Issue 27Travel

Visit the Sonoma Serengeti

By Noel Daniel

Take a walk on the wild side, and be transported into an exotic new world. This is one experience that’s a world class destination and resort, all in one.

Nestled on 400 acres in the heart of California’s wine country, Safari West is home to over 900 exotic mammals and birds and approximately 90 species. Guests are permitted to explore the Sonoma Serengeti on an African wildlife safari alongside romping herds of exotic wildlife or relax in a luxury safari tent under the gaze of a graceful giraffe.

Walk through the gate and find yourself in an exotic, new world. A captivating tapestry of raw sounds and earthy smells; a magic place with the sights and sounds of the Serengeti where “the air is filled with melodious chirps from the aviary, squawking calls from gregarious parrots, and an occasional lemur screech.” It’s an African style oasis where guests can experience something they may never be able to otherwise.

The entire reason you might be able to finally see these animals is because Safari West is, first and foremost, a wildlife preserve with several ongoing projects such as the propagation of endangered species. In fact, Safari West is the home of zebras, giraffes, cheetahs and many more exotic creatures. Not only that, but under the directorship of Nancy Lang, Safari West is breeding several endangered bird species as well.

That’s why Safari West offers safaris year-round. If your only experience with a zebra or giraffe has been at a zoo, they think you should see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat. And sharing a campsite with them? That’s even better.

If camping’s not your thing, don’t worry. This is glamping—also known as “glamor camping.” Their luxury safari tents have hardwood floors, handmade wooden furnishings, plush beds with electric blankets for cool evenings, and full baths. They feel more like bed and breakfast rooms than camping tents!

These luxury tents are imported from Africa and are built on high wooden platforms with spacious decks. Pale green canvas walls enclose plush beds, hot showers, and rustic but elegant trappings. There are polished wood floors, gleaming copper basins in the private bathrooms and one-of-a kind hand hewn furniture. Rates are based on double occupancy, are seasonal, and range from $260 to $425 depending on season, tent configuration and location. Each additional guest is $25 plus tax. A continental breakfast is included.

And don’t forget—Safari West is a wildlife preserve! You will be surrounded by conditions very close to a natural habitat in Africa. You will likely hear noises from the animals as they eat, socialize, and go about their daily and nightly activities. There may be noises from particularly vocal animals at night, like the flamingos or the Sarus crane. These are all a part of the unique experience of the wildlife preserve—enjoy the soothing break from a city’s lullaby.

For more information, visit and book the adventure of a lifetime.

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