For my friends birthday she wanted to go on the Malibu Wine Safari. I had never heard of it prior to her mentioning it but after she did, a group of Bachelor contestants went there and posted on Instagram about it, and I realized it was a really popular spot.
One of the questions on the Malibu Wine’s website’s FAQ even is “What is Malibu Wines, and why are you so popular?” Most known for the ability to feed its giraffe, Stanley, the Malibu Wine Safari takes you across their 1,000 acre SaddleRock Ranch and Vineyard while you taste various local wines.
To celebrate my friend’s 23rd birthday, a bunch of us drove up to Malibu from her house in Orange County to experience the Wine Safari we were all excited for. There are various different types of Wine Safaris. We settled on the Giraffe Tour. This was a 105 minute tour where we would taste 6 different wines, meet the exotic animals on the safari, and even meet and feed the famous giraffe Stanley. According to our tour guide, Stanley was even featured in various commercials and films!
As you can see from the chart above, there are various types of safari tours ranging from $65 to $155 and 90 minutes to 120 minutes. These safaris differ in how many wines you will taste, what age participants can be, the tour length, if you get to meet Stanley the giraffe, what snacks will be served, and if you tour the Chumash Cave Paintings.
You start your Safari by getting into these safari trucks. This allows you a scenic view while you are driving around the acres to your destinations. You are greeted by your driver and tour guide who will be leading the tour. They give you wrist bands the same color as your safari truck, ours was hot pink. Below you can see us mid-safari with wine glasses in hand sporting our hot pink wristbands ready to head to the next location.
First Stop – Animals
The first stop on our tour was the animal pens – excluding Stanley the giraffe. We saw many animals including alpacas, bison, zebras, and water buffalo. They give you the option to feed some of the animals. Not being a huge fan of animals, I was wary to feed them lettuce and carrots, so I was the designated photographer for the group.
You have to be careful around the animals. Zebras have sharp teeth and have been known to bite people. Also the water buffalos have sharp horns and have been known to stab people with them. Apparently, this is why you sign a form at the beginning of the tour, as told to us by our tour guide. If you are careful and don’t stick your hands or face into the pen you will be fine.
Next Stop – Stanley
We were all excited for the main event, meeting and feeding Stanley the giraffe. Even though I am afraid of animals, I still wanted to feed Stanley because we were on the Giraffe Tour and I wanted a cute picture.
We were led to Stanley’s pen and instructed that once we all get in line to feed Stanley we have to go rather fast. We have to feed him back to back with no wasted time in-between because then Stanley will move his head back into his pen and it will be a burden for him to keep moving his neck through the pen. You only have a quick few seconds for time with Stanley and to snap a picture.
My friend managed to take a decent one of me – check out Stanley’s tongue! I decided just to hand him the lettuce cautiously. You could also feed Stanley by putting the lettuce in your mouth on one end and offering it to him so he can grab it by the other end – “Lady and the Tramp” style. Some of my friends tried doing this, but warning – you could get licked by Stanley’s giant tongue! Below are some pictures I took of feeding Stanley.
End of the Safari
After meeting Stanley, we headed to our last stop. We arrived in a meadow with vintage cars and a few trees. We learned that this spot has been a frequent wedding location. The tour guide served us crackers and spread while we took many pictures.
My favorite picture was in front of on of the vintage vans. After this we headed back on the safari truck to the area where you start the tour. My favorite wine I tasted with the Stanley Muscat. This is only available to buy at the safari and not online or at the tasting room. Speaking of the tasting room, that itself is also very popular. We headed to that spot next.
Malibu Wines Tasting Room
You can take a shuttle from the parking area to the Malibu Wines Tasting Room. It is all outdoors so it is not much of a tasting room, but it has been the best tasting location I have ever been to!
The grounds are beautiful. Many people brought their own food or snacks to enjoy their wine with. You can come and grab a spot on the grass to enjoy your wine. Many people brought picnic blankets to sit on, and even though we did not have one, it was still nice to sit in the sun and enjoy our wine on the grass.
You can also rent out other spaces to sit if the grass isn’t your thing. From picnic tables, to a gazebo, to even a school bus, you can reserve these seating areas to fit your needs.
The tasting room was the best way to end our Malibu Wine Safari. I am very happy to have been able to go to the Malibu Wine Safari with friends this summer. This will be a trip that I won’t ever forget!