With the ‘rents and the kids, we drove up to Lion Country Safari today. It is quite a hike from Miami – a good 90 minutes or so. Is it worth it? Probably. It is certainly not cheap: $27 per adult, $17 for kids over 3 and seniors, and still another $6 for parking. This park features a drive-thru animal park divided roughly into 5 areas including grasslands, African savannah, Indian forest, and a few others. There were loads of ostriches, zebras, bucks, and so forth. My son loved the lions despite their dormant state. I think my daughter appreciated the giraffes the best. They give you this CD that guides you through the park, but not without e requisite annoyances of publicity for summer day camp or the stupid pseudo-African music to introduce the spaces. It is well-intended I suppose, but a bit insulting if, as me, you are actually familiar with real African music which this isn’t. But then, that could be just me.
There is also a kid’s park with a pretty decent restaurant (changing tables in the men’s restroom duly noted and exploited). There is a free merry-go-round (my daughter must have liked it because she rode every animal on it. Twice) and a free ferris wheel. The animal feedings however were a little on the expensive side, in particular the $2.50 for exactly two leaves of romaine lettuce for the giraffes. The kids loved it, but it was a bit excessive. The camel ride (3 small circles for about 2 minutes) at $5 per kid was also a bit much. However, there was a great splash pad and my kid loved that big time.
Overall, you need about 40 minutes for the drive-thru and another 90 for the kid’s park. If I compare it to Jungle Island which I also reviewed here last summer, this one had better animals and rides, but was similar in price and much further away. I guess I just hoped to see elephants and there were not to be seen. But hey, the rhinos were cool.