Last month my family had the pleasure of making a day trip to Hamilton to spend the day at African Lion Safari. Leading up to the day of our family excursion I was over the moon excited. The last time I had visited the African Lion Safari was with my Nana when I was 8 years old. It was definitely bittersweet day for me. However, it was lovely to make new everlasting memories with my munchkins that I know they will cherish for the rest of their lives; the same way that I cherish the fond memories of African Lion Safari that I made once upon a time with my Nana.
The day of our excursion started off like any ordinary day. We rose bright and early with the kids, hopped in the car with breakfast in hand and got out on the highway. We were eager to tour the Game Reserves! The drive was going relatively well until we were an hour in, and a rock hit our windshield while we were driving on the highway. The windshield instantly spider cracked. We spent another hour after that trying to locate a windshield replacement company to see if we were candidates for the liquid glass repair. No such luck on a weekend! So we wound up getting back on the highway and back on route to our target destination – AFRICAN LION SAFARI! We arrived 3 hours after our initial departure as result of the setbacks, but we weren’t going to let those setbacks put a damper on our day filled with family fun!
Upon arriving at African Lion Safari we headed straight for Jungle Junction to book our time to venture out on the Safari Tour Bus. We wound up booking for 2PM, so while waiting we headed over to Mombasa Market Restaurant. This air conditioned, counter service restaurant area is a place where you can enjoy a wide variety of breakfast, lunch & dinner items including hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs, fresh made wraps and salads. The kids meals come with a cute little red lunch box. The lunch box has a special treat enclosed; chips or cookies. We never wound up putting our lunch vouchers to use. Oddly enough as we walked into the Mombasa Market Restaurant a friendly patron approached my family and insisted we take one of the two large pepperoni pizzas that his family had ordered. Talk about paying it forward! It was a nice gesture, and it saved us from waiting in line!
After lunch we headed back over to Jungle Junction to wait for our 2PM bus. While waiting for our bus, the driver of one of the 1:45 buses approached us to see if we would like to hop on board ahead of schedule. We were game! And so began our adventure through the Game Reserves.
“In the Game Reserves you can get closer than you ever imagined to majestic birds and animals from around the world as you drive along 9 kilometres of trail, through 7 large Game Reserves featuring Nairobi Sanctuary, Simba Lion Country, Duma Cheetah Preserve, Wankie Bushland Trail, Rocky Ridge Veldt, Eurasia and The Americas. You will enter an environment that is home to over 1,000 birds and animals, many of which are classified as endangered or threatened species. The park is situated on 750 acres in which animals roam freely while you are “caged” in your vehicle. The Safari Trail enables you to go “on safari” and see prides of lions, herds of zebra and giraffe, cheetah, baboons, white rhino, ostrich, watusi, kangaroo and many other exotic species.” – African Lion Safari
My children quite enjoyed seeing the lions, tigers, baboons, giraffes and deers. One of the baboons had recently given birth, so I found it really cool to see her nurturing and nursing her baby baboon. The game warden had arrived to feed the baboons at the time, and the father never left the mother’s side to get food for himself. It was really neat to witness what a bond they all had!
The Safari Bus Tour took just under 90 minutes. As much as I would have loved to have driven my own car through the Game Reserves, I loved being chauffeured through. The bus driver also seconded as our tour guide. The bus driver was very knowledgeable about all the animals on the Game Reserves and the history of the Safari.
Following the bus tour, we headed over to head out on the African Queen Boat Cruise. The African Queen took us on a relaxing 15 minute tour around Water Safari Lake, as we took in the beautiful views of the islands and the exotic primates.
We headed straight for the Nature Boy Scenic Railway after departing the African Queen. We initially hesitated getting in the long line-up. When we arrived we were just shy of the 90 minute wait mark. However, we decided to stick it out. The 90 minute wait was far from a wait at all. We were on board the train within 30 minutes.
One of our favourite moments of the railway tour was when a herd of Reindeer came walking down the railroad track and straight past the train. The reindeer were so close that I could have touched them. Of course being wild animals I didn’t bothering trying! I’m sure my son would have been all for it had I not been holding him back.
Each day the African Lion Safari hosts a variety of bird and animal shows (weather permitting). We had the opportunity after our ride on the railway to take in the Elephant Show. The Elephant Show was great in that it highlighted the elephants strength, intelligence and agility.
After the show we headed over to Pets’ Corner. My children quite enjoyed Pets’ Corner. Pets’ Corner is an area where children have the chance to meet a variety of exotic birds and animals face-to-face. My children had the chance to pet the alpaca and goats.
Not only that they also had the chance to come face-to-face with a Cheetah. I think I may have been most excited about this encounter!
After visiting Pets’ Corner we decided to grab a bite to eat before heading home. There was so much more we had wanted to check out including the brand new Misumu Bay Wet Play.
We also wished we could have stuck around for the 7PM Elephant Swim. However, we needed to get on the road for our 2 hour drive back home.
We had such a fabulous day at African Lion Safari! If you were to ask my daughter what her favourite part of the day was she would tell you it was when she road the pony.
It was so great to see her eyes light up as we explored the Game Reserves and came face-to-face with many exotic animals.
We went wild at African Lion Safari, and it was a blast! I may already be planning our next family excursion to African Lion Safari! Check out the African Lion Safari Website if you too want to plan your own visit or learn more about the African Lion Safari.
Disclosure: I was provided with a VIP Family Pass to African Lion Safari in exchange for my review. My opinions are those of my own.