On our way to Washington DC we stopped at Natural Bridges in Virginia. As we drove past the area we saw Virginia Safari Park. We did not have time to stop at that time. On our return trip we decided to stop by figuring that we would just drive through the park and see some animals.
Located right off of interstate 81 in Virginia it is not hard to find. These are the initial entrance booths. There is little time to prepare or gather information before pulling up to the toll booth so we recommend doing a little homework about fees and how many buckets of food you may or may not want to buy.
Once through the entrance booths you will have some choices to make. This is the initial view. Since we had to use the restrooms we parked at the gift shop first. You can also stop there at the end of the drive-thru if you wish.
A view of the gift shop. There is no lack of animal souvenirs on hand.
Our first “surprise” was that we thought that this was just a drive-thru park. It turns out that there was much more to this park than a drive-thru. There is an entire walk-thru portion of the park that offers a large variety of animals to see.
One of the most impressive displays was the tigers. Beautiful animals that you can see very up close. As you can see in the background they have a white tiger as well. These magnificent creatures were just mesmerizing to watch.
If you walk far enough you will come to the penguin display. I was surprised to see that they actually had penguins. Love these little guys.
Once we were done walking through the static zoo, we started our drive-thru portion of this park. This drive-thru is quite lengthy and goes up and down through the hillside. The landscape is nearly as impressive as the animals.
We have been through some parks and zoos where you know there is an animal within the confines but you can barely get a glimpse of it. In this park we were amazed that all of the animals were very viewable and on display. Here are two of the rhinos near the roadway.
This is the place where the deer and the antelope play. Typical view of the drive-thru. Have you camera ready and loaded as there are lots of photo opportunities.
This one is for my daughter who loves zebras.
It is really impressive to see many of these animals in their natural environment and not behind fences.
Even the buffalo and elk roam free in this part of the park. Just remember do not pet the buffalo! Inside joke and common sense.
They do get close. Remember the buckets of food at the entrance? These animals know that you are supposed to have food. They will walk up to your window expecting to be fed.
Got any food? If you want to see wildlife up close just get some buckets of food. Be careful though, these are wild animals.
This was a spur-of-the-moment visit for us and we were very glad we stopped. This turned out to be a wonderful experience. We would recommend this park to everyone. It has so many animals to see. Plan on spending the day or as much time as you can. You will not be disappointed.
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