Monarto Safari Park's new visitor centre takes shape

Progress is being made on the park's Wild Africa expansion, which is due to open in 2022.

Monarto Safari Park’s new, $16.7 million visitor centre is taking shape.

Zoos SA released photos and a flyover video of the progress made so far on Friday.

They showed the bones of a building that is expected to welcome 200,000 visitors per year when international travel again becomes possible.

Zoos SA chief executive Elaine Bensted said it was on track for completion next February.

“The new visitor centre will welcome more visitors than we currently can and provide visitors with the perfect start point to begin an adventurous day or days at Monarto Safari Park, soon to be the largest safari experience outside of Africa,” she said.

“There’s already a buzz in the air and each day it gets just that little (bit) louder.”

The centre – and offices for staff and volunteers – will have a gorgeous view of the safari park’s plains. Photo: Geoff Brooks/Zoos SA.

The managing director of the company which is building the facility, Mossop Construction and Interiors’ Neil Mossop, said he was proud that it would create jobs, encourage tourism and “lift the social, economic and environmental fabric of our state”.

The visitor centre’s construction was made possible by an $11.25 million grant from the federal government, $4.55 million from the state government and investment from the Murray Bridge council in a set of slip lanes at what will be the park’s new entrance, on Monarto Road.

Federal MP Tony Pasin said he looked forward to a “world-class tourism experience”, with flow-on effects for the local, state and national economy.

Monarto Safari Park’s plans could even help the city of Adelaide rise from number-three to the top of the list of the world's most liveable cities, Premier Steven Marshall gushed.

Park visitors will enter via the new visitor centre, located off Monarto Road, rather than the current gate on the Old Princes Highway. Image: Zoos SA.

Construction of the new visitor centre has been ongoing since February.

The building will be built of rammed earth and corten steel, eco-friendly features which were chosen to complement the surrounding environment.

A luxury resort and glamping facilities are also planned at the safari park as part of its $40 million Wild Africa expansion, which has been more than 10 years in the making.

Locals have generally supported the project, though some have raised concerns about the need for a major upgrade at a nearby road intersection.

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