By Vanessa Markov
Photography by Scott McAlpine
Safari Niagara‘s vision is to provide people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to meet animals and birds up close. It is hoped that such interaction with nature will inspire future conservationists and naturalists. In a world where children experience fewer exchanges with nature, Safari Niagara provides an unprecedented opportunity for kids to view, experience and learn about many animal and bird species that share our planet while engaging in a fun and rewarding adventure.
What began as a small conservation and rehabilitation effort by the Tykolis family, as they took in abused animals, animals in need, and some exotics that had been legally confiscated from their less-than-equipped owners, has grown over the years into a 150-acre, privately-owned and operated nature park, and is home to more than 750 animals of native and exotic mammals, reptiles and birds.
In memory of their late father’s love for animals and after more than 10 years of planning and development, the Tykolis children have converted the once flat, clay tract of land in rural Stevensville to green space complete with hills, trees and lakes. Since opening, Safari Niagara has become known in Niagara as one of the area’s best and safest places for families, students and corporate groups to experience nature together.
Visitors of all ages and abilities can experience the park’s inhabitants on their own or through:
Free, educational guided walking tours
Educational, narrated tram rides/tours
Interactive, educational demonstrations including: Wonders of Flight, Big Cat Tour, Interactive Reptile Show, Hippo and Giraffe Encounter, Primates Tour and Zooniversity
Papa Steve’s Family Farm – petting zoo. In addition, visitors can enjoy spending quality time with their families and friends at Safari Niagara by taking part in many activities including:
NEW for 2015: 2 Jumping Pillows* and Pedal Bike Go-Karts* (Opening Date TBA for the NEW attractions); as well as our ever popular Sky Quest Ropes course*, Sky Tykes*, and Safari Rides*, paddle boating, kite-flying, catch and release fishing and playing at the large playgrounds, sandbox and animal-themed splash pad. All our attractions, shows and tours are weather permitting.
*These attractions only are available June – Labour Day.
Safari Niagara is home to one of Canada’s largest steel sculpture exhibits, on loan by artist Rod Dowling. The park also includes an outdoor amphitheatre that is host to live concerts, and offers plenty of shaded picnic areas, a counter-service restaurant and gift shop.
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