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Zoo & Safari : how much time is needed?

Rotterdam, The...
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Zoo & Safari : how much time is needed?

Of course it depends on interest and personal pace, but what is the average time you spend in the Zoo and in the Safari?

When I called guest services (for another question), she mentioned 4 Zoo-hours and 6 Safari-hours as if this was the average? To me, it sounded rather short?

Also, for the Safari we plan to stay in a nearby hotel. Is it possible to go out and return the same day? Allowing ourselves a jetlag-siësta... Would be nice!

San Diego...
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1. Re: Zoo & Safari : how much time is needed?

<<Also, for the Safari we plan to stay in a nearby hotel. Is it possible to go out and return the same day? Allowing ourselves a jetlag-siësta... Would be nice!>>

It's only about a 40 min drive from downtown SD to the Safari Park. So, yes, you can go and return on the same day. However, if you want to stay out that way you can, of course.

https://goo.gl/maps/icLbN

As to how long you stay, that is a personal decision. Also, you don't say when this trip is. The weather could factor in if it's hot out. The Safari Park is in an area that can get to 90 - 105 degrees in the summer and there isn't a lot of shade.

So Cal
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2. Re: Zoo & Safari : how much time is needed?

You're right, it depends entirely on your own interests. I like to stay at both for the whole day. In that time I can make one leisurely loop, plus spend a good half hour or so at a some places, circle back to others. But plenty of people are done by late lunch.

You've looked over the websites, yes?

Southern California
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3. Re: Zoo & Safari : how much time is needed?

I'd spend a day at each, haven't been to the zoo in awhile, last time I went my feet got run over by strollers so many times I lost count. I much prefer the Safari Park.

When we visited the Safari Park we always stayed at a Best Western in Escondido that is right off the interstate, they serve a pretty good breakfast.

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Rotterdam, The...
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4. Re: Zoo & Safari : how much time is needed?

Thanks for the replies!

What I meant was that we'll be staying in a hotel near the Safaripark and if it is possible to go in and out the park on the same day, like you can in Disney (in Paris you get a stampon your hand).

I just wondered when they told me on the phone about the 4 hours : is the zoo so small or did she count on us running? From what I read in the reviews you need more time than that.

But what got me a bit worried is people mentioning lines and a walkthrough the Panda Exhibit. For us, the Panda is about 85% the reason we want to go. But when this means we shuffle in a line and don't get time, I'm not sure this is what we will enjoy. Or is there a chance to stay there as long as you'd like? Maybe we were spoiled in Vienna, where you could just go around and sit all day if you wanted to....

So Cal
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5. Re: Zoo & Safari : how much time is needed?

No, the zoo is not small at all! I'm sure they'd love to have more space to work with, but it's plenty big and there's a lot to see. Some people just don't want to spend a whole day looking at animals, or walking around, or in crowds (if it's a busy day), or their kids get cranky... You get the idea.

There are, I think, only two places in the US to see giant pandas, and not that many more outside China, hence the line to see them. So if that's a priority for you, you should get to the zoo when it opens (buy your tickets online beforehand and skip the ticket booth line) and head to the pandas first. Or if you're planning a full day, head there in the late afternoon when people have left.

You've looked at the zoo map, right?

***You know the pandas are at the zoo, not the Safari Park, yes? (Wasn't sure from your last post.)

Yes, you can get your hand stamped to go out and back in on the same day. Keep your ticket stubs.

Edited: 07 April 2014, 02:49
San Diego...
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6. Re: Zoo & Safari : how much time is needed?

CeeGee - I don't see that you've ever said 'when' this visit is. It can matter as to how much of a line there will be at certain animals at the Zoo. The Season and day of the week can make a difference.

I've been to the Panda exhibit a couple of times in the last couple of years and there was no line at all. The last time was in the late afternoon mid-week and the Pandas were all out an playing. It was Feb or March I believe.

Edited: 07 April 2014, 03:17
Rotterdam, The...
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7. Re: Zoo & Safari : how much time is needed?

Well, our original planning of our West roundtrip was 'the Triangle' , until I came across lovely San Diego and the Zoos. So now we are doing 'a Kite' haha.

My planboard only said monday, tuesday etc, the Zoo would be on a sunday. No problem getting there early, jetlag-wise. But I just found out that it is not only sunday, but also Easter. I've read reviews about Thanksgiving in the Zoo so it makes me wonder if I should reorganise!

For the Safari I booked a hotel in Escondido a few days later, I didn't want to do two Zoos in two days but maybe this is the better option than to go on Easter sunday (or is family Easter breakfast at home a big thing in the area?!).

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8. Re: Zoo & Safari : how much time is needed?

Easter will not factor too much into it. Thanksgiving is typically a four day holiday and San Diego weather in late November makes it attractive travel destination. Two zoos in two days may be quite a bit of walking and standing and you may appreciate the day between. The safari is massive so much if it can be seen on tram as you know. It has a very savannah feel and observing animals from tram is delightful. The zoo on the other hand is very very lush, like a forest canopy if you will. The zoo bus will take you around, but you may be limited to actual animal sightings without the walking.

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San Diego
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9. Re: Zoo & Safari : how much time is needed?

I agree with the "average" times, the Zoo is much more central and has the large Balboa Park and Museums to see outside the park, while the SDZ Safari Park is more of a destination location, so a longer time).

There is a multi-day ticket that is available that might work for you, if you prefer to do partial days. 7 days for the Zoo, Safari Park and SeaWorld.

http://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/tickets

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Rotterdam, The...
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10. Re: Zoo & Safari : how much time is needed?

Ok, thank you for the insight about Easter, here (in The Netherlands) it is most of the years the 'first family day' in nicer weather, so attractionparks and zoos are cramped.

For the Safari we are tempted to take the Caravan-tour, for the Zoo first and foremost are the panda's. Our girl is really crazy about them.

Thank you all for the great advice, as far as I can see now, I can stick to my original plan. I'll update from the scene (in about two weeks) !