African Lion Safari
For a family-friendly adventure like no other, enjoy a car tour through the game reserves at African Lion Safari. With seven different wildlife themes, discover habitats and animals from across the African continent, the Australian Outback and even the high plains of North America. While sitting safely in your car, you’ll weave through ecosystems and explore over 300 hectares where animals freely roam — including many species that are threatened or endangered.
Although typically geared toward kids and families, a day spent at African Lion Safari is fun for any age. Animal lovers and those interested in wildlife conservation can view lions, zebras, giraffes, white rhinos, ostrich, watusi, kangaroos, bison and more. After your “safari,” enjoy learning more about the park’s conservation programmes, including breeding and research.
Just outside Cambridge, Ontario, off Highway 8, African Lion Safari is only 35 km north of Hamilton and about 90 km west of Toronto’s centre.
For up-to-date information and details about African Lion Safari, we recommend visiting their website. For more information about the park and other places of interest to explore nearby, keep scrolling to see what Destination Ontario recommends.
More about African Lion Safari
African Lion Safari combines education and entertainment with wildlife conservation, particularly for species classified as threatened or endangered. While you enjoy a tour through the seven themed game reserves, experts work behind the scenes to research these animals and conduct breeding programmes to increase populations. Some park staff even travel globally to provide extra care to the same animals out in the wild. Since opening its doors in 1969, African Lion Safari has successfully bred 50 different threatened and endangered species.
The park provide a safe home for wildlife with large swaths of bushland, grasslands and forest. Such a vast amount of space allows the animals at African Lion Safari to roam and interact as if they were in the wild. These conditions are what make your experience at the park so special. You can enjoy genuine wildlife sightings and imagine that you’re physically in some of these global places! While safe in your car, you can view the animals up close or through binoculars.
Visitors can bring their own cars with them on a safari through the park, which will receive a quick inspection to ensure everyone’s safety. But if you’d rather not drive, you can always opt for the property’s official Safari Tour Bus. (Check on the website to learn about any restrictions or requirements for your personal vehicle.)
The other reserves in the park include 9 km of driving pathways that take you through the Nairobi Sanctuary, Simba Lion Country, Timbavati Lion Country, Wankie Bushland Trail, Rocky Ridge Veldt, Australasia and The Americas. Over 1,000 animals and birds live in African Lion Safari, constructing their homes in the open grasslands, shaded forests or the expansive marshy wetlands.
While making your way through the park reserves, you can listen to an audio tour recorded by experts. You’ll learn all about the animals in each area of African Lion Safari, including how to identify them, any special features and what they like to eat and do. The park also provides a general welcome tour and more information about their conservation programmes, including the Cheetah Conservation Centre.
With two different areas dedicated to lions, you’ll surely see the “King of the Jungle.” Other favourite animals include zebra, giraffe, white rhino, ostrich and cheetah from the African wildlife areas, plus watusi, kangaroo, bison and others from Australia and the Americas. There are a 100+ different species living in the park. If you live within the region and can’t see the entire park in one day, you can opt for a seasonal pass, offering discounts on park events.
Since you’re already in the neighbourhood, many visitors like to combine their experience at African Lion Safari with other attractions in the area. Just south of the park is the Westfield Heritage Centre, which features more than 30 historical buildings across 204 hectares. After exploring the safari, you can learn about a different topic and join costumed interpreters on tours through the museum to better understand Ontario’s unique charm and history. The interactive educational opportunities are great for kids and families.
The museum’s property is an official conservation area and offers several walking trails through its meadows and woodlands. There are events throughout the year, and the opportunity to rent the buildings and property for occasions like family reunions or weddings. Group, school and summer programmes are also available.
If you’d like to spend a bit more time in nature, head north of African Lion Safari to Valens Lake Conservation Area. With over 300 hectares, you can enjoy hiking and walking trails, boating, camping, fishing and winter sports like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The property is part of the Hamilton Conservation Authority, the region’s largest environmental management organization that protects critical natural areas. Other popular nature preserves in the area include Dundas Valley Conservation Area and Christie Lake Conservation Area.
For those looking for some shopping or dining, African Lion Safari is just outside Cambridge, Ontario. The city has a quaint historic centre where you’ll find plenty of restaurants, cafes and boutiques. Set on the Grand River, you can enjoy a stroll through Mill Race Park which overlooks the river and features remains from an old mill. Other historic sites and entertainment sources in Cambridge include the McDougall Cottage from the mid-19th century and the Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge for musical and theatre performances.