African Lion Safari Ontario

"Go Wild" at this unique wildlife
park in the heart of Ontario



african lion safari ontario “Go Wild” at the African Lion Safari Ontario. This privately owned family wildlife park is one of Hamilton’s premier visitor attractions. Located in the Flamborough section of Hamilton Ontario near Rockton this is one of the most unique wildlife experiences in North America as visitors have the option of driving their own vehicles through the almost 700 acres (300 hectares) park amongst some of the worlds most exotic wildlife.

Founded in 1970 by Retired Colonel Gordon Debenham (Don) Dailley the park is still owned and operated by his two sons and daughter. Located only 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Toronto most local inhabitants of the Southern Ontario region have made at least one trip to safari park in their lifetime and I myself have been there at least half a dozen times and always find it one of the highlights of my summer when I do visit.

While the park does have some caged animals like in a traditional zoo most of the over 1,000 animals are found on one of the seven reserves. Instead of the animals being caged it is the humans themselves that are locked within the confines of their cars with their windows rolled up tight as they drive through the freely roaming beasts.




ontario-canada-logo



Check out some of these videos from the African Lion Safari Ontario:





Most of the animals are well used to the presence of vehicles and it is not unusual for them to climb atop your vehicle. Monkeys are the most common climbers but on one personal occasion I had a female lion rest on the hood of my car for over 30 minutes while her pride lounged under a nearby tree, a great experience that I will always remember.

It should be noted however that all visitors travel in their cars at their own pace and at their own risk and it is not unheard of for damage to occur to their vehicles. Monkeys again are the prime culprits as they like to pick at windshield wipers and vinyl roofs but it is not unknown for larger animals such as rhinoceros’s to cause some even more major damage like ripping open the side of your car like a can opener. Of course, insurance companies will not cover the costs of repairs as driving through a wild animal park is considered high risk. For those that wish to bypass the menacing monkeys (they are cute however) a slip road is available.

For those that don’t want to take a chance with their vehicle at all (note that most vehicles get through the park unscathed and with no damage whatsoever) the African Lion Safari Ontario does provide an air-conditioned tour bus service to most areas of the park and it does stop when approached by animals or a group of animals are found relatively nearby and stays long enough for you to capture many photos.


ontario-canada-logo



Location of the African Lion Safari Ontario




View Larger Map



ontario-canada-logo



Getting to the African Lion Safari Ontario:

By car:

From Toronto, Eastern Ontario and Northern Ontario
  • Navigate to Highway 401 West towards London
  • At Exit 299 head south on Highway #6
  • Turn right on Safari Road
  • Stay on Safari Road for 15 kilometres (10 miles) to Cooper Road then turn right

From Western Ontario:
  • Take Highway 401 East towards Toronto
  • At Exit 299 head south on Highway #6
  • Turn right on Safari Road
  • Stay on Safari Road for 15 kilometres (10 miles) to Cooper Road then turn right

From Eastern Hamilton and the Niagara Peninsula:
  • Follow the QEW Toronto
  • Near Burlington take Highway 403 Hamilton
  • Exit at Highway #6 towards Guelph
  • Turn Left on Safari Road
  • Stay on Safari Road for 15 kilometres (10 miles) to Cooper Road then turn right

From Downtown Hamilton:
  • Take Highway 403 Toronto
  • Exit at Highway #6 towards Guelph
  • Turn Left on Safari Road
  • Stay on Safari Road for 15 kilometres (10 miles) to Cooper Road then turn right


By Public Transport:

By Rail:

There are no options for taking the train to the African Lion Safari

By Plane:

There are no options for taking the plane to the African Lion Safari

By Bus:

There are no direct public buses right to the gates of the park but Coach Canada does provide regular services to the nearby towns of Rockton and Sheffield. Taxi services from either small town are pretty much non-existent so if this is the way you want to get to the African Lion Safari you will most likely be in for a long hike upon disembarking from the bus. For more information about the bus services visit: www.coachcanada.com


ontario-canada-logo



Once inside the park plan to spend the bulk of the day as there is much to see and do.

The African Lion Safari Ontario’s main collections of animals are divided in seven different sections as follows:

Simba Lion Country
  • with its pride of lions, the undoubted stars of the African Lion Safari

Duma Cheetah Preserve
  • home to a small group of cheetahs

Nairobi Sanctuary
  • contains animals such as:
    • llama
    • Watusi cattle
    • Egyptian goose
    • crested screamer
    • east African crowned crane
    • European white stork

Wankie Bushland Trail
  • with its collection of baboons and miniature zebu

North America Reserve
  • that is home to
    • North American elk
    • deer
    • bison

Rocky Ridge Veldt
  • contains animals such as:
    • white rhinoceros
    • Rothschild giraffe
    • plains zebra
    • wildebeest
    • addax
    • Barbary sheep
    • ostrich
    • eland
    • scimitar-horned oryx

Eurasia Reserve
  • contains animals such as:
    • yak
    • mouflon
    • sika deer
    • fallow deer
    • Himalayan tahr
    • nilgai
    • Pere Davids deer
    • emu
    • Sicilian donkey

Also located on the outskirts of this reserve are some smaller enclosures containing animals such as:
  • Sichuan takin
  • Sarus crane
  • red kangaroo
  • Turkmenian
  • markhor
  • red-necked wallaby

There is also a walking section that houses a large collection of exotic birds and primates and a herd of Asian Elephants. Some of the highlight species of this area includes:
  • macaws
  • parrots
  • cockatoos
  • toucans
  • owls
  • eagles
  • hawks
  • vultures
  • flamingos
  • condor
  • alpacas
  • flying fox
  • kookaburra
  • as well as many others

Another highlight of the park is two free tours that are offered:

One on the Nature Boy Scenic Railway through a natural wetland and forest of the region where visitors will see:
  • Bactrian camels
  • reindeer
  • as well as a variety of native species

The second, which is usually one of the highlights on a visit to the park, around a lake on a boat aptly named the African Queen. The short boat ride is a thrill to young children and provides a pleasant breeze to adults on a hot summer day. The African Queen passes by a number of small islands that house a variety of primates and birds such as:
  • Spider monkeys
  • white-handed gibbon
  • black and white ruffed lemur
  • ring-tailed lemur
  • marabou stork
  • black swan
  • Southern ground hornbill

There are also several animal shows throughout the day, a children’s playground and rides on animals such as ponies and elephants.


ontario-canada-logo




african lion safari The African Lion Safari Ontario is open from the first weekend in May until the weekend of Canadian Thanksgiving in October. It makes for a great family outing and is relatively inexpensive for the experience you will receive. Easily reached and a great add-on to your itinerary when visiting either the Toronto or Niagara Fall areas I highly recommend a venture to the African Lion Safari being included on your itinerary.

Please note that vehicles with soft tops (convertibles), cracked windshields or with openings that cannot be closed due to safety concerns will not be permitted to drive through the reserves.

For more information on the African Lion Safari Ontario Canada visit their official site at: www.lionsafari.com

Insider Tip: From time to time you can get a coupon for a discounted admission to the African Lion Safari and other Ontario attractions at Attractions Ontario. Visit their site at: www.attractionsontario.ca to find out if one is available today.


ontario-canada-logo





Toronto City Pass




Get free Ontario travel tips, updates and news. Susbcribe to my newsletter.

Email

Name

Then

Rest assured that your e-mail address is fully secure.
I promise I will only use it to send you the Ontario Canada Traveler newsletter.



This site is continuously updated with useful and pertinent information for your Ontario visit so if you enjoy this Ontario Travel Guide and would like to bookmark it for future reference you can do so here …






Get free Ontario travel
tips, updates and news.
Subscribe to my newsletter.

Email

Name

Then

Rest assured that your e-mail address is fully secure.
I promise I will only use it to send you the Ontario Canada Traveler newsletter.


Toronto City Pass





SBI!