This Texas safari-like zoo lets you feed wildlife in an up-close encounter

(Jill B. Jarvis)

ALVIN, TexasAddress: 5050 FM517, Alvin, TX 77511

Cost: Adults: $20, Kids: $10, Free Under 2, or organize a group for a discounted rate! (Cash or check. No credit cards accepted)

(Jill B. Jarvis)

Here’s what I like about Bayou Wildlife Zoo:

  • It’s unexpected. I’d never suspect there was an African Safari tucked away in Alvin.
  • You ride a shaded tram and the animals come to you. No chasing kids in the heat!
(Jill B. Jarvis)

Right along a busy road, back behind the trees, is the Bayou Wildlife Zoo. Here they have animals from 19 different countries, including locations in Africa, Asia, Australia, and North and South America.

The last time we went, my big kids were little and my toddler wasn’t even born, so we made the drive down this summer.

The main attraction is the tram ride through the 86-acre property where exotic wildlife is allowed to roam. Not only do you get to see these animals up close, but you can even feed most of them.

Buckets of food are available for purchase and many of the animals will come up and stick their heads right into the tram looking for food!

(Jill B. Jarvis)

On this visit, we saw zebras, deer, water buffalos, wildebeests, camels, llamas, Watusi cattle, giraffes, ostriches and emus as well as many more types of animals on our safari-like trip.

Watch out for those ostriches though, they really like their food! (And one was even behind a fence in time-out for stealing hats and sippy cups. My kids are still talking about him!)

(Jill B. Jarvis)

Our tram ride lasted about 30 minutes… and we had a minor break down in the middle. For a second I thought it would be like a bad scene from Jurassic Park… but the staff just got us a new tram and animals were not concerned with our little stop. This turned into another highlight of the adventure.

After the tram ride, you can take a pony ride (for kids under 90 pounds), visit the petting zoo or have a picnic.

And on the drive out, you can use any left over food to feed the animals along the road. This was a lot of fun because the animals kept on sneaking around the car and surprising us at different windows!

(Jill B. Jarvis)

The big kids really enjoyed going back… and the toddler loved it. She loves the Houston Zoo and this was even better. She sat in awed silence for the entire tram ride, just taking it all in… and has been talking about it for weeks now.

I recommend making the trip to Alvin for this safari… and try to organize a group of 15 so it’s not so expensive. (Just call them to work out the details.) Also, bring water with you on the tram… and a picnic to eat at the shaded tables afterwards.

Oh, and if you want to buy the Bayou Wildlife Zoo, it’s yours!

(Jill B. Jarvis)
s (Jill B. Jarvis)

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