A Wildlife Adventure at Indonesia’s Safari Park in Bogor, West Java

Ever wondered what it feels like when a zebra walks up to your car window and demands a carrot bite? Dreamt of cuddling with an orang-utan or standing next to a pachyderm and snapping a shot for posterity? Impossible? Think again!

Located amidst serene landscapes in Bogor, a two hour drive away from Jakarta’s International Airport lies an extraordinary drive-through Safari Park. An hour of exciting on-road experience ends only to begin with more adventures of sea lions, dolphins, aviaries, snakes, elephants and a wild western show.

Almost immediately the road starts winding upwards a hill. Dense leafy vegetation is all around you. You pass small gorges and huge boulders, the air outside is fresh and crisp. As you see the big gates of Taman Safari in the distance. Boy, will it remind you of the start of any animal documentary on TV in HD… heck its even better than HD!! Yes Sirie! Sometimes dreams just come true…

As your car inches slowly through its gates, you can’t help but be a little shocked to see the variety of animals that roam freely in the park. Elephants on the left, Zebras on the right, Antelope’s in front of you, Giraffe’s towering over your car…. its just magical!

Renting your own car and driver instead of a taxi is best as you can instruct your driver to stay longer in certain spots to admire the beauty of the animals without having to watch the taxi meter run sky-high. As you pass through the world of herbivours and come to the tall gates and fences, you will be instructed to wind up the windows just before entering the realm of the predators.

Its simply amazing to watch these large cats walk by your car! Gazing at Bengal Tigers lazying around full stomached in the long green grass around them is just breath-taking! It doesn’t stop there. Even after you end the safari trail, you come across more giants cats in other enclosures at the end. Here, you will find beautiful Bengal White Tigers against a miniature Taj mahal backdrop!

Don’t forget to catch the amazing elephant show that is held near the Rainforest Restaurant. A word of caution, no matter how docile the zebra’s or antelope’s look, DO NOT try to pet the animals and DO NOT get out of your car to take photos! It is not safe to do so and it is against park regulations.

It would cost USD 15 per person for an experience of a lifetime! Its a lovely educational trip for children and a chance to see the kid in every adult emerge through wide smiles and wonderment!

Thats me with Ah Ming the Orang-Utan! Any traveller will soon realize that you can find parts of Africa in Asia if you look really hard enough! Open 9am to 5pm, the park is located at Cisarua, Bogor, 16750 West Java.

Rosemarie John

Travel and Beyond by Rosemarie John and Joseph Ellis portrays a kaleidoscope of all things travel related mixed with just the right dosage of history and culture.

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