Flashback: Harmony Park Safari Zoo

Flashback: Harmony Park Safari Zoo

There’s an saying that you’re never too old to learn something. Oh, how true that is. As the kids have gotten older and we’ve traveled more, taken educational tours, visited more museums and taken more adventures, I’ve certainly learned a lot. Or maybe some of what I learned in my younger days and forgot is finally sinking in and sticking. At least for now. During a trip a few years ago to a natural history museum, I discovered that I was one of many people incorrectly identifying bison as buffalo. As I took a trip down memory lane reading an old post about Harmony Safari Park Zoo in Huntsville, Alabama, I realized my error. Needless to say, this re-dedication of that old post has those errors corrected. Feel free to correct me on other animals I mislabeled.

Get up close with the animals without leaving your car when you visit Harmony Park Safari Zoo in Huntsville, Alabama. - SahmReviews.com

This article originally appeared August 22, 2008 on SahmRamblings.com.

As I mentioned in my prior post about fishing, we recently spent some time visiting my MIL in Alabama. The trip wasn’t intended to be anything other than a chance for the girls to see their grandma. (And having an on-site baby sitter so we could go to dinner and a movie for our anniversary was a bonus.)

We spent a lot of time swimming and most of the time just relaxing, but the one very noteworthy thing we did was to visit a safari zoo.

You know how phonebooks have those “community” pages up front with maps and golf courses and points of interest? Do you ever look at it? Me either. Before this trip, anyhow.

MIL’s neighbor stopped by one day to deliver a pie. Incidentally, it was one of three desserts she delivered during our short visit and I personally blame her for the 5 pounds I gained while on vacation. Not the buffet and other dinners out, not the movie popcorn, not even the gummies that BIL brought over. Nope. One awesome blueberry cheesecake/coffeecake and two pies.

Anyway, after setting down the pie, Pie Making Neighbor immediately pulled out the phone book and pointed to a listing in that community section of the Huntsville, Alabama phone book. It said “Harmony Park Safari” with an address phone number and short description. It didn’t really say much and Pie Making Neighbor had never been there. She just said that she had driven by it and thought it might be something the girls might enjoy.

After she left, I headed to the computer to Google “Harmony Park Safari” and was surprised to find that they don’t have a website. (Surprisingly, as I repost this in 2016, they STILL don’t have a website.) I had a few hits through travel sites but no real meat that told what exactly the place was. By total coincidence, a blogger friend had been to Harmony Park Safari just the day before. Being overly concerned about the welfare of my car, I emailed Hillary and was delighted when she emailed back with nothing but positive things to say.

Get up close with the animals without leaving your car when you visit Harmony Park Safari Zoo in Huntsville, Alabama. - SahmReviews.com

So we headed off to the safari zoo and were amazed at what was in store for us. When we pulled up to pay our fee, we could see the animals congregating on the other side of the fence. There was a fee for all of us, but with five paid admissions, we got a free bucket of corn. Since we were in a mini-van, there were only two of us with windows that opened enough to launch food. I can image how much more fun it would have been if we had more windows that could distribute food.

Get up close with the animals without leaving your car when you visit Harmony Park Safari Zoo in Huntsville, Alabama. - SahmReviews.com

Although the animals are not tame, they certainly are used to being fed by random vehicles driving through their home. All the animals mull around your vehicle waiting for you to toss out some corn. Before entering the park, staff provided a warning and list of rules. They explain that you need to roll up your window quickly because the animals are known to put their heads in the vehicle. In the case of the camel, that is very dangerous. For that reason alone, the task of throwing corn should be restricted to adults and older children.

Get up close with the animals without leaving your car when you visit Harmony Park Safari Zoo in Huntsville, Alabama. - SahmReviews.com

There was a great variety of animals at Harmony Safari Park. We were able to get some really exciting pictures – like of a bison (yes, I called it a buffalo when I originally posted this in 2008) crossing in front of vehicle then right up to our window.

Get up close with the animals without leaving your car when you visit Harmony Park Safari Zoo in Huntsville, Alabama. - SahmReviews.com

Or a shot of the ram following us around, right after butting the back of the vehicle. The alligator peeking out of the water. And of course, the turtle crossing the road. Kidding.

Get up close with the animals without leaving your car when you visit Harmony Park Safari Zoo in Huntsville, Alabama. - SahmReviews.com

The tortoises were all inside a pen that we were allowed to walk into. Just wondering if you were still paying attention. There was one monkey in a cage but aside from the alligators, the rest were roaming freely. (Wouldn’t have much of a zoo left if the alligators were uncaged, right?) From the time we drove through the gate, we had plenty of attention. The camel never came near our vehicle; he was busy grazing in a field nearby. But as you can see from the pictures I HAVE included, several other animals did.

Get up close with the animals without leaving your car when you visit Harmony Park Safari Zoo in Huntsville, Alabama. - SahmReviews.com

At the end of the tour, we were able to get out of our vehicle for some photos opps and to see additional (safe) creatures wondering the property. From what we were told, there are only 19 of this type of safari zoo in the United States. It was a lot of fun and if you are ever in the vicinity of one, it’s worth a stop. Everyone in our car thoroughly enjoyed this adventure.

Have you ever visited this type of safari zoo?

Nicole

About Nicole

Founder and owner of SAHMReviews.com, Nicole has been involved in social media marketing since 2007. She has partnered with a number of major corporations who utilized her skills to improve their social media outreach and online presence. Nicole has worked as an ambassador for brands such as Netflix, U.S. Cellular and K'NEX, has been featured in McDonald's videos as well as Maria Bailey's book "Power Moms". Always a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) and mother of two beautiful teen daughters, if you can't find Nicole, she is probably somewhere playing board games.

16 comments on «Flashback: Harmony Park Safari Zoo»

  1. Jeffrey says:

    This looks like a nice place to visit for a family.

  2. Love the animal photos, especially the turtle close up and zebra mirror shot. Fun stuff.

  3. Alison Gibb says:

    You got some pictures! I really like the one of the Ostrich ( I hope it’s an ostrich) He looks kinda mean!

  4. Crystal says:

    It sounds like the universe wanted you to visit! We have been to a similar safari zoo & it’s so much fun to be able to view animals in a different way.

  5. Allie D. says:

    We visited a zoo like this when we visited family in Oklahoma. We got to see so many different animals, and my daughter had a blast feeding everyone that came to the window. It was a lot of fun.

  6. We live near the San Diego Safari Park and take our grandkids weekly in the summer. It’s not a drive-thru though. It’s more like a huge zoo with an African enclosure that’s about 300 acres and you ride a tram around it’s border. While living in Wellington, Florida we were only a few miles from Lion Country Safari. It was a drive-thru park and we loved it. We had membership and would go early in the morning several times a week.

  7. Andrew says:

    This is fantastic! We recently returned from a trip to New Orleans where we visited the zoo — we don’t have any big zoo’s near us to speak of so it was a treat. We’ve never been to a safari zoo before, it looks like you all had a blast! We’ll have to check it out if we find ourselves in that part of the country!

  8. That looks like so much fun! I would love to visit some day!

  9. Looks great, I love driving through safari parks, especially when it’s less busy so you can take your time and enjoy the animals much more.

  10. Michele says:

    Those animals must be really used to humans and their cars to come right up to you! I would definitely enjoy visiting a place like this (as long as those alligators can not get out!!!!)

  11. Looks like so much fun, I love being able to see animals this up close. It’s been a very long time since we visited a zoo this type. 🙂

  12. Rebecca Swenor says:

    Zoos are what we would take the kids to every time we visited family out of town. The Harmony Park Safari zoo sounds like a great place to visit in AL and I would love to visit there some day. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  13. combi says:

    The children love to go to the zoo.

  14. brody says:

    those are some good pictures! We haven’t gone yet, because our little one is too young, but looks like it was a fun day!

  15. Matt says:

    Looks like so much fun!

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