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Starry Safari at The Living Desert

Camp under desert stars in a remarkable zoo

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Bearded dragons, cheetahs, bat-eared fox, Arabian oryxes—these are just a few of the remarkable wild animals that will be in your desert dreams—and outside your tent—when you book an overnight stay at The Living Desert in the Palm Springs region. March through May, guests can enjoy a cracking campfire, exchange ghost stories, and roast s’mores. Then it’s time to curl up inside your private tent (cots are provided but you bring your own sleeping bag and toiletries) and listen for night sounds, like the distant howls of coyotes in the Santa Rosa Mountains. Or just relax outside to gaze at a sky full of stars.

Wake up to enjoy an exclusive private tour of The Living Desert, a nature preserve of more than 1,000 acres of Sonoran desert that showcases animals of the world’s deserts. The collection of exhibits ranges from a tour of terrains representing and hosting North American and African desert wildlife to the Village WaTuTu, an authentic replica of a northeast African village, to Eagle Canyon, where golden eagles, mountain lions, bobcats, and badgers thrive. Day visitors can feed giraffes, stop by a petting kraal (Afrikaans for enclosed livestock area), ride a camel, or attend one of the twice-daily Wildlife Wonder Shows. Admission is included with overnight stays.

Stroll through the site’s many geographic “immersive” gardens that represent the plants from a specific region, including East Africa, the Mojave, and the Chihuahua region of Mexico. Explore a network of paths that skirt the adjacent Santa Rosa Mountains before returning to check out the Discovery Center with its many exhibits on display.

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