Safari Lake Geneva: Immersive drive-thru zoo wild for guests

Ranked as one of the most exciting things to do in the city, Safari Lake Geneva offers guests an up-close-and-personal look at exotic animals.

"Jungle" Jay Christie, the founder of family-owned business, has had a love for animals since he was a boy.

"(My) parents tell me that ‘zoo’ was the first word I learned how to read," Christie said. "It wasn’t until I was 10 or 11 that I kept coming back to this idea, flipping the zoo concept on its head and allowing animals to roam at liberty about the property and caging the customers in their cars."

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Decades later, Safari Lake Geneva was born. The immersive experience includes dozens of animals, including giraffes, water buffaloes and zebras.

"It’s expensive. It's hard to find a property, and (it's) a lot of work, but it paid off," said Maggie Madden with Safari Lake Geneva.

From giraffe encounters to feeding endangered animals, guests are guaranteed an unforgettable experience while supporting the preservation of wildlife.

"We do support wildlife conservation in Asia," Christie said. "We also support the Giraffe Conservation Foundation which helps saves giraffes in multiple African countries, as well as the Cheetah Conservation Fund, which helps saves cheetahs throughout Africa."

Guests should register for their safari online in advance. And while going on a safari isn't everyone's dream, creating the experience was a dream for Christie.

"The realization from a childhood dream is something I realized is not something everyone is fortunate enough to do," he said.