Tours and Experiences

Get up close and personal with desert wildlife during one of these zoo-nique experiences.

Animal Encounters

Rhino Encounter

Come face-to-face with an iconic, and critically endangered, species, the black rhino. During your encounter, you’ll step into an exclusive animal care area to meet one of the magnificent rhinos in our care, Nia or Jaali, and learn about their biology, care, and personalities while engaging in memorable activities like feeding or brushing. Join us for this memorable experience that makes an unforgettable impact! Your ticket directly supports the Zoo’s world-class animal care and global conservation initiatives.
  • Offered daily at 8:00am
  • Advanced reservations are recommended as space fills up quickly
  • Each session accommodates up to 10 guests
  • Member Tickets: $45/person*
  • Non-Member Tickets: $50/person*

*Plus admission. Admission may be added before checkout.

Please be sure to arrive on time, as we cannot accommodate guests 10 or more minutes after the encounter’s scheduled start time.

All guests must be at least 5 years old to participate. Children under 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Rhino Encounter

Giraffe Feeding

Feed your sense of adventure — and a giraffe — in this unforgettable, walk-up encounter with the world’s tallest mammal at the giraffe habitat! Seize this unique chance to personally feed these graceful giants and come nose-to-nose with the wonder of wildlife. Be sure to have your camera ready! Photos and fun are part of this experience.

  • Open daily
  • June 1 – September 30: 8:00am – 12:00pm
  • October 1 – May 31: 9:00am – 3:00pm
  • Members: $8/feeding
  • Non-Members: $10/feeding
*Reservations not required
By participating in the giraffe feeding, guests agree to follow directions and guidelines provided by staff to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our guests and animals.
For the safety of the animals, you are only permitted to feed food that is provided by the Zoo. The giraffes’ diet is carefully monitored and approved by The Living Desert’s animal care and veterinary teams.
Giraffe Feeding

VIP Zoo Tours

Private Safari Tour

Experience the Zoo in a whole new way, with a guided Private Safari tour! This luxury journey includes park admission, a personal guide, and a private shuttle. Explore the Zoo as our guide enthralls you with fascinating animal facts and park history during a dynamic two-hour adventure.
  • Minimum 2 guests per tour
  • Advanced reservations required
  • June 1 – September 30: Tour departure at 8:00am and 9:00am
  • October 1 – May 31: Tour departure at 9:00am
  • Children under 3 are free


Monday - Thursday

Friday - Sunday & Holidays

Member Adult



Member Child 



Non-Member Adult



Non-Member Child



Book Your VIP Tour

You can also email us at or call (760) 346-5694 to book your tour.


Explore Even More

Each day we offer Keeper Connections and opportunities to learn more about desert wildlife throughout the park! Find out what’s going on at the Zoo today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Rhino Encounter

How long is the encounter?

The encounter lasts approximately 30 minutes and begins promptly at the reserved start time. Please note, it is a 10-minute walk to the encounter area from the Zoo’s main entrance.

Please be sure to arrive on time, as we cannot accommodate entrance into the encounter space 10 or more minutes after the encounter start time.

This is a semi-private, group experience and other guests will share the encounter session. Private rhino encounters may be booked based on availability. You may purchase a 10-guest private experience for $500.

The Rhino Encounter fee does not include admission to The Living Desert – a valid admission ticket or membership is required for entry into the Zoo for the date of your encounter.

The Rhino Encounter is non-refundable.

All guests must be at least 5 years old to participate. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult.

This experience will be held rain or shine.

The Living Desert reserves the right to cancel or modify the Rhino Encounter due to animal health and/or safety concerns. In the event of a cancellation, efforts will be made to reschedule.

All participants must follow the instructions from animal care and staff members. Failure to follow instructions may result in removal from the Rhino Encounter without refund.

All participants must be in good health and free from any cold-like symptoms.

ECVs (Electric Conveyance Vehicles are not permitted to enter the Rhino Encounter space. Participants must be able to transfer into a wheelchair, walk by themselves, or be assisted by a member of their party. Courtesy wheelchair(s) will be available.

There is limited access for service animals during the encounter. Please call 760-346-5694 for more information.

This tour visits animal areas containing common allergens including but not limited to hay, grasses, dust, and biting/stinging insects.

Private Safari

What are the policies for the Private Safari?

Booking and Cancellation Policy for Private Safari Tours: Giraffe feeding included in Private Safari tour price (2-6 people only), but available as an add-on for Private Group Safari Tours. Tours must be booked at least 48 hours ahead of desired date and subject to availability. Tours begin at 9 am daily, October to May, and 8 am daily, June to September. Payment is due at the time of booking. If you need to cancel your tour, we ask that you do so at least seven days before your scheduled tour in order to receive a full refund. If you cancel within 7 days of your tour it is non-refundable.