One of the most popular attractions in South Florida, Lion Country Safari opened in 1967, in rural Palm Beach County just west of West Palm Beach. At the time it was the first drive through safari park in the United States and introduced a new concept to animal lovers, "The Cageless Zoo."
Lion Country Safari was originally developed by a group of South African and British entrepreneurs who wanted to bring the experience of an African game park, then and now an expensive and time-consuming trip, to families who would otherwise not be able to experience an African safari. South Florida and Western Palm Beach County proved to be an ideal location for the park due to its year-round outdoor climate, plentiful land, a growing population and tourists who visit from all over the world.
Today, Lion Country Safari is home to over 1000 animals in the drive-through preserve and there is no need to hurry while you enjoy the countless lions, white rhinos, zebras, ostriches, chimps, African elephants, giraffe and more wild animals. Feeding time is around 10:30 am and a visit during this period may bring you to within arms length of these incredible creatures.
Safari World, the walk-through area of the park, has been developed and improved since the park opened. The restaurant and gift shops were among the earlier additions. The petting zoo, merry-go-round, boat rides, aviaries, bird, reptile, alligator, and squirrel monkey exhibits, added over the years, have greatly enhanced the visitors' experience at the park. The KOA Campground was opened in the 1980's to provide overnight accommodation for visitors.
Lion Country Safari encompasses over 1000 animals, 5 miles of drive-though preserve, over 200 campsites, 6 stores, 2 food outlets, a water plant, a sewer plant, a veterinary hospital, an animal demonstration theater, a summer day camp, gas station, and 120 employees who work to care for animals, maintain, and operate the facility.
The carefully reproduced sections of the Lion Country Safari tour are Las Pampas (the Grasslands), Ruaha National Park (African wilderness), Kalahari Bushveldt (Southwest Africa), Gir Forest (a national park in India, The Gorongosa (Northern Mozambique), Serengeti Plains (East Africa) and Hwange National Park (Western Zimbabwe).
Between 1967 and 1974, Lion Country Safari, Inc. opened 6 animal parks, one near each of the following American cities: West Palm Beach, Florida; Los Angeles, California; Dallas, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Richmond, Virginia.