Let's go to the zoo! Wild Georgia Safari Park is in our backyard

Are you looking for some affordable family fun this summer? Well, you’re in luck—if you know where to look!

Jake Mosley and his uncle, Holt, have somewhat of an unknown gem of an attraction just 20 miles from Swainsboro. Wild Georgia Safari Park (26127 GA Highway 57, Metter, GA 30439) is growing in terms of the number of visitors, much to the credit of social media, but wait times are still short today and prices are very reasonable.

To get there, head to Stillmore from Swainsboro by U.S. 1 Bypass, then turn left onto Highway 57 West. Once you’ve reached Stillmore, keep going toward the interstate; Crider Foods should be on your right as you exit. You’ll travel another approximate 14 miles before you get to a four-way stop. Go straight through the stop and you’ll see the establishment ahead on the right next to a little Chevron gas station just off Exit 98.

Wild Georgia Safari Park features a petting zoo daily from daylight to dark for $2 per person. Safari rides through a 3.5-mile park run Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. priced at $10 per person. Feed is $1 per bag, and you’ll definitely want it because there are a number of animals to interact with from the bus along the way.

While we don’t want to give away too many secrets and ruin the surprises the experience will bring for newcomers, there are a number of animals on site ranging from backyard pets to exotic animals you wouldn’t otherwise find in these parts. (For readers who want a little preview, there are chickens, llamas, a monkey, and several breeds of hoofstock animals.)

The park’s inception dates back to several generations of the Mosley Family’s involvement in farming and raising livestock. When the convenience store opened in 1996, the family had no idea the livestock would follow. The petting zoo came later, evolving slowly as the years went by. The park’s most significant changes in terms of the bus route, the animals’ living areas, and the animals themselves came when Jake acquired his exotic animal license in 2018. Since then, Wild Georgia Safari has continued to evolve.

Many of the animals they have today came from auctions, and the owners are constantly looking to add to the existing group as the right fits come along. It takes a village to run the operation; there are 12 full-time employees shared between the park and the gas station, including the help of a Metter FFA student. Dr. Sam Evans, who has a Swainsboro practice, helps with the Mosleys with veterinary needs for the animals as they arise.

Today, the attraction on I-16 has welcomed thousands of travelers. The majority are travelers passing through the area. While the following as a whole is growing definitely growing, Jake says Wild Georgia Safari Park always looks forward to welcoming more local people, including folks from Emanuel.

For more information, call 912-685-5577. The park also has a Facebook page, Wild Georgia Animal Park, as well as an Instagram, @wiregrassjunction.

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