Wisconsin Dells, WI: Timbavati Wildlife Park

Kids of all ages love seeing animals in action and interacting with wildlife whenever possible.  On our recent road trip to Wisconsin Dells, WI we visited the (still under construction) Timbavati Wildlife Park.  Timbavati is being built on the site of a former water park, and some of the old water slide staircases/platforms are still existing.  There is still a lot of work that needs to be done here.  At the time we visited, Phase II (of 3) recently opened, and the exhibits at the entrance were nowhere near being done.  But, that being said, Timbavati Wildlife Park was still a lot of fun, for the things that we actually could do anyway.

Timbavati Wildlife Park

Our Experience:  Upon entering the park, I was surprised at the amount of construction going on.  The construction work extended to all areas of the park too, not just near the front entrance.  However, there were some animals on display right at the entrance (mostly birds).  I can’t exactly tell you what was in them, though, because most did not have any signs on the habitats to let you know what was in them (and some that were there were incorrect).  So far, this was not looking like a good experience…

Timbavati Under Construction

Construction, construction, and more construction!

We walked a bit more and were able to see lots of lions, tigers, cheetahs, and other cats.  My husband, for one, was really surprised that the viewing posts were only a few feet from the exhibits!  Of course, the habitats were completely fenced in, but still!  Talk about a close encounter!

Timbavati Bengal Tiger

Isn’t this tiger beautiful?  (And, yes, I was that close.)

Timbavati Wildlife Park Tiger

From there, our day progressively got better.

We got to watch a pig race…

Timbavati Pig Race

And pet some animals…

Timbavati Petting Animals

And see some other cool creatures – like the biggest rodent I have ever seen.

Timbavati Capybara

There was also a really large enclosure with some ostrich and zebras.

Timbavati Zebras

It’s also pretty cool that the Timbavati train ride uses the old attraction’s (Old Fort Dells) Engine #9 original train.  We even saw animals approaching the train so riders could feed them.  Very cool!

Timbavati Old Fort Dells Engine #9

But our absolute favorite part of our visit was the giraffe feeding.  Actually, my favorite pictures from our whole trip are from this exhibit. And Oh. My. Word.  My toddler couldn’t get enough!  He had no fear either…I think his entire hand was in a giraffe’s mouth at some point!  The. Best. Ever.

Timbavati Giraffe Feeding

Now that’s the stuff family vacations are made of!

Timbavati Family Vacation

Overall:  We did have a really good time at Timbavati Wildlife Park, although I wouldn’t block out a whole day for it.  One day, when the park is 100% complete, I’m sure it will be awesome.  Looks like there’ll be a cool water exhibit right at the entrance so I’ll be great for photo ops.  At Timbavati, you can also ride the go carts, take a ride on a camel, and even have your picture taken with a baby tiger or other baby animals!

So tell me, would you visit Timbavati Wildlife Park?

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  1. Yes, we’d love to visit even while construction. I believe my son would be enamored with the train ride, and of course the giraffe! Awesome photos!
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