MyHamilton logoIf you have yet to experience “Canada’s Original Safari Adventure”, make this the year for this unforgettable day trip to Hamilton.

African Lion Safari’s expansive drive through reserve lets families get closer than they ever imagined to some of the world’s most exotic species. Located just an hour’s drive from Toronto and around an hour and a half from Buffalo and Niagara Falls, it’s easy to get to one of Ontario’s most popular tourist attractions.

Family-owned and uniquely Canadian, African Lion Safari was founded by Colonel Gorden Debenham Dailley, who in 1968, set off to create a new attraction in Canada: a drive-through wildlife park. It started with just 40 lions. There’s now over 1000 animals, 100 different species and 750 acres of parkland.

Walk, drive, cruise, and journey along the railway through different areas of the park to discover the wide range of attractions here.

Game Reserves

In African Lion Safari’s unique Game Reserves, the tables are turned. Visitors are “caged” in their car while animals get to roam throughout the reserves. Get your cameras ready as you settle in your own vehicle and embark on a nine-km drive through seven distinct, large reserves including Nairobi Sanctuary, Simba Lion Country, Timbavati Lion Country, Wankie Bushland Trail, Rocky Ridge Veldt, Australasia and The Americas. You can view over 1000 exotic birds and animals, many of which are classified as endangered or threatened. (You can hop on a safari tour bus instead for an extra fee.)

Other Attractions

African Queen Boat Cruise
Sail along Water Safari Lake for a 15-minute tour on the “African Queen” boat cruise to see exotic birds like the Australian black swan and African pink-backed pelican, and primates like lemurs and spider monkeys.

Nature Boy Scenic Railway
Hop on a mini replica of an 1863 C.P. Huntington Steam engine for a 15-minute Nature Boy Scenic Railway Tour through 16-hectares of exotic species.

Child at African Lion Safari
Popular with the little ones, Pet’s Corner lets you get up close and personal with alpacas, goats, rabbits, deer and other furry friends.

Children at Misumu Bay Wetplan
At the Jungle Playground, kids can embrace their inner monkeys on the jungle gym.

On a sunny day, pack your swimsuit and hit the wet zone at Misumu Bay Wet Play Area (open between May 19 and September 3). This adventure area features sprinklers, slides, jets, and more!

Daily Presentations

At various times throughout the day, visitors can catch one of four presentations to learn about the animals that call African Lion Safari home. In Parrot Paradise, visitors can watch in awe of their intelligence; see hawks, eagles, owls, vultures and falcons in the Birds of Prey Flying Demo; learn about Asian elephants in Elephants and Friends; and watch them frolic in the water during Elephant Swim.

Birds of Prey with Young Boy

Wake Up The Wild: An Experience to Roar About

Have you ever wanted to come within a metre of a rhino, zebra or ostrich, or hand-feed Canada’s largest herd of giraffe? What about witness a pride of lions at their most active time of day? Designated an Ontario Signature Experience by Destination Ontario in 2015, Wake Up The Wild is African Lion Safari’s exclusive VIP experience available on select days throughout the season, ideal for families, couples, or a fun gift! During the adventure, a Game Warden takes you on an off-road, private guided tour to spot wildlife in an open air truck.

International Excellence in Conservation

Have you ever wanted to come within a metre of a rhino, zebra or ostrich, or hand-feed Canada’s largest herd of giraffe? What about witness a pride of lions at their most active time of day? Designated an Ontario Signature Experience by Destination Ontario in 2015, Wake Up The Wild is African Lion Safari’s exclusive VIP experience available on select days throughout the season, ideal for families, couples, or a fun gift! During the adventure, a Game Warden takes you on an off-road, private guided tour to spot wildlife in an open air truck.

Visitor Information

  • African Lion Safari is open daily from May to September. Ticket booths open at 9 am and Game Reserves open at 10 am.
  • Parking is included in the park admission.
  • Dining options and snacks are available throughout the park.
  • African Lion Safari is located at 1386 Cooper Road in Hamilton, Ontario.

Amanda Stancati

Born and raised in Hamilton, Amanda shares her favourite places and experiences to inspire others to explore! Follow her on Twitter @amandastancati.