Features

Take a Drive-Through Safari at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

San Antonio attraction gets you up close to emus, gazelles, wildebeests, and more


Take a Drive-Through Safari at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

When it comes to food pellets, zebras have no shame. They'll shove their head right into the open window of your Toyota Corolla and shake you down for the contents of your paper feed bag. More than any other creature at Texas' drive-through safari, the striped African horse flaunts an unabashed love for snacking.

You can interact with 500 animals among 40 different species at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch on the northern edge of San Antonio, a 75-minute drive from Austin. Ostriches, emus, gazelles, and wildebeests, roam free on the 450-acre property – which visitors cruise through on a paved road. Their roster of wildlife serves as an education on the vast species of African antelope alone: the pinstriped bongo, the screw-horned addax, the dark and mysterious sable, and the oryx with antlers as long as javelins. The park also houses a couple of white rhinoceroses – the second-largest land mammal on planet Earth. Thank God they're fenced away from the road.

Driving through the attraction, which opened in 1984 and is housed on a property owned by the same family for over a century, you notice that Texas ranchland, with its spacious landscape and low-riding flora, looks not unlike an African savanna. The journey through the park takes about an hour – give or take 20 minutes if traffic is heavy or a wildebeest blocks your path.

When you're ready to get out of the car, the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch also contains a "walkabout" where you'll encounter gibbons, alpacas, and lemurs. You'll also have ample opportunity to take a selfie with one of their friendly giraffes.

The beast-to-human ratio is best if you go on weekdays or early in the morning, and if you want to take the experience to the next level, we recommend borrowing a convertible and playing African music on the car stereo.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Kevin Curtin
Watch: Calliope Musicals’ Front Lawn Goth Posse
Watch: Calliope Musicals’ Front Lawn Goth Posse
Colorful locals go monochrome in “That’s Why We Dance”

Dec. 6, 2019

Old Settler’s Rolls Out 2020 Lineup
Old Settler’s Rolls Out 2020 Lineup
Tanya Tucker, Head & the Heart, Sam Bush & Jade Bird soundtrack campout

Dec. 4, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, Texas road trips, zebra, safari park, Summer Fun 2019

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle