit 68). Head west on Southern Boulevard about 15.5 miles. Lion Country Safari will be located on the right hand side.

From Turnpike
Take Southern Boulevard (Exit 97). Head west (10 miles) on Southern Boulevard. Lion Country Safari will be located on the right hand side.


Tags: , , ,



    […] 26, 2011 at 6:33 pm and is filed under 1. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: