Impalas and emus and warthogs, oh my! These are just some of the animals roaming the giant pastures of Texas Zoofari Park in Kaufman, Texas. This drive-through safari park experience lets you get up close and personal with wildlife (and not-so-wild life, hello llamas!) from the comfort of your car. We visited with family and had a great time. Here’s everything you need to know before you go!
What is Texas Zoofari Park?
Texas Zoofari Park, located in Kaufman, Texas, is a drive-through safari park. It’s situated on nearly nine hundred acres and has hundreds of animals, many of which are highly endangered (like white rhinos and the Père David’s deer). Along with the wild animals you’ll find lots and lots of llamas – these sweet domesticated critters are just as fun to visit with as the wild ones. You can purchase animal feed to feed the animals along the drive, as well as the giraffes and budgies that you’ll encounter at the end of the drive.
How long does it take to drive through Texas Zoofari Park?
The road through the park is about six miles long. It takes about an hour to drive through. This is dependent on crowds, how long your food lasts (more on that below), and how much time you spend visiting with the animals. The property is split into several different sections (front, middle, back). We had the option to bypass the back safari. We of course didn’t, but if you have little kids and have run out of animal feed or need to get to the bathroom, this will shorten your trip a bit.
You can’t get out of your car during the drive, and there are no restrooms along the way. So be sure to use the bathrooms at the beginning of the drive.
Feeding the animals at Texas Zoofari
You can purchase food to feed the animals (you can do this in advance, when you buy your tickets online, or at the gate). There are four types of feed you can buy: wild animal feed, budgie feed, petting zoo feed, and giraffe feed. You must buy the wild animal feed before you enter the park, but you can buy giraffe feed (lettuce), budgie feed, and goat feed at the gift shop – which is where you’ll find those animals.
Feed is inexpensive. It was $5/bucket for the drive-through safari. Budgie sticks were $2/each, petting zoo feed $5, and giraffe feed $5/cup.
We purchased two buckets of feed for the drive. We had four people in the car. Next time I would purchase three buckets.
If there are lots of animals looking for food, you’ll go throough feed quickly. If the animals aren’t hunngry or you’re there on a crowded day, you might not need as much.
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When is the best time to visit Texas Zoofari Park?
Over the years we have visited several parks like this, and I always recommend visiting on a weekday to avoid crowds and have a better animal experience. I have also visited on rainy days, and I find these days the best (lightly raining! not pouring or tornado/hail weather). The animals aren’t really bothered by light rain but people are, so you won’t have as many crowds. So don’t let a light rain keep you away.
I have also visited these parks on very crowded weekend days. It’s still fun! But the animals have already been fed and aren’t as interested in what you’ve got going on.
Can you feed giraffes at Texas Zoofari?
Yep! You can feed giraffes. They are not on the drive-through, so they won’t be sticking their heads through your sunroof, but you’ll find them in their own enclosure at the end of the drive. You can feed them lettuce you’ll purchase in the gift shop. (side note: did you know that the wild giraffe population as declined by 40% since 1999 due to development in their natural habitats?).
Feeding the Budgies
OK – this was SO FUN. The Budgie (parakeet) encounter lets you get up close and personal with hundreds of budgies. At one point I had ten of them climbing all over me. If you don’t like birds, you probably won’t like this. If you do like birds, this is super fun. The Budgie sticks are $2/each (we started with two but had so much fun we bought more) and the birds will come and land on you to eat from the Budgie sticks.
We found that the birds will also land on you to chew on your hair/clothes/phone/whetever else you have! Some of them do bite, but we got a kick out of it. I didn’d mind being in the middle of a parakeet fight or having my earrings chewed on, but I can see how some people might not love it. It was a dream come true for me and Claire, though!
Texas Zoofari Park or Fossil Rim?
I have blogged about Fossil Rim a LOT. Fossil Rim is a drive-through safari park in Glen Rose, Texas, that we’ve been visiting for years. We love visiting. You can visit Fossil Rim and then go to Dinosaur Valley State Park, making it a full day trip. We often take family from out-of-town to Fossil Rim.
There are a few things Fossil Rim has that Texas Zoofari Park doesn’t (cheetahs, more wildlife, giraffes on the drive, and some stunning views from the hilltop gift shop you will encounter halfway through the drive). You also have more to do around Fossil Rim (lots of dinosaur activities in Glen Rose!).
But with that said, it’s almost two hours away. Texas Zoofari Park is much closer to us. Aside from the giraffes sticking their heads in our sunroof at Fossil Rim (which is never a guarantee!), I didn’t feel like we were missing anything at the Zoofari Park.
I liked that we could buy extra food at the Zoofari Park (at Fossil Rim, you get one bag of food for the whole car). I loved the budgie experience. And while they’re not wild and I’ve seen plenty of llamas, I loved all the llamas on the drive through Texas Zoofari.
All that to say, you can’t go wrong either way. Next time we have visitors, I will take them to Texas Zoofari instead of driving all the way to Fossil Rim and I know they will have just as great an experience!
You can learn more and buy tickets to Texas Zoofari Park here.
And speaking of llamas – if you’re in North or East Texas, you can have a full llama experience at Shangri Llama in Royce City, Texas!
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