Safari Wilderness Ranch: A Unique Lakeland Experience

Introduction to Safari Wilderness Ranch

Tampa, Florida, is renowned for its sun-kissed beaches and vibrant city life, but there’s a less-heralded gem hidden amidst its outskirts: The Safari Wilderness Ranch. This expanse of pristine wilderness provides a unique safari experience, far from the crowded zoo environments and closer to the wild habitats of Africa and Asia.

The Wilderness Awaits: What to Expect

The Landscape and Terrain

Step into an entirely different world where vast wetlands merge with dense woods, painting a picturesque backdrop for your safari adventure. These landscapes aren’t just for show; they’ve been meticulously designed to mimic the native habitats of the animals. The ranch is not a zoo or a theme park. It is truly the closest way to experience an actual safari without having to take a trip to Africa.

The Remarkable Wildlife

It’s not every day you can encounter exotic species like Defassa waterbuck, scimitar-horned oryx, or red lechwe outside of their native continents. Yet, at Safari Wilderness Ranch, these magnificent creatures roam freely, offering visitors an unobstructed and intimate view of their lives.

Tours and Packages: Choose Your Adventure

Drive-Through Tours

Want to go through yourself? You can! This tour allows up to 7 people in a single vehicle, is $125 and lasts about an hour. You can add feed bags for $10 each and additional upgrades are available. See the 260 acre ranch from the comfort of your own vehicle!

Custom Vehicle Tours

Each of the customized safari trucks is equipped with stadium seating and a full-coverage canvas shade. Riders will have the opportunity to feed the animals from the safari truck.

Each safari vehicle tour includes an additional walk-around experiences (included in the price). Guests will be guided through our free flight aviary, be escorted around our mammal house (which is home to lemurs, coatis, and more), and a petting zoo barn.

Cost is $119 per person and add-ons are available.

ATV Tours

Groups of up to five guests over 16 years of age will be able to join an ATV Safari led by an experienced naturalist guide through the 260 acre ranch. The ATVs are brand new olive colored Honda units powered by a quiet and fuel efficient four cycle engine, speed is limited to under 15 mph. This allows compliance with international safety specifications and to allow game viewing without alarming our animals.

Prices are $239 per person.

Camel Expeditions

Camels have been domesticated for over 6,000 years and have a complex and mutually beneficial relationship with humankind. In three decades of working with camels, they have developed the only full-on camel backed animal-viewing safari that we know of outside of Africa!

Camel safari tours are about an hour and a half in length and are led by two experienced tour guides/camel handlers. They have both dromedary and Bactrian camels.

Prices are $239 per person, ages 3+.

Kayak Safaris

If water is more your domain, then paddle your way through serene wetlands in a kayak, observing water-loving animals in their natural habitat. Approximate tour time is 2 hours.

Navigate through freshwater areas, getting spectacular close-up encounters with wetland species such as common and Defassa waterbuck, red lechwe, and more! In addition, you will see a variety of common local waterfowl and upland birds. Mid-way through your safari, you will navigate to lemur islands, where you’ll hand-feed grapes to a troop of ring-tailed lemurs. 

Prices are $239 per person, ages 5+.

Benefits of Choosing Safari Wilderness Ranch

A Personalized Experience

Unlike larger, more commercialized locations, Safari Wilderness Ranch prides itself on providing smaller group experiences. This means fewer crowds, more personalized interactions, and genuinely unique memories.

A Commitment to Conservation

It’s not all about the spectacle. The ranch is committed to the preservation and conservation of the species that call it home. By visiting, you’re directly contributing to their noble cause.

Tips for Visiting

Dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. Remember, this is a wilderness adventure, so it’s best to be prepared. Also, don’t forget your camera; the photo opportunities are endless.

Want to extend your experience? They even have glamping available! You can stay on property up to 6 nights. Prices vary from $400 to $1,500 per night for the premium safari camping.

Reviews and Testimonials: What Visitors Say

“An experience like no other!” and “Felt like we were transported to Africa!” are just a couple of the rave reviews from past visitors. Many praise the knowledgeable guides, the up-close animal encounters, and the overall uniqueness of the experience.

How to Get There

Nestled between Tampa and Orlando, Safari Wilderness Ranch is conveniently accessible via I-4. Detailed directions can be found on their official website, ensuring a hassle-free trip to the wilderness. Parking costs are $12 for vehicles and $15 for buses.


Safari Wilderness Ranch isn’t just a place to see animals; it’s an immersion into the wild beauty of our planet. If you’re looking for an intimate, educational, and utterly unforgettable experience, this is one Tampa attraction you shouldn’t miss.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What kind of animals do you have?
    Safari Wilderness has over 450 animals representing over 50 different species. A lot of the animals you find here are ones that zoos are unable to house because they live in such large groups and require lots and lots of space. Because our property consists of 260 acres of pristine wilderness, we’re able to house a variety of exotic hoofstock species such as common and Defassa waterbuck, zebra, camels, ring-tailed and red-ruffed lemurs, red lechwe, nilgai, watusi cattle, and more! You’ll also have a chance to see a variety of native wildlife.
  2. What types of ratings and reviews does it have?
    Rated by Fodor’s International Travel Guide as one of the “Top 10 Safaris in the USA!” Check out their TripAdvisor Page to what our visitors have said about us! Safari Wilderness Ranch is a Florida agritourism project and is licensed by the USDA.
  3. Can I drive around in my own vehicle?
    Yes! Purchase tickets to the Drive-Thru Safari tour to explore the park from your own vehicle.
  4. I don’t want to pay for a tour. Can I just come and feed the animals?
    No. The optional ad-ons are only available with the purchase of one of the safaris.
  5. What tour times are best to view the animals?
    All of the tour times are great! The animals housed here are specifically chosen because they do well in central Florida’s climate.
  6. Where do the animals come from?
    Because they have so much space for our animals, babies are a very common thing! Most of the animals are born onsite. They buy, sell, and trade with other licensed facilities.
  7. What should I wear?
    Although not required, we recommend close-toed shoes. We go rain or shine, so dress appropriately for the weather.
  8. Can I bring my pet?
    They do not allow any animals on the premises, which includes the driveway and parking lot. Please leave all dogs, cats, and other furry critters at home.
  9. Will I see every animal during the tour?
    Although guides make every effort to encourage the residents to greet tour groups, you may not see every animal during your time here. Because the property is so large, and most of the animals live in huge pastures as opposed to enclosures, there is no guarantee that you will see every species on the property.
  10. Do they offer discounts?
    They do not do special pricing for children, infants, seniors, etc.
  11. What are the reservation policies?
    Please visit the Reservation Policies page for more information.
  12. Is Safari Wilderness Ranch suitable for kids?
    Absolutely! Kids of all ages will be captivated by the animals and the adventure. However, it’s always best to check specific tour requirements.
  13. Can I feed the animals?
    Certain tours might offer feeding opportunities, but for the safety and well-being of both visitors and animals, it’s essential to follow the guidelines provided.
  14. How long is a typical tour?
    Tours can vary in length, but a standard drive-through safari tour is 1 hour and can also include either a lemur feeding or a cheetah encounter to add more time. There are also tours available that are up to 2.5 hours.
  15. Is there a restaurant on-site?
    While there isn’t a full-service restaurant, there are snack and drink options available for purchase.
  16. Can I book a private tour?
    Yes, the ranch offers private tours for those seeking a more personalized experience.

Directions from Safari Wilderness Ranch to YTE Events and Balloon Decor

Directions from Safari Wilderness Ranch to Tampa Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino