Virginia Safari Park opened in Natural Bridge, Virginia in 2000. The goal of the park is to give visitors the chance to see animals in a somewhat more natural environment than what is found at a zoo.
At Virginia Safari Park, located at 229 Safari Lane in Natural Bridge, Virginia, most of the animals roam free. Visitors can get up close and personal with camels, zebras, bison, elk and many others. There are also enclosures featuring other animals such as monkeys, kangaroos and tigers.
Upon admission to the park, which includes 180 acres, visitors can purchase buckets of feed which can be used to feed the animals, which hail from six continents. In addition to the drive-through portion of the park, there is also a walk-through area. Safari Village was completed in 2005 and is a ten acre area where visitors can see, pet and feed animals, including a giraffe. There is also an aviary where birds can be seen in free flight.
Most visitors seem to agree that this trip is a good outing for the whole family. Many visitors comment on the fact that many of the animals are not shy about wanting the feed. One visitor from North Carolina said, "The animals were great! Most of them are not afraid to approach you to eat from the feed buckets. This is as close as you'll get to some animals you usually only see behind bars in a zoo. We got to feed zebras, llamas, buffaloes, ostriches, camels, etc. Most of these animals did not mind being touched and petted. Our highlight of the trip was when my husband was feeding a buffalo through the car window. When he felt the buffalo had had enough to eat, he tried to bring the little bucket back into the car, and the buffalo came right in with it! He had his whole head in the car and had my husband pinned in. We laughed until we were crying!''
There is an option to ride in an open wagon rather than driving a personal vehicle through the park. For visitors who are concerned about their car getting spit and feed all over, it might be a good idea to ride in the wagon. While cars are unlikely to suffer any real damage, the animals can make quite a mess.
The admission price is good for the entire day and allows visitors to drive through as many times as they'd like. Driving through more than once is recommended in order to see as many of the park's animals as possible.
Hours change depending on the season so check for current operating hours and admission prices when planning a visit.