By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: We'd like to plan a day trip in Ontario with our kids to see animals. Any ideas?

A: Hear its mighty roar, as the king of the jungle shakes his thick golden mane under a shady tree. All the while, a frisky monkey lunges for your car antenna.

But don't fret. This is the African Lion Safari, Ontario's answer to the wilds of Africa.

Here, children and parents are the caged animals as they drive through 9 km of grassland and trees. Sure you won't see tropical trees here, but you will see over 1,000 animals lurking at every turn.

See Mkhombo, the white rhino bull. He recently arrived with three young mates from South Africa. And there's Lucy, a baby giraffe who was a lanky 6 feet at birth. Other animals include elephants, siberian tigers, leopards, and jaguars.

It's best to visit when the temperature isn't blazing hot. That's when you'll get a chance to see wildlife in action.

When I visited this family operated business, the monkeys were up to monkey business.

A circus act unfolded when a mommy monkey carrying her baby on board a car roof decided to fly onto another nearby car roof. I was in that car and boy you can hear the landing, never mind the monkey talk.

Started over 30 years ago, this safari adventure is perfect for families.

If you're driving from Toronto, follow the Q.E.W. West and then follow Hwy 403 West towards Hamilton. Take Highway 6 North towards Guelph. Go north on Highway 6 for 11 km and turn left on Safari Road. Follow Safari Road for 16 km.

For more information, contact the African Lion Safari at 1 (800) 461-WILD (9453).


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