For our 15th anniversary, we’ve had the opportunity to go glamping and on a safari. That’s right. Like I said, glamping is the only kind of camping I would ever do, and what’s great about it is that you don’t have to travel overseas to go on one. Instead, you can go glamping at Nomad Ridge, The Wilds in Ohio. The Wilds is easy to get to. Just fly into Columbus, Ohio and then its an easy 1 1/2 hour drive to Cumberland, Ohio.
The Wilds combines science, education, hands-on experiences and one-of-a-kind adventures like safaris, zip-lining, horseback riding, and fishing into a 10,000 acre safari park and conservation center. It is home to rare and endangered species living in a natural, open-range habitat.
The Wilds is the perfect destination for couples (there were three couples celebrating their anniversaries when we were there), girls- or guys- only trips, and, if you stay at The Lodge, it is perfect for families, too!
Staying at The Wilds
2. A full indoor-bathroom including shower, toilet, sink and hot and cold water
3. Bathrooms are equipped with shampoo, conditioner and body wash as well as a hair dryer.
4. Bamboo floors
5. Bed and bath linens,
6. Plush seating area
7. Keurig coffee- and tea-maker (you can get complimentary tea and coffee supplies at the Concierge Yurt)
9. Skylight for star- and moon-gazing
10. Ceiling lamp and fan
11. Dinner and breakfast for two
12. Access to a 24-hour concierge to help with any of our needs.
The Lodge is another option for staying at The Wilds. The Lodge is a 6-bedroom, 6-bath large home with a full-kitchen, dining area and large living room. The Lodge overlooks a lake that, when you rent The Lodge, you have exclusive access to along with kayaks and canoes.
Dining at The Wilds
Each overnight stay at Nomad Ridge comes with dinner and breakfast at The Overlook Cafe, which is a large cafeteria-like room but Nomad Ridge guests have tables outfitted with table linens and waiter-service.
Our dinner (served between 5 – 7pm every night) started off with a crudités platter and then had a choice of four entrees and three desserts. The Hubby and I had the steak fajitas and the smokey pork chop which were both delicious. We ate our plates clean, we were really hungry from traveling all day. The meals all come with drinks, but non-alcoholic drinks are extra.
Safaris at The Wilds
So this is the amazing experience, and is what sets The Wilds apart. It has 10 safaris and activities that you can do.
Safari Transport Pass: you ride in an enclosed air-conditioned bus. This is the most economical option. This option comes with your stay at Nomad Ridge.
Open-Air Safari: this comes with your stay at Nomad Ridge. You board an open air truck that has a roof for shade.
this option lets you interact with Animal Management. Depending on the day, you’ll be able to feed giraffes, rhinos, or even observe a medical procedure. This is an extra $60 per person if you stay at Nomad Ridge (or $125 per person if you’re not staying at The Wilds).
Other tour options: horseback riding safari, zip-lining safari, and fishing safari. These also have sunset options which will always make a beautiful back-drop.
So, what kind of animals can you see at The Wilds? Here’s what we saw:
Bactrian Camel from Mongolia, Common Eland from East Africa,
Scimitar Horned Oryx from North Africa
Bactrian Deers from Central Asia and the Middle EastIndochina Sika Deers from Vietnam and ChinaPere David’s Deer, formerly of mainland ChinaSichuan Takins from Western China (personally our favorite)ParakeetsRed Crowned CranesTrumpeter Swans
9 Tips for Visiting The Wilds or Staying at Nomad Ridge
1. Bring binoculars or rent them for a little less than $6. It’s worth it.
2. When staying at your yurt, make sure to sleep with your windows open (but screens down) so you can hear all of the animals.
3. Bring sunscreen. It’s expensive at the gift-shop.
4. If you’re a bug magnet like I am, bring bug repellant to save you some money at the gift shop.
5. Sign up for the earlier safaris (9:30 or 10am), they are less crowded. Then, you can break for lunch then do a sunset safari.
6. Sign up for the open-air safari or the Wildside Safari. The enclosed safari is just that — enclosed. You’re here to see animals. Not look at them through a window. Although the enclosed safari is very reasonable ($20 for adults and $15 for kids), you get a bigger experience doing either the open-air or the Wildside safari.
7. Unplug or bring a wireless adapter. WiFi is not strong at The Wilds.
8. Bring snacks. Dinner ends at 7pm, so if you need snacks with your apres-safari wine or beer, you can purchase chips at the concierge yurt, but if you want something more, bring it and stash it in your mini-fridge.
9. Hangout at the observation deck in the morning while enjoying your morning coffee or at sunset with a glass of wine or beer (for purchase at the concierge yurt).