PORT CLINTON — If you enjoy getting up close and personal with wild animals — and don’t mind a little saliva, animal snot and hair in and on the outside of your vehicle — bring a the family or some friends to Port Clinton to visit African Safari Wildlife Park.
The park is at 267 S. Lightner Road and simple to find. Directions are available on the park website and are very specific and easy to follow.
The drive-thru safari is the most popular attraction at the park and offers an experience like no other in the area. In your own vehicle, you have an opportunity to drive right through the heart of the park. Purchase cups of food (carrots and other items) and all you have to do is roll down the windows. The animals will soon show up at your card window, and that’s when the real fun begins.
The animals are used to vehicles and people and used to being fed. They can be a bit pesky at time if you don’t offer up your treats fast enough or often enough. It’s not unusual for one of the animals to actually stick its head or a long tongue into your vehicle and steal that cup of food right out of your hands.
A post on the park website says all you need to know: Drive your own car through and get in touch with your wild side with hundreds of exotic animals! have you ever fed a bison? Been nose-to-nose with a giraffe? If not, you will in our drive-thru safari.”
Hundreds of animals inhabit the park and include birds to zebras and giraffes to elephants to warthogs, tortoises and kangaroos.
But you don’t have to spend your entire visit in a vehicle.
A walk-through safari area also is available and allows a closer experience with some of the park’s smaller inhabitants.
There are other animal encounters available, including the aviary adventure, camel rides, the hog-wild experience and a feeding area for some of the smaller animals. There also are educational programs available for kids. There is a site where kids and mine for gems. There also are a cafe and gift store.
During the summer months, adult (7 and older) tickets are $24.95, children tickets (3-6) are $16.95 and children younger than two get in free. You can buy tickets online or at the park. An internet search may hook you up with discount ticket prices.
The park opens daily at 9 a.m. The park closes up for the night at 7 p.m.
There is a capacity limit for visitors and the park will stop allowing cars once that capacity limit has been reached. A reservation system that includes entry times was being developed at the time this article was written. Visit the park website, www.africansafariwildlifepark.com, for hints on the best — and worst — time to try to get into the park.
Get up close and personal with some of the world’s wild animals in Port Clinton at African Safari Wildlife Park,
Camel rides are available and just one of the ways to interact with wild animals at African Safari Wildlife Park.
It’s not often that you get a chance to hand feed a giraffe or antelope or reindeer or even an American Bison. But those chances are readily available at African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton.