Experience a wild side of Oregon at this walkable wildlife safari. Photograph, feed and even pet exotic animals such as big cats and bears.
Imagine that you are in Africa at West Coast Game Park Safari. Although Oregon may not be the first place you associate with lions and tigers and bears, you can see all of these and more just outside the sleepy coastal village of Bandon.
The park has humble beginnings. It opened in 1968 as a small deer park. Four years later, it shifted its focus to more exotic inhabitants and was thus transformed into the West Coast Game Park Safari.
The park is organized as a walkable safari. Over 450 animals of about 75 species call this place home. See snow leopards, emus, cougars, capybaras and other creatures up close.
Throughout the day, safari handlers bring different animals into the gazebo area so that visitors can pet and feed them. Depending on the day, cuddle with a lion cub or have your photo taken with a tiger. Almost all of the animals here have been hand-raised since infanthood and are comfortable with humans.
Although the larger and more exotic animals are housed behind fences, many animals roam freely around the park. You may find a llama or a donkey accompanying you on your tour or feel a nudge only to have a sheep or goat wanting some attention. Use camera holes in the fences to take great photos of the caged animals.
The park is 7 miles (11 kilometers) south of Bandon. It is conveniently located right off Highway 101. This famous route runs the entire length of America’s west coast. Without ever leaving 101, you can drive between iconic national landmarks such as Washington’s Olympic National Forest to the north or California’s Golden Gate Bridge to the south.
Visit West Coast Game Park Safari daily throughout the year, except for January and February when it is open only on the weekends. Hours of operation vary by season so it is best to check before your visit.