UPDATE: After visiting Myrtle Beach Safari, it has been brought to my attention that they may have unethical practices. I don’t personally know the ins and outs of this business so I can’t speak on that for sure. I do know they have been under investigation in the past, so please use your own discretion.
When we were planning our visit to Myrtle Beach, I was expecting a lot of miniature golf and beach time. What I didn’t anticipate was getting up close and personal with wild animals. I had no idea Myrtle Beach had such an experience, and it appears many are unaware. This hidden gem will make your MB stay off the charts! Allow me to share why Myrtle Beach Safari is a must-see attraction!
I’ve always dreamt of going on an African Safari, and someday I hope to make that dream come true. I’m a while away from making the trip, so to get something remotely close within the United States is pretty amazing. Myrtle Beach Safari offers the chance to meet and greet about eleven different animals in an exciting way. Unlike a zoo where all the animals are behind fences and barriers, the animals are brought right next to you, or even into your lap!
In addition to experiencing the animals, visitors get educated on the different species, as well as conservation. When you pay for a TIGERS tour, proceeds will help support the Rare Species Fund (RSF), which provides support to international conservation programs around the globe. It is the hope of Myrtle Beach Safari to continue to conserve tigers, lions, elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees and many more species in their natural habitats.
The trainers clearly love the animals they work with, and we even learned some of the animal cubs actually sleep with their trainers. The animals are taught from birth to not only accept humans into their lives, but also the other animals on the property. Because the animals are so comfortable around each other, Myrtle Beach Safari has the first ever Liger. Ligers used to be a myth, but a tiger mama and a lion father unintentionally mated here. They now have Hercules, the 900 pound liger! He’s magnificent!
After meeting Hercules, we were introduced to Ramses, the Cheetah. I would have loved to see him run, but he did walk right past me. My heart did race a little because after all, he is a wild cat!
Next on the agenda was to gather the group around a small pen where we played with tiger cubs, lion cubs and lynx cubs. We were slightly nervous of claws and teeth, but it was so thrilling to play with these little guys.
The cats had toys like your average household dog and cat, they loved to chew on. The trainers are always there to help keep the cats moving so everyone gets a turn with each animal, and to make sure everyone is safe.
We also had the opportunity to hold and feed a couple of the tiger cubs – and can I just say ADORABLE!!
After the cats were sent away, the wolf cubs were brought out. These guys look a lot like dogs, but bigger and more fierce. The adult wolves had more of a striking difference – some with golden eyes, and their snouts were bigger. These guys are just all around bigger than dogs. We did get to play with the cubs, but the daddies just walked around above our heads, for us to awe over.
An animal I wasn’t expecting was a warthog! This little guy liked to walk around with his high heels on (he’s got some hard feet), but he was pretty darn cute. Not as soft as the other animals, but certainly fun to watch!
Once the big cats are all sent away, the group got to watch Ahren the African Fish Eagle, fly over our heads. Watching such an awesome bird fly and fetch in such close proximity was pretty cool. Keith has a fascination with birds so this was pretty cool for him.
Next up was my favorite part and that was getting to feed and hug Bubbles, the elephant! Doc Antle has had Bubbles since she was a baby, and they have a pretty special bond. We got to watch her eat an entire watermelon, drink, and we fed her carrots. I so would have loved to ride her too, but I imagine there just isn’t time for that.
After meeting Bubbles, we got to hold some gibbons and a lemur!! They were so soft and cuddly and I absolutely loved them! I kind of wish I could take one home.
But seriously, lemurs are so incredibly soft! I could just pet this guy all day.
Before lunch and getting our photos to take home, we played with some beach balls with a few chimpanzees! Then we got to watch them paint t-shirts that are sold for conservation efforts – to save the chimpanzees! I also got one to take home, which Miss Bea wears weekly!
At Myrtle Beach Safari, you have the option to pay for just the tour, or you can add on a photography package. Several of the trainers follow you around, taking photos and video of the entire experience. The photos/video are quite expensive, but it’s the only way to capture that once-in-a-lifetime experience and share it with your friends and family. I only wish more of the photos were in focus for nice clear pictures. When else will you get to hold a tiger cub? I’m so glad I heard about Myrtle Beach Safari and the TIGERS experience. Keith and I had the best time and I just couldn’t stop smiling!