PORT CLINTON, Ohio — African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton will finally open its doors for the 2020 season on Thursday. The popular drive-through attraction has been closed since a barn fire hit their location late last November in which several animals perished.
The park had been slated to reopen on May 2, but had to wait for clearance from the state of Ohio and Ottawa County due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
African Safari Wildlife Park made the announcement on its Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon. "We are very excited to announce we are reopening May 14, 2020! Our 65-acre open and outdoor Drive-Thru Safari will be available 10 AM to 5 PM with the last car admitted at 4 PM. This Saturday May 16 and Sunday May 17, the Park will be open 9 AM to 6 PM with the last car admitted at 5 PM.
As this is new for all of us, we thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we learn and move forward together. We, and the animals, can’t wait to see you at THE Ohio Safari Park!"
At African Safari Wildlife Park, guests remain in their own personal vehicle for the duration of the Drive-Thru Safari. Guests are not interacting with any other people other than the ones brought with them.
As a way to help alleviate any concerns guests may have about coming to the park, African Safari has put together a frequently asked questions post on their website.
For example, the park says it is set up so that a Guest’s only interaction will be with one Staff member (wearing a mask and gloves) accepting Admission. If tickets are purchased online in advance of a visit, there can be virtually no contact between Guests and Staff as the park can redeem admissions by name.
On Thanksgiving Night of 2019, a massive barn fire killed 10 animals at the park. The Ohio Fire Marshall investigation ruled that the damage to the structure was so great that no source of the blaze realistically could be found. However, they did state that there was "no indication" the fire had been set purposefully.