Before we got in the car to head out, I made Andrew take a "before we leave" photo, because I'm silly like that. We drove and drove and eventually got off the interstate. After a few miles, we finally saw a sign for The Wilds in Cumberland, Oh and I mostly didn't believe we were actually going to stay there. But, my amazing husband booked us a night and safari at The Wilds. Which is a huge acreage of animal park, where they focus on research, conservation and education about wild animals.
Not only were we staying here, but we were staying in these amazing Mongolian style Yurts. We arrived almost 40 minutes early, but they checked us in and we were able to unpack and relax before dinner.
Yurts are super cute and functional round structures with minimal "stuff". The bathroom and shower are behind the curtains to the left and right of the bed. Which was, ohmygoodness, the best bed I've ever slept on.
It was difficult to get over the excitement of actually being there and then getting out my camera and taking blog worthy pictures. I even remember asking, probably with a stupid grin on my face, "do I get to see the animals??!!?!??!?!" Once I got my camera out I took so many pictures I have to split our stay into two posts. This first post is our room, the surroundings and the different spaces for visitors. The next will be of all the awesome animals we saw.
We were staying at Nomad Ridge, Yurt #9 which gave us a reserved table at the Overlook Cafe and access to the dinner menu or the buffet they were serving for Sunset Safari. Since we were going on Sunset Safari we decided to eat from the buffet and it was so delicious. All the employees were super nice. Within minutes of sitting down we were asked if we wanted water or lemonade or a number of other drinks. I thought they were doing this because we were at the reserved table, but they were doing it for everyone. Everyone seemed genuinely pleased to be there and were helpful and informative.
On the safari we stopped at the midsize Carnivore Center and saw these funny signs (not so funny if you don't take the warning).
The Carnivore Center had a huge viewing platform that overlooked a section of the enclosure. The spaces are huge, but a raised boardwalk gave a good vantage point no matter where the animals were.
It's a huge place, I think they said it was over 10,000 acres. Most of which is just rolling hills and grass, very few structures interefere with the landscape or wildlife.
This is the community deck by the Nomad Ridge. They have fires out weather permitting and we did sit outside for a little while after our safari finished. But, we were exausted and went to bed shortly after.
And just because it would be mean not to show a picture of an animal. Here's a SNEAK PEAK of what we saw on our safari trip.