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The Safari West Wildlife Foundation (SWWF) has launched an exciting new interactive educational program called Safari West LIVE. With COVID-19 deeply compromising the Foundation’s onsite programming, we pivoted our programs; taking a lesson from nature.  Our primary goal was to continue offering real-time programming, along with special one-on-one experience provided by SWWF staff. Using the latest digital video technology, Safari West LIVE staff recreates the educational experience of those in-person visits.

Safari West LIVE's outreach is  geared toward children’s hospitals and Title I schools. With little more than the internet, a video screen, a speaker, and a microphone, the experience becomes available to the children nearly anywhere. The program itself is a 60 minute livestream safari, with one-on-one information flowing among the safari guide, participating patients, healthcare team, other educators and students. As giraffes, zebras, rhinos and more enter the scene and are discussed; participants gain a true understanding of wildlife, their habitats and the importance of wildlife stewardship.

For children’s hospitals, animals provide a special therapeutic value for ill children, thus contributing to their physical and emotional well-being. Research points to therapeutic play as a means to not only help ill children overcome hospitalization anxiety, but also support recovery. Further, our educational activities, which promote child participation, also encourage the shared activity with parents to actively participate in the experience. For schools, our program and related curriculum, carefully designed, assists teachers with their lesson planning.  We regularly refine and update the curriculum for adherence to California’s Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).


For nearly three decades, SWWF, working with the Safari West Wildlife Preserve, has asserted that a visit is “as close as you can get to Africa without going there.” A trip to Africa may not be affordable for many, but with the wide-open spaces and numerous, mixed-species herds, the preserve can duplicate much of the experience. This 400-acre preserve, located in Santa Rosa, CA was founded with the idea that there is nothing like meeting wildlife where it lives and on its own terms.

We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity for an up-close and intimate experience with nature, regardless of whom or where they are. Safari West LIVE inspires people to become wildlife stewards for life.

AJ's Story

One of those children is AJ, a five-year-old boy who recently spent several months at Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland. Read more...