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African Lion Safari Ontario:
Go Wild!

African Lion Safari Ontario is a great way to spend a day in the country with your kids, or with anyone who loves animals. It's Ontario's big game reserve but only visitors with cameras, not guns, can visit.



The park is primarily about African animals but it does have some from Eurasia and the Americas. 

Generally, the non-African animals are herbivores, antelopes, bison, deer, that kind of thing, or are birds.

However, as the park is an 'African' and a 'lion' experience, I'll start with a picture of a lion. 


African Lion Safari Ontario's male lion

The park is designed such that the animals are free to roam, within boundaries, while the people are locked in their cars cruising through.

It's a reversal of the old ideas of zoos and it works very well, provided you take the Park bus and not your own car. 


African Lion Safari Ontario -- Take the Park Bus

African Lion Safari Ontario, rhino squeezing between two cars

Here's why you may not want to take your car through the African Lion Safari Ontario. If the rhino bumps or scratches your car as it squeezes through the gaps, it's between you and your insurance company.

To be fair to the rhino, it's the primates and baboons (our relatives) who do the most damage.


African Lion Safari Ontario baboon

Their curiosity leads them to dismantle cars to see if anything about them is edible. Windshield wipers, window seals, mirrors, aerials, and anything else that isn't actually welded to the vehicle's body, are soon removed and carried off for further analysis.

As well, primates and baboons like to ride on cars as they go round the compound, which isn't good for the paintwork. It's a park tour for them too, I guess.

Based on all this, the African Lion Safari Ontario recommends, and I'd second their advice, buying a ticket for the Safari bus; it's the best C$5 you'll ever spend.

Safari Park's Gentler Animals

African Lion Safari Ontario's elephants walking in single file

I'm focusing on some of the gentler animals on this page. Go to our page Lion Safari bus tour for more photos of lions and cheetahs.

The African Lion Safari Park Ontario is near Hamilton, about an hour west of Toronto. Follow Hwy 401 to exit 299 Ontario road #6. Head South and turn right onto Regional road #97. Follow 97 to Kirkwall Road (#52) and continue to Safari Road. Turn right here and follow the road, and the signs, through some of Ontario's best farmland until you reach the Park.

If you're coming from the South, Niagara Region, take the QEW North to exit 100 and Hwy 403/407 toward Hamilton and Brantford. Keep right when the road forks following signs for Hwy 403 W. Take exit #74 for Ontario rd #6 toward Guelph. Turn left onto Safari Rd and follow the signs for the African Lion Safari Ontario.

African Lion Safari Ontario giraffes with babies

The giraffes had a new baby when we visited, as you see from the photo.

The African Lion Safari Park Ontario isn't a cheap day out (about $60 for adults and $50 for kids) but you can easily stay there all day and you get a lot of things for the ticket, such as:


  • driving through the game reserves in your own vehicle (using the tour bus costs about $5 extra per person), which will take more than an hour with stops to admire the animals and for photos.
  • boat cruise and scenic railway
  • bird and animals shows
  • elephant swim
  • and for the kids, Pet's Corner, Jungle Playground, and the Misumu Bay Wet Play park
  • the Discovery Centre, which has many educational exhibits about animals, including skeletons, which the kids, being little ghouls, love.
African Lion Safari Ontario's ostriches begging from a car

Ostriches are the world's largest birds but probably have the bird worlds relatively smallest brain. No matter, these two were smart enough to pick out a truck with its window open and come begging.

African animals, like the ostrich, like it warm and, to be honest, so do most people so the African Lion Safari Ontario is only open from early May to early October each year.

The game reserves are open daily (7 days a week) from 10 am to 5:30 pm, though the park grounds are open for about 2 hours after the game reserves close so you can eat, play in the water etc.


African Lion Safari Ontario's elephants swimming

The park has a number of 'shows' each day, including a 'Parrot Paradise' show, 'Birds of Prey' flying exhibition, an Elephant Round-up, and an Elephant Swim.

Most people, if asked, would probably say elephants are too heavy and ungainly to swim but, in fact, they swim amazingly well, including underwater!

When not swimming and taking part in the Elephant Round-up, the elephants give rides to visitors as do a number of small ponies, which looks a lot less scary to me!

There are a number of restaurants and snack places where you can get everything from a meal to an ice cream or cold drink and the prices aren't unreasonable. And the park has a number of picnic sites around the Park as well.

Of course, no visit to any attraction today can be made without a visit to the Gift Shop. The African Lion Safari Ontario has a number of gift shops, including an outfitter for those safari clothes you've been considering.

Now visit our pages wildlife, animals, and birds for more photos of wildlife, only Ontario ones this time.

For a real African Safari, visit Mount Kenya climbing. Travel to Kenya and experience the adventurous Mount Kenya climbing safari. This link was recently down, hopefully it will reappear for you.

Or visit the African Lion Safari's own site at lion safari to get the most up-to-date details.

And for more ideas on things to see and do during your stay in Ontario, click on the 'Tours' links at the right.


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