My friend and I just paid $6 for four pieces of romaine lettuce.
This is the kind of thing you will do when you are determined to get up close and personal with a giraffe.
By the time we realize that $6 gets you about a tuna sandwich’s worth of lettuce from the nice lady who controls the entrance to the giraffe-feeding area, we’ve already shelled out the cash and we’re next in line behind a small band of screaming kids.
Then our moment comes. We approach a small cluster of the tall creatures, gingerly hold out the exorbitant greens as one of them gently Hoovers down the lettuce, his soft meaty lips nuzzling our palms.
Once the lettuce is gone, and Iphone photos are taken, the giraffe is done with us and we move along whispering that we wish we’d smuggled in a head of cheaper romaine so we could have stayed with the giraffes a little longer.
Nestled in the heart of the stunning Coachella Valley, The Living Desert in Palm Desert offers a unique and immersive experience for nature enthusiasts and animal lovers alike.
With its diverse array of desert wildlife and beautifully curated botanical gardens, this desert oasis is the perfect destination for a day of exploration and discovery. It’s a great place to hang out in a desert paradise with some exotic animals you won’t see anywhere else. And if an upscale zoo is not your thing, it’s also a great place to hike into an adjacent desert floor awash in gorgeous mountain views.
So here’s a little guide to get you through your morning at the Living Desert: (And don’t even think about smuggling in your own lettuce. They have rules against that).
Morning Delights: The African Village and Wildlife Wonders
Start your day by immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of the African Village. Here, you will step into the world of the aforementioned giraffes, zebras, and cheetahs as you stroll through the expansive habitat that closely resembles the African savannah.
Next, head over to the Wildlife Wonders exhibit, where you’ll encounter a diverse range of desert animals. From the elusive bobcats to the adorable meerkats, you’ll have the opportunity to observe these fascinating creatures up close. Don’t forget to catch the interactive animal presentations and feedings, where the knowledgeable staff will provide you with valuable insights about the resident animals.
Mid-Day Oasis: The Gardens and Conservation Carousel
Next, take a break from the animal encounters and immerse yourself in the tranquility of The Living Desert’s breathtaking botanical gardens. Here you can explore the vibrant colors and fragrant scents as you meander through the meticulously designed landscapes. From the cacti and succulent garden, showcasing a stunning array of desert-adapted plants, to the butterfly garden, where you can witness the delicate dance of these ethereal creatures, each garden offers a unique sensory experience.
Afterward, delight in a whimsical ride on the Conservation Carousel. Not only is it a joyous attraction, but it also serves as a reminder of The Living Desert’s commitment to conservation efforts. Choose from a variety of beautifully crafted animal-themed carousel figures and enjoy a nostalgic spin that supports the preservation of wildlife and their habitats.
Afternoon Adventures: The Australian Adventures and Discovery Center
As the day progresses, venture into the Australian Adventures exhibit, where you’ll encounter the fascinating wildlife from Down Under. Observe the playful kangaroos as they hop about, and marvel at the beauty of the colorful lorikeets as they flutter from branch to branch. The interactive encounters and educational presentations will provide you with a deeper understanding of the unique ecosystems found in Australia.
Before you conclude your visit, make sure to stop by the Discovery Center. This educational hub offers a variety of engaging exhibits and activities that allow you to delve deeper into the wonders of the desert. Discover the secrets of desert adaptations, learn about conservation efforts, and even get a chance to touch some of the desert’s fascinating inhabitants through the interactive displays.
Sunset Serenity: Nature Trails and Scenic Overlooks
As the day draws to a close, take some time to explore the nature trails that wind through The Living Desert’s vast desert landscape. Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the desert as you stroll along the winding paths, taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as you’ll surely want to capture the vibrant hues of the sunset painting the desert sky.
Before you bid farewell to The Living Desert, make sure to visit the scenic overlooks scattered throughout the park. These vantage points offer stunning panoramic views of the entire valley, providing the perfect backdrop for a memorable photo or a quiet moment of reflection.
A day at The Living Desert in Palm Desert is a truly enchanting experience. From the captivating wildlife to the captivating botanical gardens, every corner of this desert oasis offers something unique and awe-inspiring. So, pack your curiosity and embark on a journey to discover the wonders of nature and wildlife at The Living Desert. You won’t be disappointed.