When you think of Malibu, you probably think of historic PCH, the beach, surfing and the Hollywood celebrities that live here. What if I told you, you could experience a safari in the canyons of Malibu where you can see exotic animals and drink wine? You would probably call me crazy BUT it’s true! This magical place is called Malibu Wine Safari and I want to tell you all about it!
Location and Parking
As mentioned before Malibu Wine Safari is located in the canyons of Malibu, off of Mulhollland Hwy on Saddlerock Ranch and Vineyard which is an expansive 1,000 acre-property. Along with the 5 different tours offered here the property has 5 different wedding and event locations.
For parking, enter the gate that says “Malibu Wine Safari” and drive into the dirt lot, parking is free. If you are staying for a safari head down to the wooden house to check in. If you are heading down to Malibu Wines, head to the far right of the lot and look for the shuttle signs.
Once you are checked in and receive your wrist band you can wander around a bit until your group is called but make sure you are within ear shot or you will miss your safari.
Fun fact: each of the safari trucks are animal themed and the name of the animal will be on your wrist band, we were on the flamingo truck for this safari. The safari trucks are also custom built so everyone has a great seat.
We chose the Giraffe Tour which is $30 more than the Basic Explorer Tour, but we thought Stanley the Giraffe was worth the extra money. This tour is roughly 105 minutes of wine drinking and safariing. Our guides for this safari were Chelsea and Alex both of which were incredibly knowledgeable, friendly and were awesome photographers. Once everyone was settled on the truck we were off! We started off going to the Oak Grove where we did our first wine tasting. This tasting was 3 white wines: a Saddlerock sauvignon blanc, 2015 Saddlerock chardonnay, and Stanley the giraffe which is a moscato. We had plenty of time to try the wines, explore the grounds in the Oak Grove, get any pictures we wanted and walk over to see the alpacas.
Next, we saw some horses and a zebra named Justin Zieber, who lives with the horses, while we made our way to the llamas and other zebras. Here we got to feed the llamas carrots and the zebras got lettuce leaves.
Our next stop, was Stanley! We lined up, lettuce leaves in hand, and got to feed him while hopefully getting some good pictures of it. Once everyone had their turn to feed Stanley you could feed him as many times as you’d like until the lettuce ran out. You could also explore more of the property if desired before we headed to our last location.
The last location, was Camp Cabernet, which is a unique experience in itself as it has 7 remodeled and pretty fancy airstream trailers along with a vintage VW bus and vintage taxi cab. You also get a fantastic view of the vineyards and surrounding mountains. Here we tried our 3 red wines: 2016 Saddlerock Merlot, Kendrick Llama which is a 2016 cabernet sauvignon, and a 2016 King of the Mountain cuvée. We also had some crackers and spreads.
Important to note: there is an actual restroom here if like me, you prefer not use a gross port-a-potty.
After everyone was done, we headed back and that was the end of the safari. Throughout the safari, Chelsea gave us great information about the property, the animals, the wines and grapes and of course the Semler family who owns the property.
- It is important to arrive at least 30 minutes before your designated tour time, you never know with LA traffic and if you are late the tour will start without you. We saw a group that was late and they unfortunately missed their tour and couldn’t get on another one that day.
- If you need to cancel your reservation, make sure you do it at least 48 hours in advance.
- You will be walking in dirt, gravel and grass so ladies, leave the heels at home and make sure you are dressed appropriately for getting on and off the safari truck.
- If you want the Giraffe Tour, book at least a month in advance, Stanley is very popular.
I love this safari, so much so we have another one booked for October! It was so much fun getting to interact with exotic animals that I wouldn’t normally get to, especially in Malibu, of all places. The wine was delicious and the property was stunning! I would definitely recommend doing any of the tours here, but splurge for Stanley. They offer other experiences if you want more from Malibu Wines, you can go to the Malibu Wine Tasting Room or do a Malibu Wine Hike! I can’t wait until October for another amazing safari and visit with Stanley!
Have you been to Malibu Wine Safari? Which tour did you do, if you have been? Will you add to your list when you visit California? Let me know in the comments below!