Our regular Day Tours are a great way to see the animals, but you never know if you will be on a tour with no other people or with a dozen other people. In some cases you may just not be able to make it at a regularly scheduled tour time.
Because we try harder to make sure your donations go to the animals, rather than staff, we rely on volunteers to give the tours. To make it worthwhile to pull our volunteers from the very necessary work of caring for the animals to give you a private tour we charge for the first person and per additional person. Please select a date above and click "Buy Tickets" for current pricing information.
These tours are one hour long and you see the same things you would see on a regular tour. The difference is that you have the tour guide all to yourself and you can see the cats that most interest you as well as have the opportunity to linger to take photographs. You can take photos and videos on all of our tours, but must keep up with the group. On Private Tours, you choose the route and pace.
For our Private Tours, you must buy tickets in advance.
Private tour with the Founder Carole Baskin are available as well! Click Buy Tickets for current pricing information. These tours are the same duration as the regular private tours (1 hour) and you see the same things you would see on a regular tour. The only difference is that you have the Founder, Carole Baskin, as your guide.
You can buy gift certificates for these Founder or Private Tours as well!
|Sort by:||Date Attended||Gender||Age||Where From||Group Type|
|Pennie12||Mon, Apr 25 9:00 AM||Female||60-69||Local||Individual|
Well worth the price. Loved the animals and the guide was very knowledgable. I plan to go back.
Love my kitties!
|Tiny6ft10||Mon, Apr 18 11:00 AM||Female||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Individual|
Had a great time, it was worth every penny!
Valuable learning experience
|threetjenny||Mon, Apr 11 11:00 AM||Unspecified||Unspecified||Unspecified||Unspecified|
A fantastic experience. I wanted to see big cats up close but the tour also brought home the sad reality of how many captive exotic cats live here in the US. I am more committed than ever to do my part to end exotics ownership in this country.
It was very educational and they do great work.
|Perri8||Tue, Mar 29 11:00 AM||Female||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family With Children|
We had a private tour and my 12 year old daughter loved it. The keeper and interns were enthusiastic and knowledgeable about each individual cat. It was very educational and great to see some of the animals up close. They have very natural habitats so you cannot always I see them clearly, but I respect that aspect of it. They are clearly focused on the cats living as natural a life as they can in captivity.
Purrfect for families
|LynnSaporito||Tue, Mar 29 9:00 AM||Female||Unspecified||Unspecified||Family With Children|
Great for adults AND children, also big cat lovers! Our tour guide was Pam and she was very passionate about the animals and was very nice and informative. She provided us with more education on the cats and how they handle things at the reserve. The animals are very well cared for, as we saw, as they each have their own diets. The grounds are very clean and the animals get to go on "vacation" 2 weeks at a time to a much larger enclosure. Your tours and any items you buy all go to the cats, as to just care for one tiger, $10,000 is needed so it would be great if you could help this cause. Many of the animals were abused, such as being hit with a shovel or being a circus cat, so it is nice to see they have found a loving home!
very much enjoyed our tour
|LindaSCC||Mon, Mar 21 9:00 AM||Female||60-69||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
enjoyed seeing how well all of the animals are cared for and that their homes are not small like cages...they seem to be, overall, well adjusted, considering that their ideal situation would be to live free in the wild.
Love the Cats
|FloGilmore||Wed, Mar 16 9:00 AM||Female||60-69||Local||Group of Friends|
My mother-in-law and I had the private tour. Loved it. The guide was very informative and just loved seeing all the cats having fun.
Private tour was terrific!
|semerich||Mon, Mar 14 11:00 AM||Female||50-59||Domestic Tourist(s)||Couple on a Date|
We have done the group tour many times but decided to try the private tour this time and really enjoyed it. We got to choose the cats we wanted to spend the most time with and could move at our own pace
Educational and Fun
|anniejoslin||Wed, Mar 9 11:00 AM||Female||50-59||Local||Other|
We did this tour as an office team building activity. Everyone enjoyed the tour and found it educational as well. Highly recommend Big Cat Rescue to anyone who hasn't been there yet when in the Tampa Bay area.
Can't praise them enough.
|daniellis||Mon, Mar 7 9:00 AM||Female||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family With Children|
My daughter has struggled with her brother's cancer diagnosis because of all the time we've had to be apart as a family and especially the amount of attention he receives. The staff at BCR woke my daughter up that day and she came to life. The tour was absolutely amazing for our entire family and I wouldn't have changed a single thing. Their generosity with regards to the time and quality of time they spent with us was completely unexpected. It was something we will never forget for when in our lives will we ever be that close to these amazing creatures. BCR's attention to them and their care was so heartwarming. I would recommend this to everyone.
- What is the difference between a Private Photo Tour and other tours?
- Private Photo Tours are designed for professional and serious amateur photographers who want to get great shots of the animals. The cats live in beautifully landscaped enclosures complete with trees, flowers, grass, and in some cases lakes, ponds and waterfalls. We do not “handle” the cats for photographers; instead, participants in the photo tour follow the guide around to different enclosures while we look for animals that are already “posing” for pictures. Sometimes treats are given to the animals to coax them into different areas of their enclosures. We never guarantee a shot because we don't force any animal to do anything.
- Will I have an unobstructed view of the cats?
- Due to safety regulations we cannot allow you close enough to the cats to stick your lens though the 4" x 4" wire mesh. (Anyone who does is violating USDA guidelines, unless the cat is wired or chained down and we really hope you won't support those kinds of places!) You and your camera must stay at least 5 feet from the side walls of the enclosures. If you have a professional zoom lens, you can often focus through the wire to the cat. If you are not using professional grade equipment, you will have cage wire in your photographs.
- Do I have to buy tickets in advance for the private tour?
- Advance purchase is required, and tours do sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day that you prefer, please book well in advance! Tickets can be purchased online or over the phone with a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.
- Can children come on Private Tours?
- Yes, children of any age may come on Private Tours at the same adult rate above of $65 per additional child.
- Do you have strollers?
- We do not provide strollers and our paths are earthen, so they can be very difficult to push unless they are made for rough terrain.
- Can I bring food or toys for the cats?
- No, our diet is specific to their needs and we do not allow foods to be given to the cats that have not been approved by our vet and maintained under the most stringent quality controls. We do not give our cats toys that could cause harm if ingested so we do not permit toys from outside our own preselected vendors.
- Can I take pictures during my tour?
- YES! You are welcome to take photos and/or videos during your tour.
- Do I have to stay with the group, or can I wander?
- The only way to see the cats is on a guided tour, so you will not be able to wander away from the group.
- Are there restrooms?
- Yes, but we strongly suggest that you go before you get here because we have limited facilities and are on septic systems which cannot handle a lot of volume if there has been recent rain. There is a McDonald's right at the corner of Easy Street.
- What if it rains?
- The tour will still go out in a light rain as long as there is no lightning. If it is thundering or pouring rain, we may try to wait it out, or will offer a refund, or rescheduling.
- Can I bring my pet?
- Is there a charge for parking?
- Parking is always free and there is plenty of it except for our busiest times in Nov, Dec and March. During these busy times it is tight, but we will help you park at no additional fee.
- Are you ADA compliant?
- If you are unable to walk for two hours, we have golf carts available for $10 extra, per person riding. Our paths are dirt, so wheel chairs are hard to push, but scooters do well. There are no seats along the tour paths.
- How do the golf carts work? Are they offered on every tour?
- On some tours (but not all), we offer seats on a golf cart for guests who have difficulty with mobility. Each cart can hold 3 guests plus the driver. The cart will follow the tour guide closely so that guests can hear the narration. Depending on different circumstances, these seats can sometimes be booked in advance, but otherwise they are first come-first serve.
- Do my non-photographer companions have to pay?
- Everyone on the Private Tour must pay, even if they are not taking photos.
- Do you offer gift certificates?
- Yes! Gift certificates are available and they make perfect gifts for holidays, birthdays or any other occasion! To purchase a gift certificate please click on the "Gift Certificates: Purchase" link in the box above.
- What does the Big Cat Rescue Release and Hold Harmless Agreement state?
- The Big Cat Rescue Release and Hold Harmless Agreement states that all buyers understand and agree to 1.) the potential dangers associated with attending Big Cat Rescue and the rules in place to prevent such dangers from occurring and 2.) the Release and Hold Harmless Agreement, which states that Big Cat Rescue cannot be held responsible for any harm, injury or damage taking place at Big Cat Rescue. Please visit https://bigcatrescue.org/release to view the agreement in its entirety.
- Non-refundable, can be rescheduled with 24 hours notice.
- Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded. You may reschedule your tickets (subject to availability) only if you do so at least 24 hours in advance.
- Activity may be cancelled due to severe weather.
- The activity usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the seller may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If the seller cancels the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.
- Pets are not allowed at Big Cat Rescue.
- If you are traveling with pets, including dogs, you cannot bring them onto the property, which includes the parking lot.
- There is no smoking allowed at Big Cat Rescue.
- We do not allow smoking at Big Cat Rescue, except in the parking lot.
- All participants must agree to the Big Cat Rescue Release and Hold Harmless Agreement.
- By purchasing tickets you are agreeing to the Big Cat Rescue Release and Hold Harmless Agreement, which appears in its entirety at https://bigcatrescue.org/release. The waiver web address also appears on your e-ticket if you would like to review the waiver later.
- If you purchased a donation Extra, please take note of the following:
- Big Cat Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, FEID 59-3330495. Note that we do not utilize professional solicitors, so 100% of your donation goes to Big Cat Rescue and supporting the cats and stopping the abuse. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR BIG CAT RESCUE, A FL-BASED NONPROFIT CORPORATION (REGISTRATION NO. CH 11409), MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE OR BY VISITING www.800helpfla.com. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.
Big Cat Rescue
Big Cat Rescue has a dozen species of cats, many of whom are threatened, endangered or extinct now in the wild, including: Tigers, Lions, Leopards, Cougars, Bobcats, Lynx, Servals, Ocelots, Caracals, a Geoffroy Cat and exotic cat hybrids!
The non-profit organization is:
- Accredited by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries
- Certified by Independent Charities of America as a “Best in America Charity”
- Member of the World Society for Protection of Animals
- Rated 4 Stars by Charity Navigator (their highest rating) and has the one of the highest scores of any animal based charity