First, a little housekeeping. I just realized I have used 48% of my allotted media for this blog, which means I’ve used way too many pictures. After the first few posts, Trev said I needed more pictures but I guessed I started using too many so I’m going to have to put in fewer pics. 😦 I’m going to try these collages to see if that helps get some more pics in without the extra usage. Fingers crossed. You are welcome to check out our Instagram account by the same name (nohurrycains) if you’re interested in more pictures. Just a heads up, though, Instagram gets updated quicker than the blog so you’ll see pictures before you get the story. Ok, enough blah, blah, blah.
This visit to Canada, unlike the one a few days ago, was part of our original plan. Comparing the two Canadian entry points: Sault Ste Marie is in an industrial area, steel mill, paper mill, etc so just right over the bridge isn’t super pretty landscape wise due to this fact. This entry was more of the welcome visitor kind of entry. It is more city and agriculture. Something else I noticed is that Canada appears more eco-friendly from a business stand point. The hotels used real silverware and plates (very few if any plastics), paper straws (I’ve never been a fan of those), and recycling bins everywhere, etc. Not making a judgement, just an observation, which may or may not be fact.
We were headed to Niagara Falls but had a friend highly recommend the African Lion Safari.
My kiddos love animals so it was a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t you want to drive through acres of wild animals just roaming around your car?
More about that later.
The African Lion Safari, was in my opinion an expensive experience. It cost us about $153 Canadian dollars, which at the time of this writing was about $115 USD. When we first pulled in the parking lot and went in, I thought we weren’t going to get our money’s worth. It was very unassuming but the park had lots to offer from a mini train ride and short boat ride, live shows, a water park area, a children’s playground, and a discovery center, all in addition to the drive through safari. I think we got our money’s worth in the end.
I took way too many pictures of way too many animals to show the variety. Sorry, but at least here’s a little sample.
The drive through has different sections housing different animals that are able to cohabitat without eating one another. But within each section the animals roam around freely and can walk right up to your car, with just a few exceptions like the cheetahs and kangaroos and couple others that are fenced separately. Unlike Virgina Safari Park, you can’t feed the animals and you must keep your windows up since they have things like lions that could eat you. Or baboons that climb onto your car and perch on your side mirror. You can’t make this kind of stuff up. Yep, this little fella climbed up the front my car, walked around, perched himself on my side mirror, walked over to Trev’s mirror and licked his window, and then fell off. Holy smokes! The video I have of this with the boys in the background screaming with delight is hilarious! At that moment, the entry fee was well worth it for them, even if that had been the only thing they did or saw all day, I think.
The boys were in heaven! They couldn’t stop laughing. Now you can pay about an additional $5 CAD a person to ride the tour bus but I don’t think the boys would have gotten to see the baboons this close on that big old bus. My crew was fine with a dent or a scratch any day for the experience.
We watched the birds of prey show and the elephant show. Both very entertaining and educational. We needed to get going to make it to Niagara Falls so we left and the boys didn’t even get in the water area. We could have spent all day there. My fam loves these kind of attractions and would highly recommend this one!
Off to our next adventure, Niagara Falls.
I love the US but I’ve got to say Canada has us beat when it comes to Niagara Falls. The US side is kind of like looking at the falls from the top and side. The Canadian side you are looking head on to the US side and the horseshoe part and they have all these beautiful flowers. In the pic below the US side is on top and the Canadian side in on bottom.
It’s really pretty. SUPER CROWDED but beautiful. Parking is pricey $25 CAD for the day. If you’re staying longer I would recommend the bus pass. When we got out of the car, a good ways from the falls, we were already getting misted from the falls across the road. It was crazy. I recommend wearing comfy shoes that dry quick. I wore my Chacos and they worked great. You’ll walk a ways, especially if you’re in one of the far lots like we were.
Don’t hate us but we all liked Niagara better than the Grand Canyon. I know many will feel the opposite and that’s cool. I’m just telling our opinions. That being said, to be fair, we took the Hornblower tour at the falls and we didn’t do any additional tours like that at the canyon, like a donkey ride or something. So we may have felt different had we done that.
When we saw the Falls we thought it was amazing but when we saw the boats below, we knew we needed to buy tickets. Those cost about $100 CAD for the family. So today was a more expensive day than usual for us with two such big events in one day. But both were totally worth it. Could you to go to Niagara and not do the boat? Yes, definitely and it would be free except for parking. But the boat made a great experience an amazing adventure!! We had so much fun. Even with the ponchos you get wet, it’s SUPER windy, and definitely loud! I wouldn’t trade that trip for anything. Again, the video helps you feel the power of the falls. It was hard to stand up straight sometimes. What a blast!
There are other attractions like Journey Behind the Falls, etc. If we had more time we probably would have checked those out but we needed to get across the border and get to our hotel and get to bed. They have fireworks and light the falls up at night but we needed sleep.
So much to do but so little time!
See you back in the good old USA!