Monday, May 14, 2018

Cebu Safari and Adventure Park

Around the second half of 2017, I heard a safari was in the works somewhere in the mountains of northern Cebu. After many many delays, Cebu Safari and Adventure Park finally opened (on an advance reservation and advance payment basis) in early 2018. Not wanting to get caught and be kept in the safari myself, I put on my Crocodile Hunter disguise and combed my mustache before entering the safari.

After a briefing at the Welcome Pavilion, we stopped to smell the thousands of orchids at Michel's Garden and the flowery serpent-dinosaur-peacock near Michel's Pavilion.

 Michel Lhuillier's orchid collection

Serpent-dinosaur-peacock at Michel's Pavilion


From Michel's Pavilion we chose a counter-clockwise direction around the Safari. On our way to the Tiger Turf, we saw peacocks and peahens, and a number of deer and black bucks. The peacocks weren't in a flirtatious mood thus no display of their beautiful tail feathers. I didn't see the Visayan warty pig though it was supposed to be around the area. Maybe I should have just looked in the mirror!

Deer and black buck

In the Tiger Turf, one tiger was playing with a coconut in the pond, and another was licking its lips observing the people observing him. Just kidding. He wasn't hungry, but he sure was staring at us. What I really wanted to see was the white tiger, but he probably knew I was coming and had decided to hide. (The Safari has, if I remember right, a dozen Bengal tigers and one white tiger. Not all of the tigers are let out all at once. If you want to see the white tiger, just ask the Tiger Turf staff for the schedule.)


We then went to say hello to our cousins: a lonely gibbon that was trying to figure out how to cross the moat and shake our hands or grab our bags, a momma orangutan playing with her little one, and a barangay of energetic funky-haired black apes or Celebes macaque.

 A gibbon thinking of a way to get across

A black ape sitting down for lunch

Then, aboard a truck, we went around the African Savanna where we saw zebras, blue wildebeests (which were grey-brown, not blue haha!), blesboks, and waterbucks. At the end of the Savanna tour, the guide asked us what we thought of the tour. I couldn't help but cry out: TOO QUICK!!!


 Zebras and waterbucks

Blue wildebeests and blesboks

After the disappointingly short Savanna tour, we went to see the Congress of the Philippines: crocodiles. There was one huge croc, just lazing in the shade with its mouth wide open. The rest of the crocs were in the water waiting for a chicken to be dropped (Php 50 per chicken).

Philippine crocodiles

Nearby were two cheetahs, one was sleeping, the other was running around though not in full speed. On our way to lunch at the Safari Outpost, we saw a lonely sulcata tortoise; and two striped hyenas, one was just lying on the grass while the other was acting crazy, going around in small circles as it went in a circle around the area. We also stopped to feed (Php 50 per skewer of fruit) two giraffes called Fred and Lola.

Cheetah

Sulcata tortoise

Striped hyena

I forgot if this is Lola or Fred

While waiting for lunch at the Safari Outpost, we observed the meerkats by the entrance and the white and black swans, pelicans, ducks, geese, and crowned cranes on the south side of the Outpost.

One of many meerkats

Black swans


Crowned crane

After lunch, there were only four areas left to see: Canopy Trail, Macaw Aviary, Animal Trail, and Aviary Dome. Along the Canopy Trail we observed cassowaries. My sister's description of a cassowary? A big bird with the body of an ostrich and the legs of a dinosaur.

 Canopy Trail

Cassowary

In the Macaw Aviary, we saw scarlet macaws, and blue and gold macaws. There were pink ones too, but they were in the back of the aviary, staying away from the crowd. Kids were enjoying feeding (Php 40) the scarlet, and blue and gold macaws.

Blue and gold macaw

Emus, llamas, alpacas, and capybaras (the cutest of all) were roaming around the Animal Trail. And in our last stop, Aviary Dome, we saw parrots, red and blue lories, and huge crowned pigeons (the birds in the Aviary Dome can be fed for Php40).

Capybara

 Aviary Dome


Victoria crowned pigeon

It took us about five hours to see the area. Cebu Safari and Adventure Park is not yet 100% complete, the Safari Stadium is still under construction, so are the hotel and adventure activities like a zipline. There are some animals that have not been shown to the public yet, like wallabies, kangaroos, camels, and lions. There are air-conditioned and open-air shuttle vans to take guests from from point to point and the walking paths are paved. And kudos to the enthusiastic and well trained staff of Cebu Safari and Adventure Park, we had a pleasant day at the Safari!


Cebu Safari and Adventure Park
Carmen, Cebu
Wednesday to Sunday
8AM to 5PM (last entry at 2PM)
Admission fee Php 800* (includes lunch)
* 50% off for kids 2~3 ft; free for kids below 2 ft.
facebook: @cebusafariph

Directions to Cebu Safari and Adventure Park: From North Bus Terminal, take a bus to Carmen and get off at the junction before Carmen National High School. From there take a habalhabal (motorcycle) to the Safari. (Just recently I saw somewhere along the highway in Carmen a sign advertising vans going to the Safari.)

This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

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