Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari – Jacksonville, TX

One of the most enjoyable things we’ve done in a long time was visiting the absolutely incredible Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari in Jacksonville, TX!  With 300 acres of beautiful, well-kept land; you’ll feel like you’re in an entirely different country!


From the safety and comfort of your car, you can view and feed over 25 different species of exotic animals that, unless you go an African safari, you may never get to see!

There are several miles of driving trails, and a LOT of seriously cute critters to feed.  Not to worry, though…it’s laid out to be super easy to navigate, and you can stop about halfway through to purchase some more food if you give it out a little too eagerly (like we did!)

Cherokee Trace is the perfect family outing, being both fun and educational.  Handouts from the front office accompany each vehicle to tell a little bit about each animal while you interact with the different species and experience their unique personalities!

The Dromedary Camel, in particular, is a well known character around the park.  Be sure to hang on to your food when you’re in his neck of the woods!  As we found out the hard way; this big boy has no boundaries when it comes to his munchies.  He’s a repeat offender in the crime of sticking his whole head in your window and stealing the entire bag of food from wherever you’ve got it stashed!


Being able to get so up-close and personal with the wildlife also makes this park every photographer’s dream.  If you’re lucky, there may even be some babies running around when you visit!  A ticket to the Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari is good for the whole day; so you can spend as much time as you want with the animals.

Although the address is usually listed as Jacksonville, the safari is actually closer to the town of Ponta.  They suggest using Google Maps to find the exact location, as many GPS services may lead you to the wrong spot.  For more information including pricing and hours, check out Cherokee Trace’s website here.

For a fun and exciting safari experience in East Texas, be sure to check out the Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari!