Welcome – Safari West Accessibility Guide
We welcome guests of all ages and physical abilities to enjoy our beautiful surroundings and learn about our wonderful animals. It is our policy to assist all guests in making their time at Safari West more enjoyable.
This short guide addresses many questions about accessibility. If you have other needs or questions, please contact us at 1 (800) 616-2695 ext. 117. We do encourage you to call at least two weeks before your visit for the best possible assistance. Once on property, please feel free to discuss any special needs you have with our team.
Are your classic safaris accessible to guests with disabilities?
Driving Portion: Our classic safari vehicles are customized Dodge Power Wagons and are not ADA accessible and unfortunately are not equipped to handle wheelchairs or other mobility assisting devices. If a guest utilizing a wheelchair can safely transfer themselves unaided or with the assistance of a family member, friend, or personal assistant, the Classic Safari Tour remains a viable option. Please keep in mind that the Safari West team is ready to assist a guest, however, they are neither trained nor permitted to lift a guest. A guest needing such physical assistance should plan to visit Safari West with an attendant. If you have a wheelchair, it is safe to leave it at the boarding area. It will be brought to you either by your family member or friend or one of our staff upon return from the tour.
Walking Portion: The walking portion is approximately 30-45 minutes long. Areas covered by the walking portion of the tour are accessible by wheelchair. Some behind the scene areas such as dirt paths, may require minor assistance by a member of their party for those with limited mobility. Wheelchairs are also available free of charge.
Do you have any safari accessible to guests with disabilities?
Yes. Please keep in mind, we do our best to accommodate guests with variable disabilities. For those with limited mobility, we have a Modified Safari Vehicle available for our guests. This vehicle may be used by guests unable to transfer into our vintage Dodge Power Wagons. The vehicle accommodates four guests and one wheelchair or a power-driven mobility scooter primarily for use by individuals with mobility challenges. We do request that reservations for the modified safari vehicle be made at least two weeks prior to your visit. For more information or assistance regarding your visit, please contact our office or call 707-566-3620 as the guests’ experience is a high priority for all of us at Safari West.
Do you allow service animals?
Yes. We welcome guests with disabilities to bring their trained service animal as defined by the ADA. Please keep in mind that emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under the ADA. (If you have any questions, please refer to Service Animal Defined by Title 11 and Title 111 of the ADA.)
For our guests requiring the use of a service animal please be aware that Safari West is a wildlife preserve covering 400 acres of rough terrain – it’s not a typical zoo or a drive-through park.
Due to the nature of the facility and the proximity to wild animals, a service animal’s presence could produce undue anxiety, stress, agitation, or possibly a direct threat to the safety of our animal collection. We do ask that you review our safety guidelines:
- Service animals are permitted to visit Safari West. However, service animals are restricted in all areas where our exotic collection is not separated from our guests by a physical barrier.
- Service animals may also be restricted in certain areas due to the sensitivity of our animal collection.
- If you are spending the night, your service animal is allowed in one of our tents. However, your service animal may not accompany you while on tour.
- If you are visiting for the day, while you are on tour, your service dog may stay with our staff in the office. We will provide water and a bowl, and it will be clean, safe, and comfortable.
- Service animals must be always under the direct control of the handler, preferably being held by a harness or leash no more than 6 feet in length.
- Service animals must be housebroken.
- Service animals may not display vicious or aggressive behavior toward other people or animals. This includes barking and/or growling. If your service animal is disruptive at any time, you will be asked to remove your service animal from the park.
Some background to help you better understand our guidelines; Safari West is a unique setting where live exotic wild animals roam freely. In fact, Safari West is home to more than 90 different species, including cheetah, giraffe, lemurs, cape buffalo, and zebra to name a few. Often giraffe, zebra, and one of the world’s most dangerous animals, the cape buffalo — will come right up to the vehicle. While Safari West’s tour guides are trained and maintain safe distances, once inside the preserve, no fences or other barriers are keeping these exotic animals away from our guests. Due to the nature of the facility and the proximity to wild animals, a service animal’s presence could constitute a direct threat to the safety of our animal collection.
We request that arrangements for an ASL Interpreter be made at least two weeks in advance of your visit. Should this not be possible, you are also welcomed to bring a certified ASL interpreter at no additional charge. Reasonable accommodations will be provided such as a complimentary safari for the signer for the hearing-impaired guest.
With advance notice, a 35-minute tactile tour may be provided for a guest who is visually impaired. A sighted companion will almost always accompany a visually impaired visitor. Should this not be the case, the guest will be accompanied by one of our guest service personnel.
Do you have tent cabins that are accessible?
Yes, we do. There are two accessible tent cabins with seating and rails in the showers and bathrooms, ramps to the deck and entryway, and both have an accessible parking space right outside the tent cabin. They are also the closest tents to our restaurant, offices, gift shop and lower park grounds.
Safari West offers free parking to our guests. Our parking lot has several accessible parking spaces for disabled persons supplying a valid disability-parking placard. Additional reserved parking spaces for placarded vehicles may also be available upon advance notice of arrival.
Thank you for your cooperation as we strive to provide you with a safe and positive experience for yourself, your service animal, and our animal collection.
For more information or assistance regarding your visit, please do contact our office or call 707-566-3620 as the guests’ experience is a high priority for all of us at Safari West.