Feeding Giraffes at The Living Desert

One of the things I have always wanted to do my entire life is feed a giraffe. It sounds so simple, yet, I had never come across the opportunity. In  my mind, I imagined it possible only if I flew to Africa, which probably wasn’t going to happen anytime soon since it’s a lot pricier than some people think. Anyways, as a stuffed-giraffe lover, I developed a huge fondness for giraffes throughout the years and so I knew I always wanted to do it. Not that it’s like jumping out of an airplane, still something I always wanted to do.

I came across The Living Desert on my Instagram feed, when a friend of mine took a photo feeding a giraffe, and so within minutes I had all the info I needed and the following weekend I was off. I drove an hour and a half from Orange County to Palm Desert for my chance at feeding the giraffes.


I went early Saturday morning in August and the place was not packed at all. I waited roughly five minutes to feed the giraffes, when it was my turn, they gave me four pieces of carrots and then my chance to feed the large giraffe named Uncle Pona and a chance to get my photo taken. Standing next to the large giraffe was also a smaller giraffe named Twigga. They were super adorable.


The Living Desert is located off the 10 FWY by Joshua Tree National Park. They charge $20 for admission into the actual zoo and then once you’re inside and if you want to feed the giraffes, it’s an additional $5. (You cannot pre-purchase these.)


The zoo itself is pretty large inside, and is separated into two areas. The Northern part of zoo is North America- where you can find mountain lions, coyotes, birds, jaguars and more.

Then the southern part of the zoo is called Africa- this is where you can find zebras, camels, giraffes, cheetahs and more.

Like any zoo, you do have to do a lot of walking, so if you go on a hot day, be prepared for scorching heat, after all you are in the desert.

Lastly, it only took us about an hour and a half to see everything in the zoo and then we were off.The highlight of The Living Desert is the giraffe feeding, so I’d highly suggest you do that first thing when you arrive to the park.  And the staff is also very friendly and easy-going.

A view of the mountains from inside the zoo.

Address: 47900 Portola Ave
Palm Desert, CA
Telephone: (760) 346-5694


Summer Hours:

Open every day June 1 to September 30
8:00am to 1:30pm
Last admission at 1:00pm

Season Hours:

Open every day October 1 to May 31
9:00am to 5:00pm
Last admission at 4:00pm.
Closed December 25

Admission Rates

General Admission $19.95
Seniors (62+) $17.95
Children (Ages 3 – 12) $9.95
Children under 3 FREE

Parking is free of charge.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Emily Webb says:

    Hi Denise! There is a giraffe named Stanley that you can visit at Malibu Wine Safari! I just went on Saturday but I do not believe they offered an opportunity to feed him!! I’m sure you already know this but thought I’d reach out. Thanks for the great article !


    1. You’re so sweet! Thanks for letting me know!


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