Wednesday, July 4, 2018

50 Years of Port Clinton’s African Safari Wildlife Park

Many of us Baby Boomers have fond memories of Jungle Larry’s Safari Island area at Cedar Point. It was one of the high points of a visit to the amusement park, mainly because we knew and loved Jungle Larry from his appearances on TV.
But there was (and still is) another safari attraction, west of Sandusky near Port Clinton, that brought wild animals up close – in fact, right up to your car window. Or on top of your car.

I’m talking of course about African Safari Wildlife Park.

It’s the subject this month of a terrific article written by Joseph Gilroy and appearing in the latest edition of Lakefront News. The article celebrates the attraction’s 50th year in business and includes a history of the park and interviews with its owners.

As the article notes, it opened in 1969 as African Lion Safari. Here’s a vintage souvenir pennant, currently on Ebay.

And here’s a vintage brochure, also on Ebay. (Hey, where are the lions? A zebra is fine, I guess, but you can see deer at Deer Park!)

The brochure was a harbinger of tamer things to come.

The park was renamed a few times. Here’s a brochure from its days as African Safari.

Later, the lions were eventually phased out in favor of a more family-friendly experience (apparently one in which you didn’t have to worry about being eaten.)
Anyway, here’s the link to the African Safari Wildlife Park website.
And be sure to pick up a free copy of Lakefront News out in Vacationland. I got mine at Drug Mart in Vermilion on Route 6; there’s also a stack of them out at Toft’s Ice Cream in Sandusky.

The current brochure


Anonymous said...

Like to see those old brochures of vacation spots in America.Back when people drove American cars.Nowadays when you go to a national park or a tourist attraction,9 times out of 10 the vacationers traveled there in a import brand auto....But they still gotta see America!

Mike Kozlowski said...

...Nobody could top Jungle Larry at Cedar Point!!