Myrtle Beach Safari: A unique experience for your family beach trip
Myrtle Beach is a popular destination for Louisville families. If you are looking for a totally unique experience during your trip, check out Myrtle Beach Safari.
We were granted admission for purpose of review.
Myrtle Beach Safari is a totally different take on the “traditional” zoo. This unique place allows for people to interact and learn about animals through an up-close approach. Myrtle Beach Safari supports T.I.G.E.R.S. (The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species) founded by Dr. Bhagavan Antle and the R.S.F. (Rare Species Fund) which are designed to help people learn about the importance of conservation and global biodiversity. T.I.G.E.R.S. works closely with international wildlife conservation projects in Africa and Thailand. They provide funds for these programs and their personnel have been involved in field research. Yes, there’s entertainment during the safari but the end goal is to educated and help fund global programs to help animals.
We were invited to experience a night safari and it was the most memorable part of our beach trip. The entire setup at Myrtle Beach Safari and the staff were very impressive. I am used to traditional zoos and the surprise element of this safari was what took it over the top. When you arrive, you are guided through each step of the safari, educated, entertained, and you do not know what is coming next. During the entire evening, we had this wonderful level of suspense looking forward to what we would get to do next. There are no personal cameras or phones so photos were taken by staff and available for purchase on CD – worth it.
The safari started in their comfortable main building when one of the staff members greeted us and spoke about their preservation efforts. We watched videos to learn about T.I.G.E.R.S. and R.S.F. I enjoyed learning about how the safari tied into supporting these efforts. After our orientation, we walked to the main area and I was amazed at the beautiful facilities. I felt transported to a far-away place.
First, we entered a semi-enclosed area to learn about the tigers. Each tiger entered the area below us and the staff provided information about them. Everyone shuffled all throughout the see the animals interact and the get a look at the extremely unique animals. Dr. Antle was present to feed the animals, adding some additional excitement. Then, to our surprise, the animals entered into an enclosure right in the middle of us and we were so close. At this time, we were able to see the incredible Liger that was simply unbelievable to witness because of it’s size and indescribable features. No photos were taken during this time so you will have to go see it for yourself!
Next, we went under the look-out where we enjoyed appetizers and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). This is included and was presented in a very high-end fashion. You get what you pay for! The food was delicious and there was a good variety. The highlight of this portion was being able to feed a tiger through a hole in the glass. Each participant was able to place a piece of venison sausage through the hole to get a special perspective of the animal, and an awesome photo.
This part of the safari was followed by the outdoor portion. During this time, the staff brought out a variety of animals for interaction and photos. Ongoing, Myrtle Beach Safari trainers worked with animals on an elevated platform so everyone can see them close and young tigers played and swam in the pool – we loved watching them through the glass so close up. We didn’t know which animals were coming out so we watched for the trainers and everyone there moved in awe from animal to animal. We fed an elephant, met monkeys and birds, petted a young wolf, and most amazing of all, we hugged tiger cubs. I cannot describe my children’s expressions of awe and surprise. They were both overcome with amazement. We also brought my parents and they were so impressed with it all. Fun for all ages but I would recommend the kids be about at least 8 because they need to be able to handle the length of the safari and follow instructions closely.
Finally, we all sat around a relaxing area of seats and fire pits and finished our night with more drinks (non-alcoholic at this time) while making hot dogs and s’mores. We had special guests! A chimpanzee joined us to show off his love of the hot dogs and marshmallows. And, all around, trainers sat with gibbons. I can’t say that this will ever happen again when we make s’mores!
After a few hours of fun, we headed back to the main house where we were given a calendar of their animals and we viewed our photos on the TVs. It was all very organized and their was no waiting. We selected one favorite photo for printing and picked up our CD to take home. We all rode back competing to claim what we thought was the best part! Visiting Myrtle Beach Safari is a vacation investment. I can say that it is extremely well-done, organized, beautiful, and beyond unique compared to anything else you can do while on vacation in Myrtle Beach.
Information about Myrtle Beach Safari experience options can be found on their website. They also have an FAQ page. They do have a day option but the night option does bring a different feel to the experience and, in the summer, it was a much appreciated cooler temperature!
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