Two African elephants surrounding a small calf.

Behind-the-Scenes Safari

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At A Glance

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park? Get a special sneak peek into the secret lives of your favorite wildlife and meet the wildlife care specialists who care for them, while exploring otherwise off-limits areas with a knowledgeable guide. Choose from a variety of experiences below!

  • Ages 3 and up
  • $89 & up per person
  • Daily. Certain tours available select days only.
  • 90 minutes
  • **Safety/Age Restrictions

    Ages 3 and up. Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult. Limit of 2 children per adult per group. All tour participants require a ticket, regardless of age.

    Some walking required during tour. All Behind-the-Scenes Safaris board in African Outpost beyond Signpost #13, between the Cheetah habitat and Okavango Outpost. Look for the red Behind-the-Scenes (jeep) icon on the lower right of your Safari Park map. 

    Selfie Sticks are not permitted on this tour and must be stowed away.

    If anyone in your party will be using a wheelchair during the tour, after booking please call 619-718-3000.

  • Southern white rhino mom & baby

    Rhinos and Friends

    • Ages 3 and up
    • Offered daily
    • Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center
    • 90 minutes
    • Visit exclusive areas
    • View Safety/Age Restrictions

      Ages 3 and up. Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult. Limit of 2 children per adult per group. All tour participants require a ticket, regardless of age.

      Some walking required during tour. All Behind-the-Scenes tours board in African Outpost beyond Signpost #13, between the Cheetah habitat and Okavango Outpost. Look for the red Behind-the-Scenes (jeep) icon on the lower right of your Safari Park map. 

      Selfie Sticks are not permitted on this tour and must be stowed away.

      If anyone in your party will be using a wheelchair during the tour, after booking please call 619-718-3000.

    Go behind the scenes at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center—a 3.5-acre state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the conservation of white rhinos, with a focus on assisted reproductive techniques highlighting our fight to end extinction. In addition, you’ll journey around the Safari Park’s unique multispecies savanna habitats. Up to 60 minutes of walking or standing is required.

    kangaroos and wallabies

    Walkabout Australia

    • Ages 3 & up
    • Offered daily
    • 90 minutes
    • View Safety/Age Restrictions

      Ages 3 and up. Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult. Limit of 2 children per adult per group. All tour participants require a ticket, regardless of age.

      Some walking required during tour. All Behind-the-Scenes tours board in African Outpost beyond Signpost #13, between the Cheetah habitat and Okavango Outpost. Look for the red Behind-the-Scenes (jeep) icon on the lower right of your Safari Park map. 

      Selfie Sticks are not permitted on this tour and must be stowed away.

      If anyone in your party will be using a wheelchair during the tour, after booking please call 619-718-3000.

    Go on safari behind the scenes at the Safari Park’s Walkabout Australia! On this guided tour, you will meet a variety of beautiful birds and amazing marsupials. As you explore Walkabout Australia by foot, listen to the many stories your guide will share about unique Australian wildlife, and what it takes to care for them.

    Golden retriever at the Safari Park

    Wildlife in Action

    • Ages 3 & up
    • Saturdays & Sundays; select additional dates
    • 90 minutes
    • Visit exclusive areas
    • View Safety/Age Restrictions

      Ages 3 and up. Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult. Limit of 2 children per adult per group. All tour participants require a ticket, regardless of age.

      Due to the proximity to wildlife, facial coverings are required for all guests ages 2 and older during a portion of this experience.

      Some walking required during tour. All Behind-the-Scenes tours board in African Outpost beyond Signpost #13, between the Cheetah habitat and Okavango Outpost. Look for the red Behind-the-Scenes (jeep) icon on the lower right of your Safari Park map. 

      Selfie Sticks are not permitted on this tour and must be stowed away.

      If anyone in your party will be using a wheelchair during the tour, after booking please call 619-718-3000.

    Come meet with passionate wildlife care specialists and amazing wildlife ambassadors to discover how wildlife helps wildlife around the globe. Did you know that dogs were trained to assist in locating koalas during wildfires? Hear some of the amazing stories our wildlife has to tell. This 90-minute journey will take you on foot and by cart to various destinations around the Safari Park. 

    Due to the proximity to wildlife, facial coverings are required for all guests ages 2 and older during a portion of this experience.

    Elephant mom and baby

    Elephants and Friends

    • Ages 3 and up
    • Selected dates
    • Elephant Valley
    • 90 minutes
    • Visit exclusive areas
    • View Safety/Age Restrictions

      Ages 3 and up. Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult. Limit of 2 children per adult per group. All tour participants require a ticket, regardless of age.

      Due to the proximity to wildlife, facial coverings are required for all guests ages 2 and older during a portion of this experience.

      Some walking required during tour. All Behind-the-Scenes tours board in African Outpost beyond Signpost #13, between the Cheetah habitat and Okavango Outpost. Look for the red Behind-the-Scenes (jeep) icon on the lower right of your Safari Park map. 

      Selfie Sticks are not permitted on this tour and must be stowed away.

      If anyone in your party will be using a wheelchair during the tour, after booking please call 619-718-3000.

    Go on safari behind the scenes at Elephant Valley! On this guided tour, you will learn about the amazing ways we care for our animals and how what we do here can help their wild counterparts. You will enjoy viewing Elephant Valley from a private viewing area while discovering what it takes to care for our one-of-a-kind African elephant herd.

    Due to the proximity to wildlife, facial coverings are required for all guests ages 2 and older during a portion of this experience.

    Southern white rhinos

    Twilight Behind-the-Scenes Safari: Rhino Rescue Center

    • Ages 3 & up
    • $109 & up per person
    • Selected dates
    • 90 minutes
    • View Safety/Age Restrictions

      Ages 3 and up. Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult. Limit of 2 children per adult per group. All tour participants require a ticket, regardless of age.

      Some walking required during tour. All Behind-the-Scenes tours board in African Outpost beyond Signpost #13, between the Cheetah habitat and Okavango Outpost. Look for the red Behind-the-Scenes (jeep) icon on the lower right of your Safari Park map. 

      Selfie Sticks are not permitted on this tour and must be stowed away.

      If anyone in your party will be using a wheelchair during the tour, after booking please call 619-718-3000.

    A Behind-the-Scenes Safari at twilight—with a refreshing finish! Go behind the scenes at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center, home to a herd of southern white rhinos. Here, you will learn how San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is using state-of-the-art reproductive science to save the closely related, critically endangered northern white rhino.

    Before your journey ends, a special stop at one of the Safari Park’s breathtaking viewpoints awaits. Enjoy a glass of wine, beer, or non-alcoholic beverage while taking in the sights and sounds of African wildlife.

    Saving giants like elephants
    Beginning May 28 and beyond!

    Behind-the-Scenes: Saving Giants

    • All ages
    • $89 & up per person
    • Offered Daily
    • 90 minutes
    • Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center and Elephant Valley
    • View exclusive areas
    • View Safety/Age Restrictions

      Recommended for all ages. Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult. Limit of 2 children per adult per group. All tour participants require a ticket, regardless of age.Some walking required during tour. All Behind-the-Scenes tours board in African Outpost beyond Signpost #13, between the Cheetah habitat and Okavango Outpost. Look for the red Behind-the-Scenes (jeep) icon on the lower right of your Safari Park map.Selfie Sticks are not permitted on this tour and must be stowed away.If anyone in your party will be using a wheelchair during the tour, after booking please call 619-718-3000.

    Discover what it takes to save giants! This 90-minute journey will take you by Safari Cart to behind-the-scenes areas of the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center and Elephant Valley, where you will hear firsthand conservation stories about how San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is saving elephants and rhinos around the world. Our story begins right here at the Safari Park, with our 50-year history of caring for and saving these giants. You will join the story as you get a closer look!

    This tour requires walking over uneven terrain. To inquire about accommodations, including wheelchair access, please call 619-718-3000.

    Southern white rhino and calf
    Beginning June 2 and Beyond!

    Mission: Rhino Rescue!

    • Ages 8 & up
    • $89 & up per person
    • Selected dates
    • 90 minutes
    • Visit exclusive areas
    • View Age/Safety Restrictions

      Ages 8 and up. Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult. Limit of 2 children per adult per group. All tour participants require a ticket, regardless of age.

      Some walking required during tour. All Behind-the-Scenes tours board in African Outpost beyond Signpost #13, between the Cheetah habitat and Okavango Outpost. Look for the red Behind-the-Scenes (jeep) icon on the lower right of your Safari Park map. 

      Selfie Sticks are not permitted on this tour and must be stowed away. Service animals are not permitted on this tour due to the sensitive nature of these animals and the restricted access of this habitat and buildings.

      If anyone in your party will be using a wheelchair during the tour, after booking please call 619-718-3000.

    Go behind the scenes to learn about the science of saving the northern white rhino, while also gaining insights on the high level of care we provide to rhinos and other wildlife at the Safari Park. This remarkable safari will take guests on a rare tour of the Frozen Zoo®, a critical component of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s Wildlife Biodiversity Banking efforts. Safari participants will also visit the Paul Harter Veterinary Medical Center and the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center.

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