The biggest difference between the downtown zoo and the Safari Park is that the park has a lot more free-range enclosures for its animals. They have different villages and sections - from a Gorilla Forest to Nairobi Village to an African plains section. This last section was my absolute favorite. The African plains area houses lions, giraffes, antelopes, cranes, deer, rhinos and more--almost all free-roaming amongst the gentle sloping hills of the San Pasqual Valley. (They do have to keep some more aggressive animals sequestered - I was surprised to learn this includes the zebras!)
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'm going to let my camera do the talking for a bit:
Lion nap time
Curious giraffe coming to check out our tram
They look too cute to be aggressive! (must be the stripes... deceivingly playful...)
We only stayed a couple of hours and barely scratched the surface of what the park has to offer. There are tons of presentations and exhibits to explore--and we're looking forward to going back!