top of page
< Back

North America

African Lion Safari, You Don't Have To Go To Africa To Find Lions

Jonathan van Bilsen



October 5, 2008

African Lion Safari, You Don't Have To Go To Africa To Find Lions

I don’t know why the long summer evenings in Port Perry make my mind wander to the Serengeti plains of East Africa. Maybe it’s the similarity in weather or just a longing to be there, but whatever it is I finally did something about it.

A few weekends ago we headed west, all the way to Guelph Line, where we turned north and came face to face with the entrance to African Lion Safari, one of Canada’s great wild kingdoms.

The park has changed since I was last there, at least 20 years ago. It certainly has improved and is very easy to navigate, but most important it has different areas sure to please all members of the entire family.

After paying our entrance fee of $50 for the two of us (kids under three are free) we were pleased that parking was close to the entrance. I had visions of losing a wiper or aerial to the destructive monkeys and jumped at the opportunity of taking a bus through deepest, darkest… Cambridge.

The concept was good, but there are too many stops, and although the lions and monkeys are interesting the deer and elk just lay about. I’m not sure, however, that taking the car would have been any different.

Lunch was good and filling and not overpriced. There was ample seating and service was quick, and yes, they had ice cream. As soon as we finished eating we discovered the splash pool. I must admit this section was amazing. I sat on the sidelines watching children have the time of their life, secretly wishing I too could run through the dozens of fountains and waterslides shouting and laughing.

The park is large and well maintained and one way to get around is by railroad. The concept of trekking through the woodlands on an antique-styled train sounded intriguing. The only downside was the 60 minute wait until we were able to board. There are not many animals visible along the railroad, but the scenery is spectacular and the narration quite interesting. 

A little souvenir shopping and another ice cream and it was time to head home. If you find the summer dragging and you’re looking for something fun to do as a family, go to African Lion Safari. Be sure to bring bathing suits, towels and sunscreen for the kids and there are lots of picnic areas if you want to rough it. Don’t forget the camera, for the elephants are larger than life and you would swear you were in the wilds Africa.

Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel TV show can be watched on RogersTV and YouTube. To follow Jonathan’s travel adventures visit

bottom of page