What started as a relief work-project during the Great Depression in the 1930s has evolved over the decades into a bona fide food destination known as Kitchener’s Belmont Village.
Beyond traditional travel pictures and souvenirs, it’s the memories of incredible experiences that leave a lasting impression on any traveller.
Destination Ontario has created the Ontario Signature Experiences program, which features exactly these types of memory making adventures; those once in a lifetime experiences that are on every traveller’s bucket list. African Lion Safari (ALS), Canada’s original safari adventure, has received the Ontario Signature Experience designation for its “Wake Up the Wild” program, which provides visitors with a unique, behind-the-scenes opportunity that is certainly world class.
Each year thousands of visitors enter the gates at African Lion Safari, to see, hear, touch and learn about the more than 100 different species of animals that roam throughout their reserves. Now, visitors can interact with the animals in a completely new way with the “Wake Up the Wild” adventure.
“Wake Up The Wild originated from an overwhelming demand from guests to have an experience which allowed them to get even closer to the animals, “ says Trish Gerth, Assistant General Manager at African Lion Safari. “Wake Up The Wild guests get unrivalled access to the animals, short of a trip to Africa. This experience is not available anywhere else in Canada!”
This unique safari adventure takes place before the gates at African Lion Safari open for the day. Participants head out on an early morning, behind the scenes tour to see the animals as they begin their day. The pride of lions at ALS are at their most active in the early morning, and participants can watch as the lions walk and run through their reserve, and even as they devour their breakfast.
Participants travel in an open air truck, which allows them to come within a metre of zebras, ostriches and endangered rhinos. There’s an opportunity to hand feed the herd of giraffes at ALS – the largest giraffe herd in Canada. Participants can even take a selfie with these beautiful, gentle giants!
Each Wake Up the Wild tour is accompanied by one of ALS’s Game Wardens, who further enhance the experience by providing information on the animals, the programs at ALS, and by answering any questions.
“This exclusive experience speaks to the heart of African Lion Safari’s conservation message that we all need to do more to help conserve the world’s wildlife and wild places,” Gerth says. ”Creating an opportunity to engage visitors with the animals in our care has allowed them to gain a greater appreciation of these majestic creatures, understand challenges their counterparts face in the wild, and to learn more about the park’s conservation efforts.”
After the tour, participants are welcome to spend the rest of their day exploring African Lion Safari.
Get ready to “Wake Up the Wild” with this Ontario Signature Experience at African Lion Safari!