Tour The Wilds In Ohio For An Unforgettable Experience



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While on my fabulous tour of Ohio, I had the opportunity to take a walk on the wild side! The Wilds in Ohio is located in Guernsey County Ohio. It was created as a concept to help form a public and private partnership involving the Ohio Departments of Natural Resources and Development, the Ohio Zoos, and the private sector. Their mission is “To advance conservation through science, education and personal experience”.


This was one of the highlights of my trip. We rode in an open air safari type bus and entered the habitat of animals I’d only ever seen caged in a zoo. While these magnificent animals are caged, they have an enormous amount of land to roam.


Before I start on my whole open air bus tour experience let me share that this isn’t just a zoo. This isn’t just a low budget safari, no this is a wild life habitat where the animals are loved, enjoyed, and experiences are created. There is too much for me to include everything in one post so I’ve decided to break this into two posts. One being The actual Safari itself and the other Staying in the park. By staying in the park I mean you’re NOT staying in a hotel, you’re staying in the park!


The Wilds is part of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio and offers a variety of tours. The Open Air Safari Tour has you boarding an open air bus with a guide that will take you through the open-range animal areas. You will see Rhinos, Giraffes, Zebras, Camels, and many other animals not native to the USA. This tour about two hours long and is something you will never forget.

The Wildside Tour is an exclusive tour that gives you the opportunity to interact with Animal Management specialists to see the Wilds at work. This experience varries day to day depending on the workings taking place at the time. For instance you may observe Conservation Medicine, Giraffe Feeding, or other care being performed on the tour.


Winter at the Wilds Tour is a tour I would love to take part in. Many of these animals because they are not native to North America aren’t used to our winters. On this tour you will get up close and personal with the animals. This is a one of a kind safari which you will have the opportunity to see giraffes and baby rhinos.

The day of our tour it was very hot and humid, but the animals didn’t seem to mind and were even, playful? Our bus was blocked by four Bactrain Camels who decided the bus was a good scratching post. One thought the mirror MIGHT taste good, and another decided to poke his head into the bus. I was not amused and just as I was about to tweek his nose the camel blew his nose on me and went on his merry way, leaving me officially gooed.


We were treated to a vision from afar of a baby rhino that had been born just a few days before our visit. The mother had it down in a large pond. It was interesting to find out that Rhinos are generally friendly animals and we were taken to the area where the rhinos are kept and able to see them up close. These friendly guys loved being pet and talked to. Their horns are acutually tightly spun hair, and their skin is somewhat sensitive. So many myths that I had thought about Rhinos were debunked on this trip, and it has now become one of my favorite animals.


The Przewalski’s Wild Horses were a bit tempramental to say the least and almost cost me my cell phone. These horses are said to be the last of the wild horses because they haven’t been tamed for human use. While leaning over to take a photo one bucked another and one let out a loud screech and spooked me, my cell phone that I was taking a photo with went flying and by shear luck I was able to reach out with the other hand and grab it before it fell in the mud. These horses are beautiful, but unfriendly, and wild. I admire the fact that because of their refusal to be tamed they are who they are!

My husband and I are planning a trip for the whole family that includes a visit to The Wilds. I’m amazed that I have lived in the neighboring state all of my life and never knew that this amazing reserve existed. The Wilds should be on everyone’s travel bucket list!

7 comments for “Tour The Wilds In Ohio For An Unforgettable Experience

  1. October 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I love outdoor ‘zoos’ like this. Never been to this one, but just recently went to one in Huntsville, AL. I swear they wanted to jump in the car!

  2. October 15, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    That’s really cool. Guess we have our own wild savannas right here. Well, maybe not exactly wild, but colorful certainly.

  3. October 15, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    I’m from Columbus, where we have one of the best Zoo’s in the country and live in Charlotte where we have zero zoo’s and always try to visit when we’re back in Columbus. I’ve heard wonderful things about the Wilds and it’s on my list of fun things to do with my family! What a wonderful experience!

  4. October 26, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Where I live (the Philippines), we have something similar like that, called Zoobic Safari. The trip to the tigers’ lair was the scariest for me. I loved looking at the pictures you posted here. The camel’s eyes are so pretty! I was happy that you were able to “save” your cellphone. I would freak out if that happened to me. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Katherine Riley
    November 15, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I have been thinking about taking our granddaughters to The Wilds as it is only a 2 hour drive away. Your review makes me think I definitely need to schedule this next summer.

  6. Megan Filzen
    November 22, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    This would be an incredible experience!

    January 11, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    This would be an amazing experience to take my family to.

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