Up Close and Personal With Wildlife in San Antonio
After living in Kentucky for most of my life, my traveling soul was delighted when we made the move to Texas. Months and months of travel through Texas later and I’ve been to a lot of places with my little girls. I was always looking for new things to do with newborn and my toddler. One of my favorite trips with my girls was in San Antonio when we got the opportunity to get up close and personal with different animals from all over the world.
Tucked into northeastern San Antonio is a true treasure! The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is home to a drive through safari, petting barnyard, and an animal walk-a-about. The Wildlife Ranch is my all time favorite activity in San Antonio. I had a blast getting up close and personal with the Asian and African wildlife. Tuck in and let me show you around the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch.
The Drive-Thru Safari
You will want to arrive at the ranch when it first opens or even earlier. We pulled up to the entrance ten minutes before they open and were met by a line of traffic at the gate waiting to get in. As you arriving at the entrance you will see signs for the ranch on the right and on your left is a road that will take you to The Natural Bridge Caverns. Exploring the wildlife ranch and the natural bridge caverns is a great way to spend a half a day or a whole day in San Antonio.
The wildlife ranch isn’t an expensive activity to do while you are in San Antonio, but it isn’t really budget friendly either. Recently, their prices have went up. Adult admission is $24.50 and at the time of our trip both of my kids were under 3, making their admission free! (children 3-11 admittance to the ranch is $15.50) With each admission you will get a bag of feed for the animals. This is really great because a lot of places will make you pay extra to feed the animals.
It took us just over an hour to drive through the safari area. There are some things in life that just make me giddy beyond belief and this safari was one of them. I loved how the animals would poke their heads in my window, sniffing around with their soft furry noses. So stinking cute! You can see camels, giraffe, zebras, Texas longhorn, antelope, ostrich, and many more! There are over 500 animal on the 400 acre ranch.
My one year old just laughed and pointed at everything while my newborn snoozed in her carseat. I honestly think I enjoyed this trip more than my children. My one year old had a blast, but I was just giddy the whole time. I love animals!
After the drive-thru safari we visited the walk-a-bout. This section of the park allows you to see giraffe, lemurs, peacocks, gibbons, and more! Elsie girl wanted to climb in the giraffes, it was adorable! Besides getting to see the animals, this is also a wonderful place to get out of your car and stretch your legs and let your little ones run around. If you have any animal feed left you can use it here.
What’s the best time of the year to visit the ranch? Well, it’s open 362 days a year. Only closing for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. However, as I’m sure you already know, Texas is hot y’all. We visited the wildlife ranch in mid-October and were sweating. (see: don’t go in the summer) I would not travel to any part of Texas in the summer. I had a heat stroke in August while I was pregnant with Mairead. No fun at all.
The Petting Barn & The Safari Camp Grill
Next, we stopped by the petting barnyard. Which was the exact place where we learned that my oldest daughter has a weird relationship with goats. She would pet them but her face was never free from an expression of disgust and confusion. It was grand.
Instead of going in, I sat outside of the barn with my little one while Elsie and her daddy went in with the goats. The new mommy nervousness took over and I was skittish about taking my six week old baby girl in with these animals that were sniffing around for food. I was afraid one might bite her little toes or something. It was probably an unnecessary precaution, but I’m always especially careful with my babies in the early months.
After that, we went over to the Safari Camp Grill and got a bite to eat. We just grabbed a thing of fried pickled and a thing of bacon cheese fries. I recommend getting your drink in a souvenir cup, we still use ours years later.
Zoo’s, safaris, wildlife rescues, etc. are a family favorite of ours and the wildlife ranch in San Antonio is one of the best we have ever visited. Have you been to The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch or to San Antonio. What’d you think? If you have any question about either just drop me a comment below. Happy traveling!
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