Have you ever dreamed of going on a wild African Safari? Hell Yeah!
Oxford Dictionary defines a Safari as “an expedition to observe or hunt animals in their natural habitat, especially in East Africa.”
Growing up reading Zoo Books has inspired many to follow in the footsteps Hemingway or President Roosevelt and fulfill their dream of going on safari. Who wouldn’t want to take such an epic adventure? What prevents people from doing so? Well, usually it is the cost and time to travel to Africa that seems to throw the proverbial monkey wrench in people’s dream to explore such venues. But what if you could take a day trip and spend less than $40? Well that is exactly what we did!
Part of my bucket list is #200) Know my home State of Louisiana. I added this item to my bucket list because often people dream of worlds far away but ignore great adventures in their own back yard. Being born and raised in Louisiana, I figured that I had seen and done most of the major attractions in my home state. But after much research, I learned that I wasn’t even close. Therefore, I took it upon myself to find some of the greatest secrets hiding in my own back yard. This search led to the discovery of a real life safari in my home state of Louisana at the Global Wildlife Center Safari!
Thus #200) Know my home State of Louisiana: P) Go on Safari at the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom
The Global Wildlife Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation that was established in 1991. Located in Folsom, Louisiana about 1.5 hours from New Orleans, it is a 900 acre preserve with over 4,000 animals free roaming on premises. They currently house giraffes, camels, watusi, mesopotamian deer, antelopes, zebras, rheas, mules, alpacas, kangaroos, and something called a Beefalo among many other animals. The property is beautiful to say the least and is a great adventure for the whole family.
When you arrive, you immediately enter the visitor center/gift shop and obtain your tickets. Tickets start at $17 for adults and $11 for children under the age of 11. Tour sign ups are usually completed on the hour and within 10 to 15 minutes you are loaded up on safari wagons that are pulled by slow moving tractors. It is an excellent tour run by local young adults who provide a vast knowledge of the animals, their environments, and a bit of fun humor along the way. For our experience, the safari ride itself lasted about 1.5 hours which felt like a great return on our investment.I want to Go on Safari at the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, Louisiana! #GlobalWildlifeCenter Click To Tweet
The tour is definitely educational but it is also part petting zoo, as you have the option to obtain a large souvenir cup of food pellets for about $2 or even a family size bucket for $30 to feed the animals as they roam up to the wagons. This was as much fun for the kids as it is for the adults. To feel the horns of the monstrous watusi or to pet the many deer, you must be on guard as they hustle you for your pails of food.
If you feel like splurging, there is also the opportunity to take a tour in a Private Pinzgauer. Named after an Austrian breed of horse, these former military utility vehicles can accommodate up to eight guests, and this 4×4 can go places our safari wagons could not! These private tours are priced around $35 per person for at least an hour.
Whether you take the Private Pinz tour or you jump on the safari wagon, make sure you bring plenty of water cause it gets hot out there. They are very accommodating and have no objections, I recommend you bring your own personal water bottles to combat the safari heat!
So as you can see, adventure can be found everywhere! Through research online, I have discovered that many places across the U.S. offer similar wildlife experiences. Don’t let the distance of Africa deter you from a once in a lifetime Safari adventure that may actually be available in your own backyard.