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Safari West Welcome to the Sonoma Serengeti

Since our founding in 1993, Safari West has become one of the premier wildlife destinations in the United States. Between our expansive wildlife collection and the natural beauty of the woods and rolling hills of Sonoma County, Safari West truly is the closest you can come to Africa without going there. Guests visiting Safari West discover a 400-acre wilderness begging to be explored. With about 900 animals representing more than 90 different species roaming across some of the largest habitats in the country, there’s a lot to see and do—a truly unique opportunity for a great experience.

For over twenty-five years, Safari West has existed as a place for people to meet the wonder of the wild face-to-face. We have introduced animals large and small to generations of visiting guests, all with the goal of igniting wonder, curiosity, and hopefully, compassion. Our purpose is to inspire wildlife advocates who will help us protect and preserve these beautiful and often endangered creatures.

Safari West welcomes visitors every day in our ongoing pursuit of this commitment . Our dedication to conservation, environmental education, stewardship, and individual responsibility shows in our many ongoing projects and programs. We invite you to join us in this worthy pursuit.

PROPERTY DETAILS

Address: 3115 Porter Creek Road Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Phone: (800) 616-2695 | (707) 579-2551

Media Contacts:

Aphrodite Caserta, Director of Marketing and Communications | Direct Line: 707-566-3620 | Cell: 707-575-5275 | acaserta@safariwest.com

Jared Paddock, Marketing and Communications | media@safariwest.com

Cheryl Crowley, Graphic Designer and Staff Artist | ccrowley@safariwest.com

Media Images: Dropbox Media Folder

Blog: On the Safari West blog we keep the public up to date on subjects ranging from events at the preserve to global conservation concerns. SafariWest.com/blog/

Accreditation: Safari West is fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Membership in this prestigious organization requires that we meet or exceed the highest standards when it comes to educational programming, conservation initiatives, and the quality of our animal care.

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of Safari West is to actively promote conservation and environmental education while imparting knowledge that helps each individual make well-informed choices in regards to the environment and wildlife conservation.

WHAT CAN YOU DO AT SAFARI WEST?

Inside the gates of this wildlife preserve, the opportunities are endless!

  • Experience the sights and sounds of the Sonoma Serengeti; the wilds of Africa in wine country!
  • Spend the night ‘glamping’ in a luxurious safari tent imported directly from South Africa.
  • Explore! Embark on an authentic safari in a customized safari vehicle.
  • Winos and Rhinos – Delight in private wine tasting safari!
  • Brews and Buffalo – Beer tasting on the Sonoma Serengeti!
  • Private Royal Safaris – Twilight Serengeti, Dinner at the Tree Top Aviary, and Cheetahs and Chardonnay are among the unique options available.
  • Dine out...way out...at the Savannah Cafe and enjoy the quality wines and beer of Napa and Sonoma.
  • Enjoy private and close-up encounters with animals and behind the scenes activities with our animal caretakers.

Learn about our work conserving wildlife and wild places across the globe and how you can join in!

Photography – You’d have to board a plane to Botswana to find better photo opportunities!

GETTING HERE

We are located 75 miles north of San Francisco in the hills of Sonoma County.

Nearby Airports:

  • San Francisco International (SFO): 1 hour 30-minute drive (79 miles)
  • Oakland International (OAK): 1 hour 30-minute drive (80 miles)
  • Charles M. Schultz Sonoma County Airport (STS): 18-minute drive (10 miles)

NEARBY TOWNS

  • Hometown: Santa Rosa (7 miles)
  • Neighboring Towns: Calistoga (10 miles), Healdsburg (17 miles), Sonoma (27 miles)

THE FOUNDERS

Nancy and Peter Lang with some red river hogs

PETER ANTON LANG

Peter’s love for wild places and the creatures that inhabit them came about at an early age. As a child, Peter roamed freely around the back lots and sound stages of Hollywood. His father—Otto Lang—was a renowned producer and director known for shows like Daktari and Sea Hunt and films like Tora, Tora, Tora! Much of Otto’s film work involved lions, chimpanzees, and other animals and young Peter had many opportunities to work closely with these creatures.

Peter grew up but never outgrew his passion for wildlife. While operating the last cattle ranch in Beverly Hills, Peter would again find his life intersecting with that of the African plains when he purchased several eland antelope. Eland are the largest of the antelope species and are phenomenally good at clearing brush that cattle have no interest in. Before long, the cattle ranch became home to more exotic and unusual animals.

In the late 80’s Peter purchased a piece of land in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains north of Santa Rosa. He moved his ever-increasing herd of wild animals here and established a conservation breeding facility. On this property, Peter worked diligently to breed endangered species; work that is scientifically invaluable and critical to conservation efforts. It was while starting off on this valuable project that Peter met the woman who would one day become his wife, Dr. Nancy Lang.

NANCY ANNE LANG, Ph.D.

By the time Nancy met Peter, she was already well established in the field of wildlife conservation. Her lifelong passion for wild places and creatures had led her to academia. Attaining both a B.A. and an M.A. in biology from San Francisco State University as well as a Ph.D. from the University of Wales in Cardiff, Dr. Nancy Lang initially made her mark at the San Francisco Zoo.

Over a twenty-year tenure, Dr. Lang founded the Avian Conservation Center and developed a highly successful program for the propagation and release of endangered birds of prey. Dr. Lang’s achievements served her well and she quickly rose to the position of general curator at the San Francisco Zoo. These experiences would later prove invaluable to the conservation breeding programs active at Safari West today.

Peter and Nancy met, fell in love, and married. Together they transformed a 400-acre wildlife ranch into what we now know as the Safari West Wildlife Preserve. Side by side they have carefully steered this enterprise through two and half decades of growth and development. Thanks to their combined efforts, Safari West is now a leader in wildlife conservation and a premier institution for education and research.

CORE ACTIVITES

GO ON SAFARI!

Adventure abounds as you set out in one of our rugged, open-air safari vehicles in search of zebra, wildebeest, rhinos, ostrich, and more! Roam through lush oak woodlands, over rolling hills, and across open savannas on your quest. With terrain similar to that of untamed Africa, our vast herds are free to range virtually undisturbed over hundreds of acres.

Not everything can be experienced from the back of a truck however and your guide will also take you exploring through our massive open-air aviary and throughout our lower grounds where you’ll come face-to-face with cheetahs, lemurs, birds from around the world, monkeys, and more!

Throughout the safari, your highly experienced guide will share fascinating stories about our animal inhabitants as well as tales of their wild counterparts. Many of the species you’ll learn about are increasingly rare and exceedingly endangered. This safari not only introduces you to wild creatures living wildly but contains species that it’s now nearly impossible to find in their native ecosystems.

GLAMOROUS CAMPING (GLAMPING)

If you’ve ever dreamt of spending the night on the African plain, then you’ll love camping at Safari West. We have 30 luxury tents imported from Lobatse, Botswana. The heavy-duty canvas walls and mesh windows lend a rustic air to an otherwise lavish experience. The tents accommodate anywhere from four to six occupants and feature a variety of bedding arrangements from a single king to side-by-side doubles to a double bunk arrangement ideal for families. Whatever arrangement your heart desires, we’ve got a tent for you.

Each tent sits atop a high wooden platform with private decks providing panoramic views of the spirit of Africa in the heart of Wine Country. Inside the tents polished copper basins shine in the en-suite bathrooms that feature hot showers and real toilets. Polished hardwood flooring sets off the hand-hewn furniture, and ultra-plush linens adorn the comfortable beds. Each tent is even wired for electricity allowing ceiling fans in summer, heating in winter, and numerous outlets to meet all your charging needs.

DINING ON THE SONOMA SERENGETI

All this adventure builds up quite the appetite! Satisfy it at the Safari West Savannah Cafe. Inspired by the South African braai (pronounced “bry”), the Savannah Café specializes in selections of deliciously grilled chicken, pork, or beef prepared on our custom built outdoor barbecue pit accompanied by a variety of sides. There are always several kid-friendly selections to choose from and we can accommodate most dietary concerns. What’s more, we offer local Sonoma and Napa county wines as well as an impressive selection of beers; many of them brewed locally! Diners at the Savannah Cafe can enjoy their meal indoors in the Elephant Room, surrounded by authentic African murals and carefully curated artifacts, or they can enjoy the veranda with its panoramic views of the flamingo ponds and aviaries. Whether dining around the barbecue pit or out at Flamingo Landing, guests are certain to enjoy the backdrop of our ambling giraffes as they dine. For those on the go, there are also options for a quick refuel at our very own Delilah’s Deli. The Savannah Cafe provides a hearty continental breakfast to tent guests as well as barbecue lunch and dinner by reservation.

BONUS ROUNDS

For those looking to add a little more to the experience, we offer multiple private and special experiences that can be tailored to individual needs.

BEHIND THE SCENES

Take your adventure to the next level by peeking behind the curtain. On the Behind the Scenes tour, you’ll team up with one of our guides and discover how our animal caretakers keep this whole thing running. Meet and feed some of our most exciting and unique species including porcupines, warthogs, more birds than you can shake a stick at, and of course, our towering giraffes!

The Behind the Scenes tour is subject to adjustment depending on the mood and schedules of the individual species.

EXCLUSIVE SPECIALTY SAFARI ADVENTURES

A Private Safari makes your excursion even more intimate and personalized. Enjoy all the highlights of our African Safari Adventure with the unique freedom of having a guide dedicated solely to your group’s interests. By the way, this is an excellent way to guarantee a ‘Talk Nerdy to me Safari’. Depending on your occasion, needs and wishes, we offer several options for a fascinating experience so gather a group of your most adventurous friends and heed the call of the wild!

BITES AND BEVERAGE SAFARIS

Whether it’s the beer focused Brews and Buffalo or the vino-centered Winos and Rhinos, our food and beverage tours incorporate our classic safari experience with the carefully curated beer and wine tastings that have made our region famous.

CHEETAH VISIT & RHINO ENCOUNTER

Meet up with our hard-working caretakers and experience a once-in-a-lifetime face-to-face meeting with some of the most astounding creatures on the planet!

SEASONAL ADVENTURES

Whether it’s Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or Thanksgiving, we get in the spirit of things throughout the year. Join us on Valentine’s Day and enjoy the titillating and informative Wild Jungle Love Tour (adults only of course), or visit during Father’s Day for an adventure seasoned with beers and brats. The experience of Safari West shifts with the seasons and is always fascinating!

RATES AND SCHEDULES

Safari West is open both for day visits and overnight stays. Prices are seasonal and updated and posted regularly on our website.

Safari West Wildlife Foundation

OUR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION

The Safari West Wildlife Preserve is proud to support and partner with the Safari West Wildlife Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation. The foundation makes it possible for Safari West and its animal inhabitants to be accessible to kids across the greater Bay Area. With a curated spectrum of programs, they educate and inspire curious minds of all ages!

SAFARI WEST LIVE

Focused largely on outreach to children’s hospitals and Title 1 schools, Safari West Live works by live-streaming a fully interactive safari, complete with dialogue between the safari guide, other educators, and participating guests. With this newest endeavor, the Foundation can not only replicate the experience of its in-person programming but do so for children anywhere in the world! We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity for an up-close and intimate experience with nature, regardless of who or where they are. Safari West Live makes it possible for us to deliver on that belief.

DISCOVER AFRICA

The Foundation is especially committed to providing an educational program that gives under-served students in the greater Bay Area the opportunity to experience first-hand encounters with nature and wildlife.

CAMP NYIKA

During this week-long day camp, kids ages 9 to 12 explore the breadth of Safari West Wildlife Preserve. Beyond just learning about wildlife, campers take their first steps in becoming guides themselves. At Camp Nyika, kids meet wildlife where it lives!

JUNIOR KEEPERS

From ages 12 to 16, the truly passionate can apply to become Junior Keepers. This immersive 10-month program introduces the real world work of wildlife management and conservation. By the end of the program, Junior Keepers are confident in their wildlife expertise and more importantly, know how to share that knowledge with others.

INTERNSHIPS

The partnership between the foundation and the wildlife preserve allows for some truly unique opportunities. The access to a curated collection of exotic species allows the foundation to offer research internships to several undergrads each year. Past study topics have ranged from wildebeest social behaviors to patas monkey mating rituals.

Every year, the world gets a little wilder for thousands of students, thanks to the generous donors of the Safari West Wildlife Foundation. Every dollar given makes a difference in the lives of young conservationists: making possible programs that introduce the latest in wildlife science and conservation education. To learn more please visit www.safariwestwildlifefoundation.org.

A COMPLETE LIST OF FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS) IS POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE.

IS SAFARI WEST FAMILY FRIENDLY?

Of course Safari West is family friendly! While we don’t feature daily programming specifically dedicated to children, the entire Safari West experience was designed with families in mind. Our mission has always been to introduce children to wildlife in need and to foster intimate interactions between families and the fantastic creatures who inhabit this world.

Due to the length of the classic safari tour, we do require that children be at least four in order to board the truck (but if you’ve booked a private tour then children of all ages are welcome).

Some additional Safari West experiences that resonate with our younger guests include the nightly marshmallow roast around the barbecue pit, the many board games and playing cards available in the Elephant Room, and of course, camping out in our awesome safari tents!

IS SAFARI WEST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY?

Safari West is in a constant state of greening up our practices and property. In the last several years we’ve transitioned to biodegradable soaps and cleaning products and removed disposable dinnerware from the Savannah Cafe. We’ve restricted the number of printable materials produced in our offices and ensured all printing is double-sided. Nearly all our correspondence is handled via email and the website, severely reducing our paper consumption.

Most recently we’ve updated the plumbing in the tent camp. Now rather than being wasted, all gray water from the tent showers and sinks is diverted for use in landscaping. We’ve also added additional recycling bins around property to help reduce how much we send to landfills.

A major part of our ongoing mission is the promotion of conservation and environmental education and guests are guaranteed to go home with something to think about. Our entire staff, from the guides and keepers, to the restaurant staff and housekeepers, has a daily focus on conservation.

OUR CONSERVATION MISSION

At Safari West, we’re not just interested in introducing people to animals. We want them to leave here with a passion for wildlife and wild places. In today’s world, these precious species and their unique ecosystems are under increasing threat. Poaching, deforestation, urban sprawl, and the ever-increasing human population all have an impact on our animal neighbors. We believe that it’s all of our responsibilities to make conscious decisions aimed at lessening our impact on our shared planet and helping conserve the animals and plants that call it home.

Our pursuit of this critical mission is multi-pronged and involves education, research, and conservation action and we work hard to educate every guest that comes through our gates. We know that conservation isn’t something that only takes place overseas and we make it a point to explore our native wildlife as well as our more exotic inhabitants. While visiting Safari West, guests are likely to see California native species like river otters, western pond turtles, red-tailed hawks, and more. We use these unexpected meetings to discuss the ways in which we can all make a difference in our own homes and neighborhoods. The unique environment of the Mayacamas mountains deserves conservation action as much as the Serengeti or the Amazon.

In addition to our on-site education efforts, each year, Safari West donates thousands of dollars to conservation organizations around the world. These organizations range from the Sahara Conservation Fund, working to reintroduce scimitar-horned oryx and addax antelope to the deserts of North Africa to the Marine Mammal Center working hard to conserve sea lions and seals right here on our own coastline. As a testament to the power of these partnerships, we welcome representatives from these groups to come to present their discoveries and knowledge as part of our ongoing speaker series. Free to Safari West guests, these after-dinner talks inspire and amaze on most weekends throughout the spring and summer.

WHAT INSPIRES THE FOUNDERS?

The Safari West Wildlife Preserve exists to inspire a meaningful commitment to wildlife, the environment, and conservation in our guests and the public at large. The preserve operates on the premise that the future wellbeing of the planet and its inhabitants relies on the passion and advocacy of humankind. We live in a time that calls for effective conservation of wildlife populations and their ecosystems. As a vital center for conservation, education, and academic research, Safari West is uniquely positioned to take a leadership role in inspiring and guiding young minds.

Safari West welcomes visitors every day in our ongoing pursuit of this mission. Our dedication to conservation, environmental education, stewardship, and individual responsibility shows in our many ongoing projects and programs. Safari West actively promotes conservation and environmental education concepts to our guests throughout their stay with us. Our goal is to impart knowledge that will help everyone make personal choices in regard to the environment and conservation efforts. We believe that if each person does their part, no matter how small it may seem, their efforts will help drive larger change. We hope that the resulting effect, particularly in regard to the children whose hearts and minds we touch, will multiply and create a conscious environmental movement now and into the future.

Many of these images, plus more, are available for download for editorial use from our Media Folder on Dropbox!