Do you dream of lions lounging and elephants parading past?
You don’t need to make it all the way to Africa and pay for a pricey safari to have an incredible animal adventure.
Just come to Puebla, Mexico’s Africam Safari to see all your favorite animals (and then some) and have a similar experience. To be honest, you’ll see even more animals with the Africam Safari than you would trundling through the savannah.
Safari in Latin America: Puebla, Mexico Africam
People come from all over Mexico (and beyond) to visit this amazing park.
I have to admit, the whole Africam is pretty surprising. You drive your own car through very large (and sometimes dangerous) animals, yet you don’t have to sign any damage waiver. There’s no protection against lions or big bears, you are simply instructed to keep your windows rolled up. No one even supervises you as you make your way around the park, or even pays attention to WTF you’re doing (aside from the occasional worker hanging out in the field, texting on his cell phone, who happens to accidentally glance your way).
For me, major highlights were the amazing lazy rhinos, waddling around before passing out in a heap of dust on the ground.
Ostriches seem to have no concept of personal space, and will get super close to your (open!) window, peering in at you.
Giraffes hang out in big bunches, and don’t seem to be afraid of humans. They hang out so near to the road that you can see their long, luscious eyelashes. I want my eyelashes to grow like that!
After winding your way through the safari via vehicle, the Safari has a walking segment, where you park your car and go on foot. Here, there are loose kangaroos just hopping around you, emus running wild, and lots of butterflies (all in their respective areas). Don’t miss it!
How did Africam Safari get started?
Captain Carlos Camcho Espiritu started Africam in 1972, with his own private collection of animals. He named the conservation area by combining his last name Camcho with Africa: Africam. He created the space for the purpose of raising awareness about the protection of animals. Now, Africam is so successful (for good reason, it is AMAZING) that the organization is also involved in conservation projects outside of its safari, including for jaguars in northern Mexico and humpback whales, sea lions, and manatees in the oceans surrounding Mexico.
Top Tips for Visiting Africam Safari
Africam’s taquilla (ticket office) is open from 10am-5pm, every day of the year, and costs 232pesos per adult (NOT per car).
The safari entrance is located at Boulevard Carlos Camacho Espiritu Km 16.5, Puebla, Mexico
Africam Safari Tip #-138901: Obey the rules
don’t do what they’re doing
So obvious and so dumb I’m pissed I even have to make this a tip. Stay inside the car, don’t pester or attempt to touch the animals, and keep the doors closed. For the animals’ safety, and for your own.
Please obey the rules and don’t be a jackass, so that this park can remain open for future generations to respectfully enjoy.
Africam Safari Tip #1: Bring your own car
There’s an option to take an Africam bus through the safari, and outside operators run their own bus and van-based tours as well. Pass on that. The buses and vans tend to be crowded, the windows aren’t great for visibility (some are really scratched up, or foggy, or don’t roll down), and you don’t get to go at your own speed.
Going at your own tempo means you can stop and get super close to the giraffes if you want, or wait for an ostrich to come right by your window. It also means you don’t have to spend a ton of time looking at the deer because, well, you’re from Michigan and you’ve seen more than your fair share of assorted deer.
Definitely, definitely, definitely have your own vehicle. Whether that means renting a car (maybe fail to mention you’ll be driving next to rhinos?), or borrowing a friend’s car, or even paying a taxi driver to take you through (I’ve seen it, it can be done) – you will thank me later.
Africam Safari Tip #2: Time your trip just right
we went on a weekend at midday. not smart. bumper to bumper = too many cars
Arrive at 10am when it (supposedly) opens. Yes, you’ll be waiting about 10-15 minutes are so, for the workers to finally show up for their supposed opening time. But just like the workers are late, most of the locals will be too. You’ll get to skip the crowd, which makes a big difference in how close the animals will be.
Even more importantly, arriving at 10am (and even before the fashionably late workers) means that you’ll arrive when the zookeepers are feeding the animals breakfast. They feed them out in the open in the park, near the path, meaning they’re easy to spot.
The feeding time and the cool temperatures of the morning also means that the tigers and bears are still active, and aren’t hiding out from the sun and the heat. This makes a big difference (based on the 3 visits of varying times we’ve made).
Africam Safari Tip #3: Choose your day wisely
Visiting on a Sunday means that many people are in church (and not at the safari). Similarly, on a weekday many people are at work or at school. So, Sundays and weekdays are ideal days to plan your visit, if you have the choice.
Africam Safari Tip #4: Stay hydrated
We always pack a cooler with water, but the park has several booze stations. You can get a big Michelada for less than 60Pesos ($3USD), and mixed drinks as well, and wander around with it. You can take it in with the kangaroos, no problem, and apparently also drive with your drinks within the park.
Africam Safari Tip #5: Get the munchies
In our cooler, we also bring snacks (hummus and veggies is a popular one), but the park has a lot of dining (including sit-down restaurants) and snack options. To be honest, the prices are more than fair and the quality pretty good.
Africam Safari Tip #6: Bring a camera (or phone)
Some of the animal shots are just so amazing. I treasure all of the photos I took, and am in awe of the incredible beauty and diversity of the animal kingdom represented in Africam.
Have you ever gone on Safari?