Best Safari Tours In San Diego, California - Updated 2021

safari in san diego

San Diego is nestled on the Pacific coast in California and is renowned for its beautiful beaches, warm climate and a number of green spaces and pretty parks. One of these is the sprawling Balboa Park, which is home to the famous San Diego Zoo (read up on the zoo below) and other attractions. These include many green belts and gardens, pretty walking paths, picnic areas, zones with natural vegetation and a number of theaters and museums. Marine animals can be viewed at SeaWorld San Diego in the city, which is also a water theme park with fun rides and shows. The San Diego harbor houses a large naval fleet, as well as the famous USS Midway, an aircraft carrier that has been turned into a museum. The aircraft carrier houses a large collection of naval aircraft, many of which were built in the area. When exploring and staying in this popular coastal city, take time out to enjoy some of the best safari tours in San Diego, California, and the surrounding area.

1. Take a tour of San Diego Zoo Safari Park (from USD 62.0)

Explore the fascinating San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Balboa Park at your own pace, choosing which walking trails to follow and which animal enclosures to see. You will feel like you are in the heart of Africa, in San Diego! The zoo is home to more than 3,500 animals from 650 species, many of which are endangered. Enjoy seeing tigers, lions and other exotic animals in realistic, natural surroundings, including grassy savannas and dense forests. Watch the gazelles, rhinos, and giraffe in the surroundings, including enjoying a break at the watering hole. Gaze at cheetahs from South Africa as they lounge in the sun on the hillsides and spot the endangered California condor. One fun option is the Africa tram, which takes you on a 30-minute tour through herds of zebras, elephants and a number of endangered species. When you need a break from the animals, head to Nairobi Village where you can explore the shops and relax with a meal or a snack at the restaurants.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Tram Tour

Duration: 2 to 8 hours

174 reviews

Other safari tours close to San Diego, California

2. Malibu Wine Safari

Source: Photo by Flickr user Adam Fox used under CC BY-ND 2.0

This is a safari tour with a difference, as it includes wine! The tour takes you through the Saddlerock Range and vineyard in Malibu, and close to Los Angeles, just over a two-hour drive from San Diego. Explore the ranch in custom-built safari vehicles, just like you would in Africa, while you make stops on your way to gaze at the scenery and meet the iconic Stanley the Giraffe, as well as camel, zebras, bison, and friendly alpacas. The animals will welcome a treat, in the form of carrots, bananas or pellets, which are provided on the safari tour. Make sure you have a selfie stick on hand to get some cute selfies with your new animal friends! While enjoying the company of the animals, learn more about the wine-making culture of the Santa Monica Mountains and taste the delicious results, with everything from Bisous to Zinfandel available to try. At the conclusion of your safari tour, you will get to enjoy a delicious, five-course meal at Saddlerock Gardens.

Malibu Wine Safari

Address: 32111 Mulholland Hwy., Malibu, California, USA

Website: Malibu Wine Safari

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 185 USD

Meet the animals up close and personal

When visiting and staying in this popular coastal city and seeing all the museums, art galleries and other attractions on offer, have fun meeting some iconic African and endangered wildlife on one of the best safari tours in San Diego, California, USA and the surrounding areas. You might end up feeling like you are in the wilds of Africa, while on the California coast!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Anne Sewell was born in England, but has spent most of her life in Africa - Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa - and now resides on the beautiful Costa del Sol in southern Spain. She loves writing...Read more

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