Saturday, August 13, 2011

San Diego Zoo Safari Moonlight Safari: Last Chance

Last month I had the opportunity to experience the San Diego Zoo Safari Park's Moonlight Safari. I wanted to write about it right away, but then it was Con and there were shows and Vegas and well, it was literally one full moon cycle ago. This weekend is a full moon, so once again, the zoo is offering their Moonlight Safari packages. You choose the safari: The Rolling Safari (on a Segway), The Caravan Safari, or the Flightline Safari. The activities take place as the park is closing and after each caravan, the three groups meet up for a banquet dinner in the park after it's closed.

Like I said, I did my Moonlight Safari back in July. While I think I probably should've done the Caravan or Rolling Tour for reporting/photo purposes, I just really wanted to do the Flightline. I'm not generally afraid of heights, but I wondered if there would be some anxiety before the adventure. Then I remembered crossing the Capilano Bridge in Vancouver and this was no sweat. Not to mention, every step of the way you feel completely safe. The adventure starts with a check in and quick lesson on getting the harness on. From there, you walk to the practice Flightline. Don't let it fool you...this is the Flightline visible as you walk the park, and it's short and is just for a quick lesson on how to ride and direct and stop at the end. The ACTUAL Flightline is for the most part out of site from most areas of the park. One of the guys running the Flightline, along with being super friendly, looked a lot like super-sexy Dave Salmoni, so I was very much at ease.

One of the side benefits of the Flightline Safari is that you get to drive up into a closed off area of the park. The Safari Park has 1800 acres, but much of the acreage is set aside for conservation and propagation of sagebrush, so it "will never be developed". The actual part of the park open to the public is just a fraction of the land the Zoological Society owns. When you get to the platform, the view is breathtaking. The platform stands three stories high and the ride itself is spectacular. You can upgrade your helmet with a camera, but really, the view is stunning as you soar over gazelle and rhinos that it's just worth looking around and taking in the solace of the quiet.

After our ride, we had a bountiful buffet of lasagna, chicken, salad, and delicious cupcakes for dessert. The family we sat with for dinner were great and we enjoyed having dinner with them as the park turned dark and we finally called it a night around 9pm. I highly recommend the Flightline, especially splurging on the final Moonlight Safari of the summer.

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