Last weekend my family and I got to experience Wildlife Safari in Winston, OR. We had the most amazing day! I know my kids will be talking about this for years (or just until the next time we go…. because we WILL be back soon).

Wildlife Safari is a drive-thru wild animal park featuring over 600 animals that you can view in their drive-thru and Village! During the drive-thru you will be able to spot Lions, Bears, Giraffes, Hippos, and more! In their Safari Village you can walk around and see Flamingos, Wallaroos, and many more reptiles and birds. The Village also has a Cafe, play structure, and petting zoo.

When we arrived to the Wildlife Safari, we started on our first drive through the park (tickets include TWO drive-thru’s). First up were the lions, and it was just our luck because they were all being fed! I would recommend getting to the park at least by 11am. It’s a little less than a two hour drive from Medford, and we had just enough time to do everything before the park closed at 5pm.



We couldn’t believe how close we were to the Lions! These pictures were taken from inside my car.


I am so glad we waited to visit in the fall. The park was less crowded, and we could really take our time driving through. The weather was absolutely perfect, and the scenery was breathtaking.


As we drove away from the giraffes, we looked behind us and saw it crossing the road ride in front of another car! I’m afraid Wildlife Safari has ruined zoo visits for my kids. Free roaming animals are much more exciting!


Even the little guy enjoyed watching the animals from mom’s lap. Here we are driving through masses of Bison and llamas.



Wildlife Safari has two types of Bears at the park. Here is the brown bear, and they also have the North American Black Bear. It was fun to watch the bears playing in the water!


We almost missed these guys until we saw them right next to the car. During the summer season there is a designated area where you can feed the deer! (just watch out for the very curious ostriches which are NOT supposed to be fed)


After we ended our first drive thru experience, we headed over to the Safari Village for some lunch at their cafe. We ALL enjoyed the burgers and fries!


Our most favorite part of our experience at Wildlife Safari, and the most memorable, were our ANIMAL ENCOUNTERS.

Due to the age requirements for some of the encounters, and the age of my children, we chose to do the Giraffe Encounter & the Elephant Encounter.

We loaded up into the truck with a few other people, and headed out to the giraffes.


The giraffe came right up, ready to eat! Our guide was great, and told us all about the giraffes, answered questions, and gave us lots of time with this sweet creature.


At the end of the day, this was my kids favorite encounter. The encounters make the whole Wildlife Safari complete. Definitely worth the money if you are on the fence about it. We will make sure to do an encounter every time we visit!



Our next encounter was the Elephant Encounter

We were lucky enough to be the ONLY people on this encounter for the day, so we got to spend a lot of time with their wonderful elephant. We got to feed her the entire bucket of food and pet her as many times as we wanted. She could nod yes and shake her head no, and do a quick wave ‘hello’ with her leg.


Wildlife Safari is one of only two AZA Accredited facilities with hands-on elephant experiences in the country. When Wildlife Safari began, it’s goal was to create a facility to help save rare and endangered species from around the world, and it has done JUST THAT!


After our Animal Encounters, we spent time at the Safari Village visiting their other exhibits.

If you’re in need of a stroller, they offer these for FREE! (can you tell that she is completely worn out?)


The Petting Zoo area



This is another one of my favorite exhibits at Wildlife Safari, their “Walkabout’.


Inside their Walkabout area, they have a huge bird cage filled with Parakeets. It’s free to enter, but for $1 you can feed the birds!


For tickets and more information about Wildlife Safari, you can check out their website HERE. You can also find them on Facebook & Instagram for up-to-date events.

They are offering Discount Admission tickets, and also family memberships for $99!



We hope you LOVE Wildlife Safari as much as we do. We look forward to visiting again and trying out different animal encounters!


  1. Thank you for this wonderful blog. I am a retired nurse and my husband and I are docents at the park. I wish that all children were treated as the animals are, The staff are incredible and it is their life; not just a job. We get to support the staff so they can care for the animals. Thank you so much. It is quite the little treasure in Winston with only one stoplight and a statue of one of our first cheetahs., Would love to meet you when you are back. Please feel free to ask for us. We live close to the park and would love to show you around again.

    • One thing that I really took away from our experience was how much these animals are loved by the staff! During our encounters with the Giraffe and the Elephants, I was impressed with the knowledge that each staff member knew not only about animals in general, but each individual Giraffe and Elephant. How fun for you to live so close to Wildlife Safari and to be a part of it! We would love to talk to you the next time we come (which I hope to be soon!)

  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed our park! I work in the gift shop, worked in the cafe for awhile, and I enjoy coming to work everyday: not only because of the animals but because of the wonderful people who work here:) I’m actually writing this during my lunch break at work haha this article made my day:) I hope to see you again sometime soon! Btw, what kind of camera do you use to take such lovely pictures?

    • How fun that you get to work at Wildlife Safari! So amazing to be able to work so closely with such amazing animals 🙂 I use a Canon 5D for my pictures. Glad you liked them. I’m sure we will be back soon!

  3. Like Jan Gray, I too am a retired nurse and a Docent (actually the Docent President starting my seventh year as such) and could not have found anything in the world better to do in my retirement. The experiences I have had with the various animals is unbelievable, like babysitting (in their enclosure) our youngest Cheetah, Pancake and her puppy, Dayo. And our now 3 year old ambassadors, Kyham and Mchumba before that. Our animals are healthier and better cared for than many children. (so sad to say that about children, but it is true). Our staff is fantastic, dedicated and for them our animals come first.
    Your blog is wonderful and inspiring especially coming from first time visitors. I hope many people read it and are encouraged to come for a visit.

    • I couldn’t think of a better place to spend retirement either! How fun for you to be so close to the animals on a regular basis. We absolutely LOVED visiting, and could tell from the staff how much they adored and cared for every animal at the park. We can’t wait to visit again!

  4. What a nice story about your trip to Wildlife Safari. My daughter a zoology major and soon to be a zookeeper will be on her way next month to do a 3 month internship at wildlife safari working with the Cheetahs. She is really excited and makes me feel good that all the people she will be working with are passionate about the animals like she is. Sounds like a great place to teach and educate my daughter on not just zoo keeping but the conservation of all of these wonderful creatures. I looked forward to visiting while she is there.

    • How lucky for your daughter to do her internship at Wildlife Safari! Must be a dream for a zoology major. I’m sure she is going to absolutely love it, especially after speaking to so many of the staff and their love of all the animals there.