My Travel Memories: Lion Country Safari, Loxahatchee, Florida

Lion Country Safari is a drive-through wild animal park with its primary focus, as the name implies, on the animals of the African savannah.  Lion Country Safari was founded in 1967 as an attempt to bring a real safari experience to the people of the United States. The park originally only had a pride of lions, but over the past nearly 50 years the park has grown to over 900 individuals of over 20 species.

Traditionally, the animals have walked free, but safety concerns have led the owners of the park to install fences between the cars and the lions and chimpanzees, in particular.

However, during my visits to Lion Country Safari, at least two during the years before 1977 and one 2002, all of the animals, including the lions, roamed freely through their habitats; today, you can still have that experience with the herbivores such as the zebras and giraffes. On some of our trips, the animals got right up to our car, which is an amazing experience. On others, the animals were farther back in their habitats, so it didn’t really matter if they were free-roaming or not. An animal way back there might as well be behind a fence. You kind of have to take your chances on each visit. Apparently the animals are more active and therefore, more interesting, in the morning and while it is raining, so take that into account when making your plans.

Since Lion Country Safari is a drive-through park, it is as handicap-accessible as your vehicle is. There is now a walk-through park that I don’t seem to recall from other visits. The website for Lion Country Safari says that the walk-through park is designed to be handicap-accessible, though a wheelchair user may need assistance getting into and out of the petting zoo area.