San Antonio Mom Blogs - Life and Parenting in the Alamo City

The brand new Tower Creek at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

Disclosure: My family and I received complimentary entrance to this attraction, along with lunch. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions and photos (except for the aerial view of Tower Creek, which is property of Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch) are mine.

A visit to Tower Creek: the brand new section at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

If you’ve ever visited Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, you know the feeling that greets you when you enter the gates: pure, unadulterated excitement at the possibility spotting rare and exotic animals and the delight of feeding them from your car, seeing how they live in nature, and watching them tend to their young. It’s an experience like none other in San Antonio. 

Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is one of our favorite places to go in San Antonio. For years, my kids have referred to it as the “Drive-thru Zoo,” but it’s so much more than that.

In addition to the drive-through section, the Ranch also has a petting barnyard, a walk-a-bout, the Safari Grill, a gift shop, and now the two-mile-long Tower Creek section with seven new species of animals and more of their famed giraffes. Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch celebrates the grand opening of Tower Creek on April 1. My family and I took a complimentary preview tour of this new section earlier this month and I can’t wait for you to see it!

The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive at this new section (located inside the drive-through portion of the Ranch, just before you come to the zebras) is the sweeping Hill Country view ahead of you and the steep, almost plunging hill you drive down as you descend, slowly, into Tower Creek.

A visit to Tower Creek: the brand new section at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

Cool fact: when you’re at the top of that hill, you’re in Comal County but when you reach the bottom (and while you’re in the entire Tower Creek section), you’re in Bexar County!

On your drive downhill, check out the limestone “stair steps” on your left. Over 31,000 cubic feet of limestone was milled from the bluff and used to create the two-mile road that leads you through Tower Creek.

A visit to Tower Creek: the brand new section at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

Cool fact: The amount of limestone milled at this bluff would cover a football field, goal post to goal post, 18 feet deep!

The centerpiece of 50-acre Tower Creek is the giraffe enclosure which houses four juvenile giraffes, ranging in age from three to eight years old (a giraffe’s lifespan is usually 25-30 years). As they become accustomed to their new living quarters in the Ranch, these young giraffes will begin to approach the vehicles that drive through and visitors can feed them from their cars.

A visit to Tower Creek: the brand new section at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

Cool fact: Did you know that a herd of giraffes is called a “tower?”

A visit to Tower Creek: the brand new section at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

On the day we visited, the Tower Creek giraffes were still a little shy. They looked over at us, inquisitively, checking us out and, probably, wondering why we’re so short and why we move so slowly!

A visit to Tower Creek: the brand new section at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

Wasswa and Nakato, the world famous twin giraffes born at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch last May, still live in an enclosure near the Ranch’s entrance, with their parents. They are the second set of living twin giraffes in the U.S. and the ninth set of giraffe twins worldwide. Watch the Ranch’s website for details on their first birthday party, planned for early May.

Cool fact: When a giraffe is born, he or she will fall six feet to the ground and they’re up and running within an hour.

Keeping the giraffes company in Tower Creek are many new-to-the-Ranch friends, including Impala, Zebu, Grant’s Gazelles, Sable Antelope, and the African endangered species Nile Lechwe, Arabian Oryx, Dama Gazelle, and Bongo Antelope, all of whom roam freely over 50 acres.

Tower Creek also contains a parking lot, restrooms, the Safari Sweet Shop (which will serve sweet treats not available at Safari Grill, including cups of Bluebell ice cream, homemade fudge, shakes, and malts), and a shaded picnic pavilion.

Of course the rest of Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is filled with 500 animals made up of 45 different species from around the world. The zebras are some of my favorites to see because they always surprise you with their (truly) wild antics.

A visit to Tower Creek: the brand new section at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

A visit to Tower Creek: the brand new section at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

A visit to Tower Creek: the brand new section at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

Tips for a great day at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch:

  • Your ticket price allows you entrance to the Ranch all day long. Drive through as many times as you like.
  • Plan to spend some time wandering through the petting barnyard and walk-a-bout. The lemurs there often provide some of the best entertainment. On our recent visit, when we found two lemurs mating, the following exchange took place:

Waylon, our 6yo: What are they doing?

Delaney, our 8yo: Giving each other piggy back rides!

Um. Yes! That’s right! “Piggy back rides.” Whew. Thanks to Delaney’s innocent explanation, it looks like I can successfully delay the “birds and bees” talk for at least a little while longer! While I’m not sharing any seductive lemur photos here (This is a family site, y’all!), this acrobatic lemur demonstrates why he and his friends shouldn’t be missed on a visit to Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch.

A visit to Tower Creek: the brand new section at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch

  • Bring in your own water and/or snacks. There are plenty of shaded picnic areas, both outside the Safari Grill and under the pavilion at Tower Creek. Picnics are welcome.

Comments

  1. My kids went last summer and totally loved it!

  2. I have been wanting to go here. I read your other post about Lost Pines- and I think we are going to try it out. 🙂

  3. I remember going when I was a wee child, and it was a blast. I would totally go again – I haven’t hung out with any lemurs in quite a while… 🙂

  4. Monica Jones says:

    Always wanted to check this out!

  5. I’m most excited to see the baby giraffes at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch!

  6. We’ve been here for 3 years and have yet to go… We’d love to see the giraffes and zebras! Of course if they popped their head in my car.. I am not going to lie… I would get nervous.

  7. Your photos are amazing!
    Heidi recently posted…Free Rita’s Italian Ice on Thursday!My Profile

  8. Would love to see the twin giraffes. I can’t believe they’re turning a year old already!

  9. OMG, I love that they’ve added on! I can’t wait to get out there soon and check out the tower and PG13 lemurs 😉
    Rocio recently posted…Top 5 Ways Not to Damage Your Man’s EgoMy Profile

  10. I am most excited about seeing an ostrich!
    Alvina Castro recently posted…Spring Forward with Kleenex StyleMy Profile

  11. Anne Peters says:

    I’ve always wanted to visit Natural Bridges – my kiddos would love it! Giraffes are our favorite.

  12. I would love to see the zebras up close!

  13. That looks like so much fun! I remember going to drive through safari parks as a child and loved every minute of it! I love the zebra picture. 🙂 I have to say that I am a little partial to giraffes; they always make me smile.
    Pary Moppins recently posted…Perfectly Practical #198 – How to Read an Invitation Part 1My Profile

  14. Definitely the giraffes! Love them!
    Helen recently posted…The plants are in!My Profile

  15. This is so close to Austin, I need to remember this would be a great day trip!
    Skye recently posted…How To Train Your Dragon: A nice surprise!My Profile

  16. I have never ever been! My family has, but not so much me. I’m sure with Sweet E that’s about to change.
    Patti recently posted…Weather Experiments Using Common Household MaterialsMy Profile

  17. I’ve never been and have always wanted to! My daughter would love it and I think we’d all love seeing the giraffes most! 🙂
    Jessica recently posted…We have a TWO year old.My Profile

  18. Oh, I love giraffes! I’ve never been to the ranch…I think that needs to change!
    Melissa D recently posted…Brachycephaly Q&A: Do I Regret Not Treating?My Profile

  19. My daughter would absolutely love this!
    Telma Garcia recently posted…2nd Annual San Antonio Book FestivalMy Profile

  20. I love this place – the zebra’s are awesome!
    heather recently posted…Spring Inspired Crafts for KidsMy Profile

  21. We went a couple weeks ago. My kids love the zebra’s! I can’t wait to see the new area.

  22. We love the zebras. We have gone a total of 5 times in 2 years. The best part is seeing the smile on my children’s face.

  23. Cory deLuna says:

    I have never been but i have been wanting to take my kids. It looks like soo much fun. I want to see the zebra up close.

  24. The giraffes are my favorites!
    Katie recently posted…Five on FridayMy Profile

  25. we love the giraffes !

  26. Your photos are awesome. I think we’ll try and take the kids on our next visit to San Antonio!
    Kristin Barclay recently posted…Houston Rockets Giveaway #ReignOnMy Profile

  27. Christa S says:

    I would love the opportunity to see the twins!

  28. Thanks for doing this giveaway! I love that place!
    Bailey K. recently posted…CIRO & SONS RESTAURANT (GLUTEN-FREE) | FLORENCE, ITALYMy Profile

  29. I’ve always wanted to visit it!
    Bobbie recently posted…Handmade GiveawayMy Profile

  30. It’s always the zebras! 🙂 love the zebras!

  31. I haven’t been since the twin giraffes were born, so I gotta say giraffes 🙂

  32. Looking forward to my 4 year old being able to feed a giraffe:) Giraffes are his favorite and it’ll be nice he can feed them so close to home.

  33. I haven’t been there in years….I’m super excited to see the giraffes!
    Sarah @ Play 2 Learn with Sarah recently posted…Free Printable: Easter Pattern MatchMy Profile

  34. Love these photos and neat facts! I’ve been wanting to go there since we moved to Texas! (I’m visiting from the TX bloggers FB group, btw.)
    Kirsten Oliphant recently posted…Cheesy Pretzel DogsMy Profile

  35. Christine Watt says:

    We would love to check out the new Tower Creek. My boys love giraffes and zebras, but have never seen giraffes up close. They would be amazed!!

  36. Went here a few weeks ago.. The new section was very nice!

  37. Kristi S says:

    My kids would love to see the Giraffes! What a neat looking place

  38. Id love to get close to the giraffes
    Christina Coker recently posted…Local spotlight: San Antonio book festivalMy Profile

  39. Jackie Geist says:

    Can’t wait wait to see twin giraffes and zebras!

  40. Zebras are the best!

  41. Love to see the GIRAFFES!!!!

  42. I love zebras… But have never been so would be absolutely excited to see everything..!! 🙂

  43. Julie Lopez says:

    We can’t wait to see the new section…it has been a couple of years since our last visit. My daughter and I really want to see the giraffes!

  44. I love the giraffes!
    Sarah R. recently posted…Dealing with the Green Eyed MonsterMy Profile

  45. I’d love to see the twin giraffes!
    Lilliana Gonzalez recently posted…San Antonio Book FestivalMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] Some fondly call it the “drive-thru” zoo but Natural Wildlife Ranch is so much more. Our post from last year explains why this is one stop on your Spring Break list you just can’t miss. Print this […]

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge