Part One of a Series About Eudora Farms in Salley, SC
When I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong. I kept seeing posts on Facebook about a drive-thru safari park in Salley, SC. Lots of excitement about that little place, but I chalked it up to families desperate to get out during the Corona quarantine days.
Last weekend, I decided to check it out for myself. I expected a basic operation, maybe something a little on the tacky side, with a handful of animals. I could not have been more wrong.
Simply put, Eudora Farms is wonderful. Their drive-thru safari provides fun for all ages. Learn from my mistakes and make the most of your experience.
1. If you are particular about your car, do not drive it on this three-mile trail. Animals are messy eaters and horned cattle and goats aren’t always careful.
2. Fill up with gas. Five or six cars run out of gas out on the trail on busy days. Don’t let that happen to you.
3. Go early. We arrived about five minutes before the 10:00 AM opening and were the fourth car in. The animals were very excited to see us. Afternoon visits can mean hours-long wait times.
4. While you’re getting your admission ticket, carefully read the rules on the large sign. Bring in your mirrors like they advise. There’s a reason why they tell you not to feed the zebras.
5. Buy more food than you think you need. You won’t get another chance until almost the end of the safari trail. We bought two buckets at $5 each and got two refills towards the end. When I go back, I’ll buy four at the start.
6. When the animals approach your car for the first time, it’s intense. Hold on to your feed bucket carefully. These animals are not shy and some have mighty big tongues. If you have young children in the back, you may want to keep their windows rolled up until they get used to the experience.
7. It’s ok to pull the bucket away from the animal. In fact, you must. I thought the small group of animals that greeted us at the gate were all the animals we would see. Wrong. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of animals roam the three-mile winding adventure.
8. Pace yourself and ration the food. I got caught up in the excitement and went through both buckets of food within the first two minutes. Don’t do that. I hopped out of the vehicle to try to get the food that had spilled all over the vehicle. Don’t do that either. There’s a reason why they tell you to stay inside.
9. If you’re worried about scratches to your car, keep your windows rolled up when the long-horned cattle or mountain ibex stroll your way. If your window is down and they smell food, you might get a bump whether you like it or not.
10. Animals have personalities. I recommend feeding the calm, gentle deer for families with young or nervous kids. The adventure lovers in your group will enjoy the camels and ostriches. Camels take their kibble very seriously. What a camel wants, a camel gets. Take it from me: an ostrich’s beak is bigger than you think, and they peck aggressively. Here’s a heads up: some animals can and will reach from one side of your vehicle to the other if they spot food.
11. Feeding the animals anything other than the food purchased at Eudora Farms is strictly forbidden, as it should be. Be mindful of snacks in your car. The animals don’t mind helping themselves. One very lively alpaca (or llama?) snagged a boiled peanut from the Piggly Wiggly bag on my floor board. Before I could take it from him, he pranced away and glanced over his shoulder with the look of an animal who knew he had gotten away with something very naughty. For the safety of the animals, put away human snacks.
12. Open one window at a time. We made the rookie mistake of keeping both windows down the whole time. While one person was feeding, the other was usually taking photos or videos. If your back is turned to watch the excitement going on at one window, you maybe get a nudge or even a wet tongue from an animal wanting a treat at the other window. To maximize the experience, and reduce having slobber run down your neck, it’s probably best to have one window down at a time.
13. There is a refill station, but it is almost at the very end. If they could have a spot five minutes into the safari, they would make a fortune. I’m guessing I’m not the only person to go through all the food very quickly.
My first trip to Eudora Farms will not be my last, but it might not be for everyone. If you don’t want a mess in your car, don’t go. If you don’t want to find pellets of animal food in your shoes and in your purse and maybe even in your bra, do not go.
But if you want to laugh, get great photos and marvel at God’s creatures, Eudora Farms is the place for you. If you want to get up close and personal with ostrich and deer and long-horn cattle and zebra and camels, then plug 210 Salem Lane, Salley, SC, 29137 in your GPS. Throw on some old clothes, grab your fun-loving friends, hop in your family’s oldest vehicle, and hit the road. Go ahead and google the difference between a llama and an alpaca. I’ll save you the trouble and tell you the small cow with long hair is a Shetland.
Enjoy a morning in Salley, SC. Share your videos and pics on social media from SC’s newest must-do adventure. And, remember, I warned you about the zebras!
This first visit was not a behind-the-scenes tour, and we did not receive any special treatment. I am going back to meet the founder and learn more about the conservation aspect of the operation and experience some of the other activities offered at Eudora Farms. Look for a part two soon. For more information and details visit www.eudorafarms.net. Email questions to them at email@example.com. I would also love to hear about your experience at Eudora Farms as I prepare for parts two and three. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.