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Summer Staycation: 9 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Malibu Wine Safari Adventure

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

Malibu Wines Safari is a hidden gem in the scenic hills of Malibu. Malibu Wine Safari is a unique wine tasting experience in a family owned winery where you can enjoy beautiful views and meet adorable animals. This interactive and boozy safari should be on each girl squad’s summer bucket list, especially if you all recently turned 21 like my friends and I just did. We celebrated the start of our first summer as adults with the Explorer Tour of Saddlerock Ranch. As new Malibu Wine Safari experts, I thought it would be appropriate for us to share our experience and provide tips to make your safari experience just as amazing.

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1. Splurge for the Uber/Lyft instead of picking a designated driver.

Throughout the safari, you will get to try about 6 small glasses of wine. While each glass only contains about 2 ounces of wine, it would really be a shame to spend all the time and money on attending the safari and not be able to try all the wines and get wine drunk with your girls. 

2. Make sure you have the right address.

We were almost late to our safari because we got lost on the way to the winery. The parking lot situation can get confusing so make sure to check the website before you make your way there.

3. Be smart about the timing of your tour.

Sometimes we forget how hot Los Angeles can get over the summer. You will be in the sun for the entire duration of the 90 minute tour, so I would recommend planning for a morning tour or a late afternoon tour to avoid burning in their custom-built open-air Safari vehicles. The sun can also affect the lighting and make it harder to get that perfect instagram from your adventure.

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4. Your outfit should be the perfect balance between cute and comfortable.

The open-air Safari vehicles are also extremely hot, so don’t make the same mistake I did by wearing a short romper. If you plan on wearing something short, I would recommend bringing a towel or jacket to sit on to protect your bum from the heat. It’s also really important to remember that you are walking on dirt, climbing onto the truck and feeding animals on this safari, so make sure your outfit is comfortable. 

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5. Come early to learn the history behind the winery.

While it is important to arrive early to check in, I would recommend using that time to explore the check in area and talk to the staff about the rich history of the family-owned winery. There are photos of the Semler family, who purchased the farm in 1980, all over the check in area and the staff are more than happy to share information to make you appreciate the tour even more. Throughout the tour, your guide will even point out the various areas on the farm named after each of his nine children. 

6. Be friendly with your driver and tour guide.

The entertaining and educated drivers and tour guides are what make this experience so memorable. You can make the most of out your tour by sitting towards the front and chatting with them during the drive. Your tour guide will point out all the cute animals on your safari and give everyone veggies to feed them. The drivers have the important job of teaching your group about each wine and pouring the wine into your glasses- which you need to carry throughout the tour. Being nice to these two might result in extra veggies, a second glass of wine, and tips on the perfect spots for your photo shoot.

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7. Try all the wines.

The tour includes six full bottles of wine to be shared among the group at the two wine tasting spots. The first three wines we tried were 2016 Semler Malibu Sauvignon Blanc white wine, 2015 Saddlerock Chardonay, and 2017 Malibu Wine Safaris ‘Timeon The Zebra’ California Rosé. After a sample or two of each and a quick photo shoot, we took our glasses and hopped back on the truck for the rest of the tour. During our final stop we tasted three red wines: 2016 Saddlerock Merlot, 2016 Malibu Wine Safaris ‘Kendrick Llama’  California Cabernet Sauvignon, and Semler Malibu Red Wine. Out of the six tasty wines, my favorite would have to be the pink Rosé. 

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8. Don’t be afraid of the animals.

Throughout the safari, each group will make multiple stops to meet the exotic animals. The tour guides will provide information on how to safely get the best photo with each farm animal and even give you snacks for them. We got to see llamas, zebras, donkeys, horses, and goats. If you sign up for the Giraffe Tour, you’ll even get an additional photo opp with the famous Stanley. While my tour did not have a scheduled stop to see Stanley, we got to drive by and give him a wave.


9. Stop by Malibu Wines after

Since you already cleared your schedule and made it out to Malibu, you might as well plan to take the complimentary 3 minute shuttle from Malibu Wine Safaris to the Malibu Wines tasting room and continue drinking all day long. 

IMG 0637Participating in the Malibu Wine Safari was an amazing way to start my summer and I’m looking forward to stopping by the winery again this summer for their movie nights and even try a wine hike. Click here to get more information on Malibu Wine Safaris and to start planning your own safari adventure.

Sara Zaghi was the Campus Correspondent and Editor in Chief of Her Campus at UCLA, which rose to the #1 chapter in the Her Campus Chapter Network of 370+ Campuses during her tenure, from 2015-2019. Zaghi is a self-proclaimed "Professional Fangirl” and currently works in entertainment and fashion publicity. In 2016, Sara was listed as one of Her Campus' Top 22 Under 22 Most Inspiring College Women. Check out Sara's College Girl's Travel Guides for Catalina Island, Las Vegas, New York, Napa Valley, Boston, and Chicago. Contact Sara via email: Sara_Zaghi@yahoo.com