A few weeks ago we purchased a family pass to the African Wildlife Safari Park in Port Clinton for a mere ten bucks. It's the best ten bucks we've spent in a long time. I would even venture to say that the craziness we experienced would have been worth FULL price had we paid it. And I rarely think anything is worth full asking price!
I took hundreds of pictures- literally. I've included a small (comparatively) smattering of them. I hope that you they paint a small picture of the joy we experienced.
Of all the pictures I took, this is possibly my favorite. It describes our day perfectly. A mix of terror, amazement, and stupefaction combined with pure amusement (kent and I were amused anyway!).
This one tells the story, too.
As soon as we entered the safari gates (think tall giant reinforced gates like those on Jurassic park!!) we were literally AMBUSHED by the most ridiculous herd of female elk you've ever seen. Holy Smokes. They need to have some warning that informs you to NOT unroll ALL four of your windows at once. We seriously were under attack from every side. The kids were SOBBING.
Kent and I were beside ourselves laughing. We couldn't roll up any windows. We couldn't drive forward or back because we were surrounded and we were all being squished. I'll be honest- I usually laugh really hard when I shouldn't. This was one of those times. I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't quite terrified myself.
Somehow I pushed giant elk heads out of the car while Kent tried his best to inch forward and inch the widows up. After a few minutes of terror- we got passed the 'elk zone'.
Next came the little deer looking critters. They are all from Africa so I'm assuming they aren't deer- but we'll call them that to make things easier. These little guys were really cute and far less combative. They loved nibbling on the free pellets we got to hand out. They waited their turn and didn't try to steal fingers.
Ike definitely enjoyed these guys the most. I think it helped that they were too small to fit entire body segments in our car. Some of them could barely reach the windows.
Next came the llamas and alpacas. Or at least what looked like llamas and alpacas.They were nice- but Zeb was still scared by the elk behavior and didn't want any more animals in the car. He was full of all sorts of requests. "Would you please just put up my window, dad?" "can we please just go to the zoo instead, dad?" "I'm all finished with the African Safari now, dad"
This guy was Kent's favorite.
We quickly entered another danger zone. All sorts of animals with really large horns and really big bodies. Buffaloes/bison, these giant things that looked like texas longhorns, and some unidentified antlered creature.
We were worried that this guy was going to damage the car. I bet his horn span was six feet.
And the buffalo/bison were just humongous. When we went around a second time we made sure to keep our windows closed around these guys. They were just too big and could have literally picked up our car.
They had carrots you could buy to feed the animals- but they were priced like gold. Luckily I'd read reviews ahead of time and we'd come prepared with our own bags of carrots.
I'm really glad we did bring our own carrots- because they saved the best animals (the giraffes) for last and they would ONLY come to your car for carrots. They wouldn't take the pellets.
I could not believe how close we could be to the giraffes. They were AMAZING and SO BIG!! This guy was trying to eat my camera.