LAKELAND, Fla. – Once you are on property at Safari Wilderness, you don’t feel like you are anywhere in Florida, especially not a few miles from Interstate 4.
Instead, the 265-acre property with more than 500 animals from 40 species makes you feel like you are in the middle of Africa.
“This is where they breed, this is where they live, this is where they sleep, this is where they have their whole life cycles,” manager and tour guide Philip Allison said. “The only barrier between between us and the animals is just air and a little bit of bus other than that, the animals can free roam.”
The idea for Safari Wilderness came to fruition when the owner bought the land on Florida’s Green Swamp in 2006. It then took another six years to bring the animals over and grow the plants and trees that the animals will graze on.