I have always thought it would be amazing to go on an African Safari. But I know realistically it will most likely never happen. The cost is just simply to high especially with a family of six. Airfare, hotels, passports, and more. The cost would simply be astronomical. Then I discovered that I could go on a safari without ever leaving Ohio. And when I experienced The Wilds I truly did find it hard to believe that I wasn’t on the other side of the world.
But I was in fact in Cumberland, Ohio visiting North America’s largest conservation facility on more than 9,000 acres. Even harder to believe – this beautiful land had once been devoted to strip mining.
Our experience began by boarding an Open-Air Safari bus with extremely knowledgeable guides that escorted us through the open-range animal areas. We were so incredibly close to rhinos, giraffes, zebras, and many more animals. At one point camels were nibbling at the bus mirrors!
The tour also includes stops at Lake Trail and the Carnivore Center. During our visit the dhole (Asian wild dogs) were being fed which was a really awesome experience.
If the Open-Air Safari is a little too up close and personal for you there is also the Safari Transport Pass which takes guests through all of the same areas except in a tour bus. This would be a great option for families with young children who might be easily frightened by the large animals. Both the Open-Air Safari and Safari Transport Pass tours are 2+ hours long.
Or maybe you are a super adventurous person. If so the Zipline Safari where you can enjoy The Wilds from an aerial perspective might be right up your alley. Guests maneuver through 10 ziplines and a rappel built on a series of platforms overlooking many exotic animals. You’ll zip through the trees, over the watering holes, lakes, and pastures, finally landing amongst the giraffes. This is an outdoor experience you won’t find anywhere else.
But the fun doesn’t have to stop once the tour is over. Make sure to visit the Wilds Gift Market and Overlook Cafe or take a stroll through the Wilds’ Butterfly Habitat. Or you could even stay over night!
If you are looking for a romantic couples getaway look no further than Nomad Ridge. These are exclusive adult-only yurts for the most amazing glamping experience. Each yurt overlooks overlooks the Wilds’ animal pastures. There is a fire ring to relax around in the evening while taking in the gorgeous night sky. Since you will be miles and miles away from traffic and urban lights the night sky is simply breath taking. Each overnight stay includes a choice of either a Safari Transport Pass or Open-Air Safari for each guest as well as dinner and breakfast for two.
Looking to bring the family along? The Lodge is where you’ll want to be. This private luxury cabin is tucked away against one of the most scenic lakes on the property and is loaded with every amenity you can imagine. It sleeps twelve plus has a comfortable living and dining area. Just like Nomad Ridge this overnight package also includes a choice of Open-Air Safari or Transport Tour for up to twelve guests.
Are you ready to go on a safari without leaving Ohio or spending a small fortune? Then visit The Wilds website and make a reservation. I will guarantee this is an experience you will never forget.
I received a complimentary Open-Air Safari at The Wilds. All opinions expressed are my own.