of the most popular attractions in South Florida, Lion Country Safari
opened in 1967, in rural Palm Beach County just west of West Palm
Beach. At the time it was the first drive through safari park in the
United States and introduced a new concept to animal lovers, "The
Lion Country Safari was originally developed
by a group of South African and British entrepreneurs who wanted
to bring the experience of an African game park, then and now an
expensive and time-consuming trip, to families who would otherwise
not be able to experience an African safari. South Florida and Western
Palm Beach County proved to be an ideal location for the park due
to its year-round outdoor climate, plentiful land, a growing population
and tourists who visit from all over the world.
Today, Lion Country Safari is home to over 1000 animals in the drive-through
preserve and there is no need to hurry while you enjoy the countless
lions, white rhinos, zebras, ostriches, chimps, African elephants,
giraffe and more wild animals. Feeding time is around 10:30 am and
a visit during this period may bring you to within arms length of
these incredible creatures.
Safari World, the walk-through area of the park, has been developed
and improved since the park opened. The restaurant and gift shops
were among the earlier additions. The petting zoo, merry-go-round,
boat rides, aviaries, bird, reptile, alligator, and squirrel monkey
exhibits, added over the years, have greatly enhanced the visitors'
experience at the park. The KOA Campground was opened in the 1980's
to provide overnight accommodation for visitors.
Lion Country Safari encompasses over 1000 animals, 5 miles of drive-though
preserve, over 200 campsites, 6 stores, 2 food outlets, a water plant,
a sewer plant, a veterinary hospital, an animal demonstration theater,
a summer day camp, gas station, and 120 employees who work to care
for animals, maintain, and operate the facility.
The carefully reproduced sections of the Lion Country Safari tour
are Las Pampas (the Grasslands), Ruaha National Park (African wilderness),
Kalahari Bushveldt (Southwest Africa), Gir Forest (a national park
in India, The Gorongosa (Northern Mozambique), Serengeti Plains (East
Africa) and Hwange National Park (Western Zimbabwe).