10 Best Safaris in orlando

Orlando is a paradise for alligators and alligators, and the best way to get to know them is on safari. But that's not all, the city offers exciting experiences for nature lovers. Get to know the details.

Carla Yaquer

Carla Yaquer

9 min read

10 Best Safaris in orlando

alligator|©Shannon O'Shea Wildlife Photography

Get your adrenaline pumping with wildlife encounters, one of the best things to see and do in Orlando: it's safari adventures. From airboat rides that take you to the secret corners of the Everglades to the wonder of the Wild Florida Safari, where local and exotic wildlife unfolds in an extensive reserve, the experiences in the city will leave you speechless.

Embark on the Lion Country Safari and feel the majesty of the African savannah, where lions, giraffes and elephants roam in their natural habitat. Learn about the options that the city offers you with their prices, discount alternatives, advantages, disadvantages and everything you need to know to choose the activity that suits you.

1. Wild Florida Safari in Orlando

Rhinos on Safari|©DeBee1015
Rhinos on Safari|©DeBee1015

Florida presents several traditional safari options, and without a doubt the most comfortable of them all is the Wild Florida Drive Safari in Orlando. With almost 69 hectares of exotic and local wildlife that you can explore from the comfort of your car, how is this possible?

Your bet is a modern, self-guided tour, perfect for families, groups and friends. Immerse yourself in a fascinating tour of approximately 4 hours. Observe more than 150 species, from zebras and antelopes to lemurs and American bison. Traverse the savannah, Asian jungles and American plains, finally arriving in the Everglades. Explore Gator Park, exclusive home of alligators, and marvel at Florida's wildlife.

No need to pack for a full day, as you'll enjoy the experience without leaving your car. Want to take the experience up a notch? You can also opt to paint a picture with the giraffes or feed them from a special platform. At Wild Florida, adventure is at your fingertips, all you need is your vehicle and the desire to explore!

Interesting details

  • Price: from 30 € per person.
  • Duration: between 3.5 - 4 hours, approximately.
  • What you need to know: tickets are per person, not per car. The maximum speed inside Wild Florida is 10 km/hrs. The park is open from Monday to Saturday from 09:00 - 18:00 hours and the last vehicle can enter one hour before closing time.
  • What the tour may include: The entrance fee includes access to Gator Park. Entrance to Wild Florida in Orlando.
  • Pros: You can enjoy the wildlife at your own pace. In the park you also find a gift store and cafes. It is located approximately 45 minutes from Walt Disney World Resort.
  • Cons: As this is a self-guided tour, the information received about the animals is at your personal discretion. It is offered in English.

Wild Florida Driving Safari in Orlando

2. Airboat Safari in Orlando

Everglades Safari|©Gerhard Stix
Everglades Safari|©Gerhard Stix

Embark on an exciting adventure exploring the Central Florida Everglades with this safari, an experience that is undoubtedly one of the best airboat tours in Orlando.

With nearly 2,000 acres of marshes, swamps, mangroves and rivers. This protected area, free of houses or other constructions, allows you to enjoy the feeling of being in the middle of a natural paradise. The wildlife in the surrounding area is vast, full of wildlife such as crocodiles, alligators, deer, foxes, deer, zebras, migratory birds and many other tropical species.

From the forested coastline to the waters of the Everglades, immerse yourself in the natural beauty while enjoying an authentic barbecue, and even learn the secrets of the native Miami Indians. This unique experience will leave indelible memories and is common among families and friends, as well as corporate events and enthusiastic tourists.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 34 € per person.
  • Duration: from 30 - 60 minutes, approximately.
  • What you need to know: You can pencil this safari into your itinerary Monday through Saturday from 09:00 - 18:00 hours. Although they do not offer transportation service, they usually offer solutions on how to get to Everglades from Orlando, making your transfer easier.
  • What the tour may include: Expert guide service. Airboat ride. Life jacket. Ear protection. Airboat captain service. Entrance to the Everglades Reserve. Entrance to wildlife exhibits. Barbecue.
  • Pros: From the ride aboard the airboat the adventure conquers young and old. Afterwards, the exhibits and the proximity to the wildlife are the thrill of the safari.
  • Cons: Photographs are not included. The ride is quick. Available in English only.

Airboat ride in Orlando

3. Lion Country Safari

Lion Country Safari|©Kristen
Lion Country Safari|©Kristen

Lion Country Safari is a gem for families and nature lovers in Orlando. This destination combines two parks in one, giving you the opportunity to take your tour on foot or from the comfort of your vehicle.

The 4.5-mile driving safari takes you through 6 ,000 acres of terrain, where more than 900 animals roam free. The park is divided into 7 zones, from the Pampas to the Serengeti plains, each offering close encounters with unique species, including African lions in the Gorongosa Reserve.

Giraffes, zebras and rhinos will come within inches of your car, reminding you that you are the guest in this animal kingdom. Afterwards, explore on foot the Safari World, the area that will make you write down this visit among your things to do in Orlando with kids.

Here you can paint a picture with parrots, macaws and giraffes, feed some animals, live a contact experience with goats and even play with flamingos. In addition, the little ones can have fun with activities such as riding a train, taking a boat ride, riding an animal carousel, or sliding down slides for a fun day at this attraction included in some of Orlando's tourist passes.

Details of interest

  • Price: starting at $48 per person.
  • Duration: the ticket allows you to stay in the park for one day.
  • What you should know: you can use your ticket for the next 6 months from the date of purchase. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 09:30 am to 4:30 pm.
  • What the tour may include: entrance to the Lion Country Safari facilities. Access to the Safari World Walk. Mechanical attractions such as the animal carousel. Boat ride.
  • Pros: Lion Country Safari promises a complete experience, fusing the wonder of wildlife with interactive fun. Audio guide service is offered in English and Spanish. Picnic area available, you can bring your own snacks, as well as cafeterias and restaurants.
  • Cons: Some attractions such as giraffe feeding and goat contact experience are available for an additional fee.

Buy your Orlando Explorer Pass

4. Gatorland Ride

Gatorland|©Brian Marshall
Gatorland|©Brian Marshall

Immerse yourself in the fascinating experience of Gatorland, with a full-day admission that brings you face to face with thousands of alligators and crocodiles. This 44-acre theme park and nature preserve, with more than 70 years of history, is a gem included in the city's best tourist passes.

Explore the proclaimed**"Alligator Capital of the World**" and marvel at its crocodiles, snakes, capybaras, other exotics such as white caimans and some rescued and disabled lizards such as the jawless lizard. Gatorland rides are among the best tours in Orlando for their continuous innovation and respect for animals, especially reptiles.

With access to the free-flight aviary, petting zoo and alligator breeding swamp, the park offers an authentic connection to nature. But that's not the only thing, you can also zip-line over the alligators or go on alligator nights.

Don't miss the Gator Jumparoo show, where alligators jump spectacularly to retrieve food, or the exciting "Legends of the Swamp" show, where experts interact with live alligators, demonstrating their amazing survival skills.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 32 € per person.
  • Duration: 3 - 4 hours is the usual visiting time inside Gatorland.
  • What you should know: the place has a restaurant and cafeteria. The opening hours of the park are from Monday to Sunday from 10:00 - 17:00 hours.
  • What the tour may include: entrance to Gatorland for a full day. Ride on the park's train. Meet-A-Gator activity (meet the lizards). Zip line.
  • Pros: Gatorland fuses old Florida charm with exciting entertainment, promising a day full of excitement and discovery, to the point of being the only ones to have a Gatorpalooza, their annual alligator and alligator festival.
  • Cons: Some activities, such as the Gator Adventure (feeding the alligators) and the night tour, are available for an additional supplement.

Tickets for Gatorland in Orlando

5. Safari at Animal Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom|©Tom B.
Disney's Animal Kingdom|©Tom B.

Disney's Animal Kingdom offers a section dedicated to Avatar, Everest climbs, rafting along the park's river, and the biggest attraction is its Kilimanjaro Safaris, an unparalleled opportunity to connect with nature and discover the magic of animal life in this, one of Orlando's best theme parks.

This experience immerses you in the stunning Harambe Wildlife Reserve, home to more than 30 animal species. From rhinos to graceful flamingos, this 44-hectare site is home to an amazing variety of wildlife.

The tour is conducted in special vehicles with a capacity of up to 32 people, which will be driven by an expert guide. During the approximately 20-minute expedition, you will explore the reserve while the guide shares fascinating facts about this area dedicated to African wildlife.

Details of interest

  • Price: included in the entrance fee to Animal Kingdom Park.
  • Duration: the safari lasts approximately 18 - 20 minutes.
  • What you need to know: The park's safari schedule is from Monday to Sunday between 08:00 - 16:45 hours. The ride takes place in safari vans. The tour is suitable for all ages, however, it is recommended to avoid taking babies between 0-24 months.
  • What the tour may include: Tour through the Africa area of Animal Kingdom. Expert guide and driver service.
  • Pros: In addition to the live guide service, you have an audio guide in Spanish. With your ticket you can combine some of the most beautiful shows in Orlando with the safari experience.
  • Cons: The tour is quite short, however, it works well to get an idea of the wildlife present, plus you can repeat the tour since the park entrance fee is per day.

6. Boggy Creek Airboat Ride

Boggy Creek|©Barry Goble
Boggy Creek|©Barry Goble

Get your adrenaline pumping with a Boggy Creek airboat ride, where the magic of the Everglades presents a thrilling experience, included in the best activities in Orlando, not to be missed in the main Orlando passes.

In any of the 3 ride options offered, the safari will last approximately 30 minutes. Immerse yourself in one of the country's most pristine natural regions, still untouched and free from human influence. Experience the thrill at speeds of over 70 km/h as you enter the realm of caimans and alligators, sharing with some fellow wildlife.

Departures are every 30 - 45 minutes, and to increase your chances of having a close encounter with the caimans and crocodiles, I recommend choosing early morning departures. Don't forget your camera, as the mangroves reveal turtles, waterfowl and Everglades cypress trees.

Details of interest

  • Price: from 38 € per person.
  • Duration: 30 minutes.
  • What you need to know: apart from the basic activities, you can add gem mining.
  • What the tour may include: airboat ride. Expert guide service. Life jacket. Ear protection. Boat captain service. Entrance fee to Everglades Park. Lunch.
  • Pros: the tour allows a quick look at the mangroves and learn about the species of the area in their natural habitat.
  • Cons: The guide service is offered in English. Complementary activities are not included.

Buy your Orlando Explorer Pass

Why is it advisable to take a safari in Orlando?

Gray Elephant|©Harvey Sapir
Gray Elephant|©Harvey Sapir

Orlando is a city of entertainment that is surrounded by wildlife, especially reptiles; and to please visitors and locals alike, they present world-class safaris.

Not only do you find the speed and adrenaline of hydrofoils and the diversity of African wildlife, but also the opportunity to connect with a wide variety of rare reptiles in their natural habitat. From alligators in the Everglades to albino crocodiles, each experience brings you up close to fascinating creatures. Perfect for adventurers and families.

Orlando safari tips

Animal in the forest|©Jean van der Meulen
Animal in the forest|©Jean van der Meulen
  • Hours. Although regular hours are usually until 6:00 pm at most parks, they often offer night rides, so if you are looking for things to do in Orlando at night you can probably book a safari.
  • Language. The official language of the safaris is English, but let's be honest, in Orlando most of the people speak Spanish, depending on the groups, it is possible that the experience can be offered in this language.
  • The best time for safaris. The presence of wildlife is vast in these parks and reserves, however, attending early in the morning or late in the day, you are likely to see a greater variety of species because the animals are active to enter or leave their resting area.
  • Rent a car. The distances are considerable and the most comfortable way to get around is in your own vehicle, it will also be necessary for some safari experiences, and in general, these experiences do not include transportation services, so it will be necessary.
  • Pets. Pets are not usually allowed. Some offer kennel rental service to keep your pet away from the wildlife in the park.
  • Discounts. Most safaris are included in discount passes. Their offers range from passes for two attractions of your choice and the prices are lower than buying tickets individually. If you want to make the most of your visit of at least 3 days in Orlando, I recommend you to get one of these passes.

Buy your Orlando Explorer Pass