Private or Photo Tour

Big Cat Rescue

Zerve Seller: BigCatRescue
Activity #4232
  • Dinner at Big Cat Rescue is a bone crunching wild time you will never forget! Watch big cat keepers feed tigers, leopards & more!

  • Check out the most exclusive behind-the-scenes experience in the animal world that is respectful to the animals & safe for the guests!

  • A walking tour after dark... come experience the big cats at night! An experience to remember - an adrenaline rush to turn the tables!

Available Dates & Times Price Duration
All times listed are Eastern time zone
Gift Certificates:


Be the VIP of your own Private - Photo Tour!

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!

Meeting Location

Big Cat Rescue in Citrus Park (NW Tampa) (Tampa, FL) (Exact meeting location details will be provided immediately upon purchase of tickets.)
69 Reviews Rating: 4.8 4.8 out of 5.0
Verified Customer Reviews
Always from real, paying customers
# of Reviews Positive
= Overall
% Positive Average
Last 3 months 3 9 0 = 9 100% 5.0
Last 6 months 7 18 1 = 17 86% 4.6
Last 12 months 22 59 1 = 58 95% 4.8
All 69 179 2 = 177 97% 4.8
69 Reviews
Displaying 1 - 10
Sort by: Date Attended Gender Age Where From Group Type
Rating: 5
Highly recommend private tour
Wed, Feb 11  10:00 AM Female 40-49 Unspecified Unspecified
I had a great tour guide & she took her time showing me around, talked to the cats & that got some of them to come a little closer to say hello! It really is amazing to see them up close like this which makes you really just how big some of them really are. It was also really nice to see the work they are doing with expanding some of the areas.
Rating: 5
Mon, Dec 22, 14  9:00 AM Male 30-39 Combination Family With Children
Karma was our guide, she was very knowledgable, answered all of our questions and told us many things about the cats. She gave us great information about each type of cat and also info about each individual cat like where it came from and how its behavior had changed since being in the sanctuary. My daughter is very interested in big cats and the sanctuary itself and she gave my daughter contacts and information of who to contact. She also gave us information to help pass the big cat protection act. We will definitely be returning. Thank you for an amazing experience.
Rating: 5
Enjoyed Private Photo Tour
Fri, Dec 5, 14  10:00 AM Female Unspecified Local Group of Friends
We had a great tour guide who provided interesting background information. He did not rush us; he let us set the pace, but did remind us when he thought we might want to move on to make the most of our time. It is wonderful to have a private tour and be able to monopolize the tour guide for your own questions/answers. It is wonderful not to be rushed through the tour in a group. You will most likely have cage wire in your photos, but they tell you that right up front. There is nothing they can do about that - you can't get into the cages with the cats! It's still very worth it!
Rating: 5
Wonderful people, wonderful place.
Fri, Nov 28, 14  11:00 AM Female 60-69 Combination Family Without Children
It was a surprisingly cold morning in Tampa, so the cats were mainly sunning themselves. It was great to see the personalities that I have read about and watched in videos. As a big supporter, I wanted to see for my own eyes the good work that BCR does.
Rating: 2
A private tour is not worth it
Sun, Nov 16, 14  3:00 PM Male 30-39 International Tourist(s) Couple on a Date
Ok, this was not what i have expected. I booked a private tour to see what i wanted most to see "tigers"! but i got the same tour than the group just a few mins ahead of us. My Guide was doing her standard tour, watching her clock every few mins, and explaining everything like you would do it if i do at x times a day, seven days a week. Even after i said iam here to see tigers i just got a very lame "we will see them later" at the end i saw them like 8-10mins. Tiger Watching wasn't possible!

I knew before that Bigcatrescue isn't a Zoo but seeing all the small cages made me disappointed even more. I wish the animals would get more space, because this isn't what i call animal friendly, sorry.

If you haven't see Bigcatrescue live, i would recommend to do the tour once, but only the normal one!

Don't book the private tour if you plan to make photos or want to see a specific animal for more than 2 minutes. Making Photos is impossible anyway because of all the cages.

Would i visit Bigcatrescue again?

- Dont think so, i will go to a zoo, the animal care there is the same and the space per animal is much higher.

- If the money were not for the cats i would be even more sad, but its ok. I paid very much for a boring tour with a guide that shouldn't lead tours, oh yes and i spent a lot of money before seeing bigcatrescue live, but now i will not do it again. There are more Tiger protecting Organisations in the World.
Rating: 5
Awesome experience!!
Fri, Oct 24, 14  10:00 AM Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified Unspecified
Worth the extra money for the private tour. Will definitely do this again with my niece and nephew. The animals are amazing beautiful creatures and the big cat rescue is doing a great job.
Rating: 5
Sun, Sep 28, 14  2:00 PM Male 50-59 Local Couple on a Date
Des was wonderful! Very knowledgeable.
Rating: 5
Best time I ever had.
Sat, Aug 30, 14  3:00 PM Male 60-69 Domestic Tourist(s) Other
I luv the animals, people, sanctuary, n just everything bout BCR was great
Rating: 5
Visit of the Lions and Tigers.
Fri, Jul 18, 14  9:00 AM Male 50-59 Domestic Tourist(s) Family Without Children
We had a private tour at the Big Cat Rescue July 18, 2014. Our Tour Guide, Jennifer, was a professional who had been with the facility for a long while and was an expert on bot the facility setup and the animals. She was very patient with us and allowed many photos and videos to be made. It was a thrilling experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn what we (as humans) are doing to help the innocent animals in our world.
Rating: 5
Knowledgeable one-on-one time
Mon, Jun 16, 14  10:00 AM Female 40-49 Domestic Tourist(s) Individual
The assistant who took me on the tour was very pleasant and had a good deal of experience with most of the cats. I would highly recommend that summer visitors go as early in the day as possible since the cats get sleepy and prefer to lounge in the shade and hide when its warm.
Displaying 1 - 10 of 69
Ratings and Reviews for:
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 to view the agreement in its entirety.


Refund/Rescheduling Policy

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.

Weather Policy

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.

Other Policies

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 The waiver web address also appears on your e-ticket if you would like to review the waiver later.

Big Cat Rescue

Big Cat Rescue is the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats. We are home to about 100 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species most of whom have been abandoned, abused, orphaned, saved from being turned into fur coats, or retired from performing acts. Our dual mission is to provide the best home we can for the cats in our care and educate the public about the plight of these majestic animals, both in captivity and in the wild, to end abuse and avoid extinction.

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, 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
The sanctuary is sithuated on 70 acres in the Citrus Park area of north Tampa.
Please call Zerve at
1 (800) 979-3370
to get more information or
book this activity now
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