A Big 20th Birthday for Safari West

The Santa Rosa animal preserve marks two decades with assorted treats.

Safari West

A BIG 20TH: A twentieth birthday can be an odd thing, at least in the human world. There are no greeting cards for it specifically, though two birthdays on either side of it, or nearly -- 18 at one end and 21 at the other -- get loads of shout-out, front-of-the-card designs and jokes and poems. But a twentieth birthday garners less of a spotlight, and that's okay; there's something a bit reflective and quiet about reaching two decades. But there's not much that is too quiet about an animal preserve full of honking and roaring and mewling beasties, residents who make their presence known, regardless of the occasion. And there is quite the occasion coming up: Safari West is going to turn 20. But fans get the nice gift on this one -- $20 admission to the Saturday, Oct. 20 birthday party.

THAT NABS YOU... a walking tour but not "the classic driving tour." Call it a good intro to a place you'll likely want to revisit after your first experience. The tours head out into the Santa Rosa-close grounds every hour starting at 10 a.m. and wrapping at 2 p.m.

OTHER HAPPENINGS: African music, beer, wine, and a slide presentation of preserve founders Nancy and Peter Lang are on the schedule. (Every birthday party needs a few look-back photos, of course.)

STAY THE NIGHT: There are lodging options at Safari West -- oh yes there are -- and guests staying the night get into the party gratis.

WHO HAS RSVP'D? The animal resident list of the park is extensive, but here are a few furry types you just might spy during your stroll: Dama Gazelles, Red River Hogs, Watusi Cattle, and Ring-Tailed Lemurs.

WANT TO GO? You'll need to reserve a spot.

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