WORTH THE DRIVE: Go on safari at Ohio’s wildest animal park

The Wildside Tour at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio. AMANDA CARBERRY / COLUMBUS ZOO AND AQUARIUM
The Wildside Tour at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio. AMANDA CARBERRY / COLUMBUS ZOO AND AQUARIUM

Credit: Amanda Carberry

Credit: Amanda Carberry

The Wilds has opened for the 2021 season

The Wilds, Ohio’s safari park and conservation center, has opened for the season.

More than 30 rare and endangered species from around the world as well as hundreds of indigenous species roam in open pastures throughout the park.

A southern white rhino and calf at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio. GRAHM S. JONES / COLUMBUS ZOO AND AQUARIUM
A southern white rhino and calf at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio. GRAHM S. JONES / COLUMBUS ZOO AND AQUARIUM

Credit: Grahm S. Jones

Credit: Grahm S. Jones

Giraffes, camels, zebra and antelope are among the animals living at the 10,000 acre park located on reclaimed mine land in Cumberland, Ohio. Just this year three white rhinoceros calves, nine Père David’s deer fawns and three scimitar-horned oryx calves were added to the menagerie.

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The Wilds offers a variety of tours and experiences to choose from including feeding giraffes, meeting a rhino or spending a night in a yurt.

The newest experiences include the Secrets of the Zoo Wildside Tour and WildNights at the Outpost experience.

A scimitar-horned oryx at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio. GRAHM S. JONES / COLUMBUS ZOO AND AQUARIUM
A scimitar-horned oryx at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio. GRAHM S. JONES / COLUMBUS ZOO AND AQUARIUM

Credit: Grahm S. Jones

Credit: Grahm S. Jones

During the Secrets of the Zoo Wildside Tour, visitors will be guided by one of The Wilds’ animal management team members who appear on the hit Nat Geo WILD TV series “Secrets of the Zoo.”

Visitors on the WildNights at the Outpost will spend the night in the middle of The Wilds’ pastures with rhinos and other rare and incredible species nearby.

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Adventure-seekers can also opt to soar over animal pastures on a Zipline Safari tour, enjoy a Fishing Safari tour on one of nearly 100 lakes at The Wilds, or saddle up on a Horseback Safari tour through the prairies.

Nomad Ridge at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio. GRAHM S JONES / COLUMBUS ZOO AND AQUARIUM
Nomad Ridge at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio. GRAHM S JONES / COLUMBUS ZOO AND AQUARIUM

Credit: Grahm S. Jones

Credit: Grahm S. Jones

From May–October, The Wilds is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (The last tour departs at 4 p.m.) Pricing varies depending on the tour and advanced reservations are required.

Visit TheWilds.org to view a selection of tours and for scheduling.