Lion Country Safari a drive-through unlike any other in Florida

There's one animal attraction in Florida unlike the others, and that's because you drive through it. Lion Country Safari in west Palm Beach County invites visitors to roll through a Safari from the comfort of your air conditioned car listening to a CD that narrates your self-guided tour through compounds that house all sorts of African animals.

Yes, there's lions. And also rhinos, giraffes, chimpanzees, zebras and more. There are more than 900 animals at the park. And it's not just the drive-through. Once you finish your vehicle tour, which you can take as many times as time allows, you can park and head into the part of the park that only allows for two-legged exploration.

Here you'll find a small water park with splash pad and slides, some small rides including a Ferris wheel and carousel, but several animal encounters including a petting zoo and giraffe-feeding experience. There's also mini golf, paddle boats and lots of smaller animal encounters in a walk-through safari.

The highlight though is the drive-through as the animals are free to cross the road and even peer into your windows. The giraffes are particularly curious, but be sure to leave your sunroof closed. Trust me. The drive takes about 90 minutes, so be sure to use the bathroom before taking the drive as you're at the mercy of the cars in front of you, although there a few select shortcuts if you have to make an escape.

The park opened in 1967 and draws thousands of visitors each year. The best time to see the animals is in the morning, with first drive-throughs beginning at 9:30 and lasting until 4:30. It's actually a good option for a Florida rainy day as the animals tend to like the cooler weather and become more active.

Lion Country Safari

2003 Lion Country Safari Road, Loxahatchee

561-793-1084

LionCountrySafari.com

MORE ANIMAL ATTRACTIONS

•Butterfly World

Three acres of butterfly aviaries, botanical gardens, a butterfly farm and a research center.

3600 West Sample Road, Coconut Creek

954-977-4434

ButterflyWorld.com

•Miami Seaquarium

This 38-acre park aims to blend education, conservation and entertainment into a fun experience for all ages.

4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne

305-361-5705

MiamiSeaquarium.com

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