Back to articles An awesome day of animals and adventure at Safari Niagara

Categories: Family Fun

I have to admit, I had never even heard of Safari Niagara until this spring. But it sounded fun and since my kids love animals I jumped at the chance to write a review about it for ParentSource.

The 150 acre park is located in Stevensville, Ontario just 10 minutes from Niagara Falls and is chockful of incredible animals, natural beauty, artistic sculptures, and amazing activities for the whole family. I was impressed that the admission price for the day included almost all of the extra activities like the tram ride, the ropes course, the paddle boats and more. (this all-inclusive pricing lasts only Labour Day at which time daily admission rates go down in price as not all activities will be available.)


Gator Express Tram

The colourful Gator Express tram offers easy access to any of the sections of the park. It runs constantly all day so you grab a ride with it at any stop and take it to any other stop throughout the park. There's an informative recording running that tells you about the animals and exhibits as you pass them by.

The tram is wheelchair accessible and equipped with a ramp. Strollers and wagons are also welcome on board.

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Southeast African White Lions

Safari Niagara has quite the extensive cat section in the park: from bobcat to serval to cougar to snow leopard to jaguar and more. Their most recent feline additions are four gorgeous Southeast African white lions (2 males and 2 females all under 1 year old.)

White Lions are not albino lions. Instead, the white colour is caused by a recessive gene known as a colour inhibitor. They vary from blonde to near white and are described as being leucistic (reduced pigmentation). It is a rare genetic anomaly, blue-eyed and amber-eyed lions that are genuinely white.

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Paddle boats

Safari Niagara offers FREE use of their paddle boats during your visit to the park. The boats are a nice way to spend some time on the water and are suitable for all ages. Just keep in mind that the boats stop running one hour before the park closes every day.

There is also FREE catch and release fishing on the pond.


Feeding the Giraffes

I would have to say that the highlight of our visit to Safari Niagara for my daughter was feeding the giraffes. She waited ever so patiently for one of these graceful creatures to come up to her and nibble some feed out of her hand. It was definitely worth the wait just to see the huge smile on her face (as well as the adorable expression on the giraffe's face). What a thrill! My daughter bought a giraffe necklace at the gift shop as a souvenier of this special memory!

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New Exhibit: White Rhinos

Safari Niagara welcomed two captive born Southern White Rhinoceros to their home this June. The two male white rhinos, both 9 years old, named Haus and Toy arrived from a zoological facility in Southern Florida, and are now enjoying their newly constructed enclosure at Safari Niagara.


"Given the plummeting numbers of all rhino species in the wild we are committed to protecting this much admired species." said General Manager, Tim Tykolis.

The major threat facing White Rhinoceros is poaching for their horns. Only about 11,000 white rhinos survive in the wild today.

Both black and white rhinos are actually grey. They are different not in colour, but in lip shape. The White Rhino has a squared lip, while its black relative has a pointed upper lip.

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Bird Life

We all loved the bright, colourful exotic birds. My son especially enjoyed them since he was able to engage in conversation with one macaw in particular. He thought he would just say "hi" to one of the birds to see what would happen and was totally surprised when, after a slight delay, the bird squawked "HELLO" right back to him!

We were, however, extremely disappointed to miss out on the Walk Through Budgie Exhibit. We had all been looking forward to buying seed sticks and feeding the budgies in the newly built aviary (with over 500 budgies flying freely around you). Unfortunately, we didn't realize that this exhibit closes at 4pm (the park was open until 6pm) and we had left it as our last activity of the day since it is close to the exit. I guess that's a good reason to make another visit next year.

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Metal sculputures

Safari Niagara has done an amazing job of beautifully landscaping their park and we really enjoyed the unique inclusion of all the metal sculptures you see throughout the park.

This interesting collection of steel art was created on-site and is currently on permanent loan by Niagara artist Rod Dowling. It is the largest art exhibit of its kind (by one artist) in the country and features an array of pieces from 50-foot high stainless steel sculptures to functional, painted steel benches. Mr. Dowling, who worked on his craft almost daily until his retirement at age 80 in 2008, used recycled pieces of steel found at various locations in Niagara to create the one-of-a-kind sculptures.


Splash Pad

We didn't quite make it to the splash pad on the day that we took the kids to Safari Niagara... we ran out of time and it wasn't a searing hot day. But it did look like tons of fun and a great way for the kids to cool down. You can watch a quick YouTube video of it here.

This watery playground is fully accessible and includes interactive misters and sprayers, squirting teeter-totters, motorcycles, dolphins and tipping fish.

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SkyQuest Ropes Course

My kids are both very active and adventurous so they were ecstatic when they saw that Safari Niagara had a ropes course. I was ecstatic that there was no extra charge to do the course! That said, there was a bit of a line-up and I would say we probably had to wait close to half an hour before the kids got to climb. But, it was worth the wait and they had a blast being dare devils and climbing all over the place.

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SkyQuest is a is a multi-level adventure course, 30 feet in the air. Don't worry, though, the kids are safe and secure wearing harnesses. There's also a smaller course, SkyTykes for little guys, so they don't have to miss out on all the fun!

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Zooniversity Show

Class is in at Safari Niagara Zooniversity, an interactive, educational presentation featuring domesticated and exotic animals. You'll definitely learn something new here! Admission is free with paid day admission or your season membership.

Presentations are daily at 11:30 a.m and 4:00 p.m until Labour Day.

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All in all, we had a fabulous day at Safari Niagara. The setting was gorgeous, the animals were incredible and the activities were abundant (I haven't even had the chance to mention the children's play area, the reptile presentation, the petting farm, the Wonders of Flight show or the kite flying... so much to do, so little time!)

Safari Niagara is open daily 9am to 6pm until Labour Day
and then from September 3 - October 14 hours are 10am?4pm.

For more information, please visit their website at

For a chance to win a family pass to Safari Niagara, click here to enter.