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You would never think you’d get the opportunity to hold a baby tiger, ride an elephant through jungle trails, or see inside a hippopotamus’s giant mouth from only a few feet away—and certainly not all in the same day. But all these unique experiences, and many more, are available at the Taman Safari Indonesia, located in Cisarua Bogor.
At Taman Safari the animals are not imprisoned, but protected. The park is the home to thousands of animals, many of them endangered. There are no small wire cages, most of the animals wander around freely and when there are enclosures they are large and spacious. Not only does the public get to see animals but since the park tries to replicate the natural environments of the animals, the park is full with lush plants, trees, and flowers.
Apart from providing entertainment for visitors, Taman Safari focuses on conserving the lives of animals, especially endangered ones. Their first goal is to protect the animals outside of their natural habitat, providing a environment in the zoo that is as close to natural as possible. The park also has programs to protect the endangered animals of Indonesia in their natural habitats.
The Indonesian government has awarded the park several times for their efforts in conservation and tourism. They have been successful in protecting several species, such as the Sumatran tiger, elephants, and several species of birds.
Living up to its name the Taman Safari allows you to drive around the parks jungle like trails, safari style, in your own car. For visitors who don’t bring their own car there is a bus that tours the park at no extra charge.
The animals are used to visitors and many of them will come right up to your car or bus. It is a great opportunity to see many wild animals up close and personal, including (but certainly not limited to) zebras, deer, tigers, hippos, elephants, giraffes, and monkeys. The safari features animals from all around the world, and the wooden signs tell visitors the name and from which continent the different animals are from. The park has areas for each continent and the flora and fauna change according to which would be naturally seen in each area of the world.
At the center of the zoo there is an area Taman Safari calls the “recreation area” where you can see animal shows, eat in restaurants, and browse the gift shops. But they also have attractions that are less common. For example you can hold and get your picture taken with baby animals, such as tigers and orangutans, or ride an elephant through some of the park.
Some of these extra activities are at an additional fee but are reasonably priced and definitely worth the money. The guides for the elephant rides are very informative and the experience is much more than just a ride on a giant animal. Guests get to learn about the specific elephant they are riding and elephants in general.
You get to see the zoo from the eyes of the animals seeing cars and buses pass by you as you trek through the trails. You’re also given the opportunity to feed the elephant a favorite snack—bananas!
The original Taman Safari Indonesia is located in Cisarua Bogor, West Java which is 78 km from the country’s capital Jakarta. There are also Taman Safari’s located in two other provinces, East Java and Bali. Each park has unique experiences, and all are focused on animal conservation. For more information on any of the Taman Safari parks, check out their website: Taman Safari Indonesia.
Image Courtesy of B10m