The note came in the form of a puzzle: what's black and white and new all over? The answer: the cute zebra babies born at Santa Rosa's Safari West wildlife park. Drive 75 miles north of San Francisco and you find a slice of the Serengeti. Some 400 acres in the heart of California's wine country, Safari West is home to over 400 exotic mammals and birds, from cheetahs and reticulated giraffes to newly arrived Speke's weaver birds and flamingos.
January brought three new arrivals to boost the zebra population to 15; the striped bundles of joy weighed in at between 55 and 88 pounds at birth. And late winter/early spring usually heralds the arrival of more hoofed animal babies (last spring saw the arrival of two Bongo antelopes, two Eland and an Addax).
You can stay in a luxury safari tent with a view of exotic African wildlife and dine in their cafe, or just enjoy a daytrip. So while the arrival of adorable animal babies always makes things feel like spring, it's still winter, with winter deals and discounts. But don't delay—deals fade as the weather warms.
Details: Take Safari West's winter safaris now: on a 90-minute safari vehicle tour through the Sonoma Serengeti, get up close and personal with exotic animals. Then, stroll around to visit lemurs, cheetahs and giraffes; back to the Savannah Café buy a hot cider or chocolate. Cost: $58; ages 3-12 $20; Infants $5; offered 10 AM and 2PM - Fridays through Sundays. Book: 707/566-3667.
PHOTO CREDIT: Safari West