Located less than an hour from the center of Mendocino Village is an animal preserve filled with zebra, antelope and giraffes. This 110-acre preserve is committed to the critically endangered African hoof stock animals. There are more than 60 animals on the open preserve and each one has a name and a known personality. Families will first learn about the animals inside the barn (which is more of a gift shop and offers chairs) with a short lecture of where the animals have come from and how they are being cared for.
Then it is time to board the vintage, open-air land rover vehicles from another era. The vehicles will take families out into the preserve, where it is safe to get out of the vehicle and see the animals through fencing. From a safe distance, families will see three different species of zebra (did you know there was more than one?!) and learn how different breeds of antelope care for their young.
The tour ends with a visit with the giraffes where everyone gets a chance to feed the long-necked animals and possibly even get a kiss from one! The giraffes are surely the highlight of the tour and kids of all ages will love marveling at the creatures while learning how to protect them in the wild. The tours last more than an hour.
Daily tours take place at 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. rain or shine, by appointment only. Drop-ins are not accepted.
Things to Know/Bring
Tours are by reservation only so make sure to reserve ahead. The animals are wild and cannot be touched. A restroom can be found inside the barn/gift shop. Bring a jacket and wear comfortable shoes and clothing as you are outside for most of the tour and the ground can sometimes be muddy or wet. The vintage vehicles that tour guests through the property are very rustic with no seatbelts, but they are driven very slow for short distances through the fields.
Free parking is available inside the preserve.