The San Diego Safari Park’s Best and Sometimes Overlooked Restaurant


The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has plenty of options for places to grab a bite to eat. They’ve got it all: breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and even snacks. No matter the time of day or craving, the park pretty much has your needs covered. But in my opinion, there is one restaurant that stands heads and tails above the rest. My favorite dining location for the whole family is The Watering Hole at Kijamii Overlook.


If you’re looking for spectacular views, this open-air restaurant is the place for you and your family. This location overlooks one of the park’s many African field exhibits. As you dine you can watch a herd of giraffes munching on their favorite snacks, or a crash of rhinos resting in the shade of a nearby tree, or even a herd of wildebeest roaming the hills. You might even hear the lions roaring from Lion Camp below. The Watering Hole is the best place to relax and just take in the view.

View of rhinos from a table at The Watering Hole restaurant

The Food

The Watering Hole opens at 11 am Monday-Friday and at 930 am for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. You can find both menus on their website. While I haven’t eaten everything on the menu, I can say my favorite options are the Kilimanjaro Club Croissant at lunch and the Monte Cristo Sandwich for brunch. The kid’s menu options are either Macaroni and Cheese or a PB&J Sandwich. And let me just say I could’ve eaten my daughter’s portion of mac and cheese and been perfectly happy.  If you’re looking to indulge in an adult beverage my recommendation would be the Crashing Rhino. They also offer a Safari Flight, which I hear is quite popular, which includes three draft beers and a Cheetah-Rita Taster.

Don’t Overlook The Watering Hole

The next time you decide to dine in at the Safari Park make sure you ask someone for directions to The Watering Hole at Kijamii Overlook. You can also make reservations ahead of time here. I have seen the restaurant fill up on busier days so a reservation could save you from potentially being turned away. Between the atmosphere and the food, this restaurant is guaranteed to be a hit with the whole family.


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