Safari in the Sonoma Serengeti – Safari West Zoo

I was fortunate enough to attend a Safari West Photography Expedition Workshop.  I am pretty sure you could see the smile plastered on my face from space.  I spent last weekend with full access to all of the glorious animals lovingly cared for at the 400 acre Safari West Zoo in Santa Rosa, California.

The program was an instructional workshop on wildlife photography.  We were taken out all over the huge property for viewings of all of the animal specimens they have on site.  We were provided up close and personal access to the smaller animals and birds even able to enter in to some enclosures.

I spent the night in an awesome tent cabin which enabled me to listen to all sorts of “whoop whoop,” growls, beeps, and bumps in the night.  The cabins were incredibly comfortable and can be rented allowing visitors overnight access to the facility.

“Base Camp” provided a wonderful BBQ style dinner and lunch for overnight visitors.  And believe it or not they have spectacular collections of wine and craft beers.  (They even provide a beer tasting safari tour for groups! Sign up now!)

Visitors can walk amongst the animals while waiting for their scheduled three hour jeep tour.  On the tour or on foot one can enjoy Flamingoes, Cheetah, Giraffe, Rhino, Zebra, Ostrich, Antelope, Crane, Guinea Fowl, Hornbill, Ibis, Malayan Great Argus Pheasant, Spoonbill, Tortoise, Hyenas, Blue Duiker, Bongo, Cape Buffalo, Gazelle, Kudu, Impala, Hogs, Watusi Cattle, Wildebeest, Macaw, Colobus Monkey, and Lemurs. (Say that three times fast!)  And those are just some of the animals I saw!


I can only hope that you get a fraction of the enjoyment from these photos as I had in taking them.  What a spectacular treat it was to be so close to these animals and to observe how magnificent they really are.  Kudos to Safari West for taking such fantastic care of the animals and for sharing them with the rest of us in a top notch way.


I mean seriously? Look at this bird?


Is this not the prettiest little face?


Flamingo from a different angle


Giraffe are the sweetest most awkward creatures


The Rhino were running around like they were on a sugar high while I was there. What a treat it was to see them active.


This ostrich was trying to tell me something? What do you think she was trying to say?


Sweet little moment between mama and baby Zebra


Gloriously beautiful Cheetah


This guy just looks smart doesn’t he?


back side of a pheasant showing his colors.


Hyena but he wasn’t laughing


Look at the colors on this guy’s face!


The color on this Ibis is spectacular


Woah. Nice Bill.


This bird looks like the back of a bald old man.

For more information on Safari West please click here.

For more posts on other Zoos or animals I have visited or photographed I would be honored if you would click here

75 thoughts on “Safari in the Sonoma Serengeti – Safari West Zoo

  1. What beautiful pictures you’ve captured. Love the animals especially. I was fortunate enough to take a couple of safaris in Kenya a few years ago. That feeling of being so close to animals in the wild is one that I still cannot explain.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like a very fun excursion. Something I would really enjoy. Your photos are great. What kind of camera and lens did you use? And what do you use to process? I’d love to take some photography classes/workshops some day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there thanks for the comment. I actually didn’t use anything for postprocessing on these photos believe it or not. I normally use lightroom though. I use a Nikon D800 camera and the lens was a 30-300. I would’ve preferred an even longer lense. There are a lot of shots I was unable to get because I don’t own a longer lens. It was not in comparison to some of the lenses that the other students brought with them anyway. But, regardless, I’m very happy with the photos. I got some great shots. There’s about 1500 more besides these.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow Jenny, this looks like a fantastic adventure.
    Your photos are wonderful and capture the essence of the different animals.
    Love that cheetah and the pretty little face and Oh so many more. Wonderful!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very inspirational!! I love the “portraits”; each shot seems to tell something about their personality. I’ve never tried that so I am looking forward getting out with the camera. And I love the colors and lines of the abstract shots. The flamingoes and pheasant shots are great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I have hundreds more where these came from but I was excited to just get some out there. The longer I stayed the more personality I noticed in a lot of the animals. It kind of made me want to take a giraffe and a rhino home with me. Your photos are beautiful you would be great at this.


  5. I am definitely just an amateur (maybe even less than amateur!) when it comes to photography, but one thing I always wish I could capture better is animals. Looks like you got some awesome shots and had a great experience 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Absolutely brilliant photos my friend. (What’s your name?)
    I was raised in Africa and never ever could get in close enough to get such good pictures.
    The angles and colours you’ve achieved are top.
    Hyenas do sound very scary at night, outside the camp fire.
    Good job

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Sacramento Zoo | Bulldog Travels

  8. What a neat experience getting up close and personal with the animals. Will need to keep this zoo on the radar. Love the photos, especially the zebra and giraffe ones awww.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Safari West | Bulldog Travels

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