It is almost by accident that I wound up at Safari West. In December of last year, I was scrambling to find a good present for my husband, and I picked a gift card to Safari West as his stocking stuffer.
At first he wasn’t too excited about it, but we did have $200 to spend so we booked our safari tour to coincide with another trip we had planned to the Napa area.
Safari West is located in Santa Rosa, about 30 minutes away from St. Helena. The petrified forest is between the two places so if you want to fit something else into your trip, that could be a good place to visit.
The tour takes place on top of a safari jeep and a tour guide drives the jeep through the entire park. Some places are fenced off (like the Giraffe area) while others allow the animals to roam free (like the Zebras). There is a lot to learn and tour guides are very informative. This is an EXCELLENT place for kids and I would highly recommend a visit for anyone that loves animals and dreams of going on safari. If I had to do it all over again, I would’ve stayed the night at their facility. They have awesome serengeti style bungalos where you can spend the night.
We booked the 3 hour tour, and a lunch reservation. The tables are large, outside, and you sit family style.
When a gentlemen asked to join our table for lunch, we gladly welcomed him to sit and began asking him questions about his experience. Through our conversation, we found out his name is Peter Lang, the founder of the facility. Below are the questions we asked and his reponse:
(Please note, I paraphrased since I’m having to recreate the conversaion from memory)
Q. What made you want to open this park?
A. My entire life, I was around animals and wildlife and this seemed like the perfect way to end my career.
Q. What is your favorite animal?
A. The giraffes
Q. How do the animals from Safari West get here?
We hold the same licenses as a zoo so we trade with them when they need breeding mates, or we take the animals they don’t want. For example if an antelope is missing an antler.
Thank you Peter for joining us for lunch. It was truly our pleasure to meet you and have the opporutnity to visit your wonderful facility!