An Amazing Experience

Winter Time At The Refuge

January 27, 2021

This week has brought weather that’s been perfect for all of our feline residents. African big cats like lions and servals typically prefer warm but not hot temperatures while tigers fair well on chilly, even damp days. It’s been cloudy and a bit dreary at TCWR, but the temperatures have settled in the sweet spot for lions to sing, servals to pounce from log-to-log in their habitat, and tigers to bat at enrichment and stalk everything in sight. We were even treated to a light dusting of snow that was just enough for cold-weather-loving cats to be excited and warm-preferring ones to be tolerant and even a little curious.

Winter is our slow season, and many people don’t realize how perfect of a time it is to visit. Summer draws more crowds with children out of school and people soaking up the sun, but guests have to be much pickier in regards to the time of day they visit. On very hot days, guests prefer to stick to tours at 10 AM or towards the end of the day, at 3 PM or 4 PM. Winter weather like we have had this week takes care of that issue by providing stable temperatures that might cause us to throw on a light windbreaker and beanie, but that big cats find “purrrfect” in their built-in fur coats.

We have taken precautions to keep our team members, guests, and of course, our animal residents safe during the pandemic. Aside from masking and cleaning procedures, we have also capped tours to limit the number of people in the Refuge at one time. Given that tours are nearly empty during the week this time of year and sparse on the weekends, social distancing is even easier for you and your family by booking a wintertime day trip or overnight stay.

If you’d like to take advantage of this special season that few people get to experience with our animal residents, please book your tickets ahead of time at We always recommend arriving at least 15 minutes before the start of your scheduled tour; tours leave every hour on the hour on the dot, which means arriving right at 10 AM for your 10 AM tour could cause you to miss it. Please also wear a mask to protect our animal residents.

For an even more special experience, book an overnight or weekend getaway to our little piece of Africa in the Ozarks! Watch our animal residents play and possibly frolic in some snow before returning to the warmth and comfort of your family-friendly suite. If you are 18 or older and interested in a trip for two, you can book one of our Zulu Lodges, which gives you access to our comfortable hot tub that is guaranteed to get rid of the chill while you chill. Relaxing in the Ozark Mountains as lions carol away sets the tone for the reset you need. You can explore pricing and book at

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