Things to Do in Springfield - Wild Animal Safari - StraffordTM

Wild Animal Safari™, the Nation’s Best Drive-Thru Animal Parks, is your destination for family fun. The Wild Animal Safari - Strafford™ theme park, celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2021, allows family generations to get closer to nature and enjoy a unique animal safari adventure. The 350-acre animal safari park is the ideal place to meet incredible and unique animal species while spending quality time with family and friends …generating fond memories that will last a lifetime. The park is packed with scenic views, dozens of animal species, and fantastic, knowledgeable Zookeepers. Thrilling experiences are waiting for you at Wild Animal Safari – Strafford™, the largest wild animal safari park in Missouri.
There are two main attractions in experiencing the Wild Animal Safari -Strafford™ theme park. The Drive-Thru Safari and Walkabout Adventure Zoo™ attractions allow you to meet and feed many wild animals up close and personal. The animals are sociable, and you may be slobbered on if you are too close.

Drive-Thru Safari Using Your Vehicle

Meet hundreds of animals from the comfort of your own vehicle. The Drive-Thru Safari adventure is a 5-mile ride that allows you to come face-to-face with more than 65 species of animals on a 350-acre nature park, including elk, water buffalo, and wildebeest running free. Tigers, hyenas, and zebras, and hundreds of other wild animals in their natural habitat are just a few of the animals that you’ll see on your wild animal safari! This is truly a fun family experience for visitors of all ages.
The Drive-Thru Safari lets you tour the park at your own pace. Being so close to the animals brings out the inner child in all of us, setting the stage for a memorable experience full of laughter and fun for all ages.

  • Drive-Thru Safari at your own pace
  • Arrive early to give yourself time to explore the entire park
  • Driving your own vehicle does include some risk; animals do get close to your vehicle
  • Wild Animal Safari - Strafford™ is not responsible for any damage to vehicles
  • You may feed animals, but only from park purchased feed (animal diets are especially important. We don’t want them to have anything that might harm them)
  • Up close with the animals
  • Slobbered if you’re too close?

Drive-Thru Safari Vehicle Rental

Don’t feel like driving your own vehicle through the park? Our Safari Vehicle Rentals has you covered. Drive one of our Safari Vehicles through the Drive-Thru Safari park for one hour.

  • Safari SUV holds 5-6 Passengers

Please note that anyone who wishes to drive one of our Safari Rental Vehicles must be at least 21 years of age and be a licensed driver. They must also have a valid insurance card at the time of rental.

Drive-Thru Safari Bus With Tour Guide

Your admission includes a complimentary safari bus with a tour guide. Hop aboard one of our guided tours and learn about the animals who make their homes in our park. If you have a party of at least 20 people, we highly recommend booking a private tour bus in advance.

  • Bus tours are first-come-first-serve
  • The bus tour lasts for about an hour.
  • Tour buses have an experienced Safari Tour Guide giving all riders a fun-filled behind the scenes experience
  • Please note that bus tours do not operate year-round.
  • Please check the calendar for tour bus operating schedules. The calendar will allow you to plan a bus trip.
  • There are fewer animal feeding experiences on a tour bus, balanced by the educational guide guests who drive their own cars do not experience.
  • Tour buses are at full capacity

Walkabout Adventure Zoo™

General Admission to the Wild Animal Safari - Strafford™ park includes admission to the Drive-Thru Safari and the Walkabout Adventure Zoo™. The Walkabout Adventure Zoo™ allows you to meet the animals in a zoo-like setting. Stretch your legs and make friends with our resident Bengal tigers, African lions, peacocks, exotic birds, lemurs, monkeys, and much more. Admission to the Walkabout Adventure Zoo™ includes access to:

  • Acres of Exhibits: The on-foot safari allows let you to meet up to 150 different species of animals. The animals you meet may surprise you.
  • Front Mall: The front mall is home to the gift shop, ticketing, restrooms, coin-operated kiddie rides, and the Safari Restaurant.
  • Animal Barn: The barn lets you meet more animals up close, which includes a variety of reptiles. Here is where you can learn more about the many animals that inhabit our world.
  • All General Admission tickets to the park includes the Walkabout Adventure Zoo™
  • Self-guided, take at your own pace
  • Possible interactions with Wild Animal Safari - Strafford™ Zookeepers
  • Petting zoo area
  • You may feed animals, but only from park purchased feed
  • Up close with the animals, slobbered if you’re too close?

Animal Encounters

The Wild Animal Safari - Strafford™ conservation team and education staff can’t wait to meet you. The Zookeepers on the education team hold private wild animal encounters as an additional paid attraction. Animal Encounters are exclusive experiences that allow you to interact with some of the park’s most popular animals and ask questions from our Zookeepers. These exclusive Animal Encounters should be booked in advance to ensure space is available. Check the website for the schedule of available Animal Encounters, which may be restricted to weekends and the summer months Sunday thru Friday. Dates and times are subject to availability and vary by season. The park will work to accommodate special advance requests.

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Wild Animal Safari – Strafford™ has a full indoor airconditioned restaurant serving the highest quality foods, including 100% Sirloin Hamburgers, Chicken Tenderloins, 100% Beef Hebrew National™ Hot Dogs, Nacho Platters, Grilled Chicken Sandwiches, succulent Buffalo Wings, Fresh-made Pizza with par-baked crust, and Fresh made Salads. We serve Coca Cola™ products, giant New York Style Pretzels, Churros, ice cream, and much more. The Cafe is open from May through August


The Safari Gift & Souvenirs shop is a wonderful adventure for all ages. There are unique and reasonably priced gifts & souvenirs that appeal to kids, teens, adults, and grandparents. Seek and find all kinds of stuffed plush animals, hoodies, hats, binoculars, toys, t-shirts, jewelry, games, walking sticks, and hard-to-find souvenir “glassware” that does not break.