SAFARI SO GOOD

Written by support. Posted in FEATURES

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Published on May 24, 2015 with No Comments

An African adventure just 30 minutes from Melbourne.

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Words JEFFREY LIM
Images WERRIBEE OPEN RANGE ZOO

 

Watching the mixed herds of zebra, giraffe, ostrich and rhinoceros wander across the Savannah, it’s hard to believe that we left the bright lights and urban vibe of Melbourne just half an hour ago. But here we are, in a 225 hectare outdoor animal playground of Werribee Zoo, the biggest zoo in Victoria.

The beautiful landscaping is undeniable and there are many opportunities for great walks down along the Werribee River with fantastic play spaces and lawns for children to enjoy. But we’re leaving that for later. For now, at the top of our must do list is the Safari Bus Tour.

This is the tour that takes visitors through the arid plains and wide range of animal habitats. Over the course of the 45-minute ride, you’ll have the opportunity to view Przewalski’s Horses, camels, American Bisons and other exotic species and mammals up close and personal.

There are woodlands with mixed herds of antelope including the highly endangered Scimitar Horned Oryx; the open Savannah with giraffes, zebras, rhinoceros and ostriches grazing; and the American grassland for encounters with wild bisons.

For a more in-depth animal adventure, book a tour on the Open Vehicle Adventure and experience your own personally guided African safari in a custom built, off road and open vehicle. You will be completely immersed in the sights, smells and sounds of the savannah as you get close to the amazing African wildlife.

The zoo is also home to one of the largest gorilla exhibits in the world. At 6,000 square metres, the spectacular exhibit – complete with wading pool and large climbing poles – allows the bachelor group of the space to behave as they would in the wild. Then there is the Australian Grasslands Journey with kangaroos, koalas, emus, brolgas and Eastern Barred Bandicoots which are now extinct in the wild.

After the drive-through tour, stretch your legs and take advantage of the Wild Encounters programme that lets you experience incredible close ups with animals including the opportunity to feed giraffes or meet the Servals. If that’s not enough, check out the Slumber Safari programme. This offers a truly memorable overnight experience for all ages. A fully hosted experience, you’ll not only get amazing close-up animal encounters, but little extras such as drinks and dips at sunset, a sumptuous dinner, awesome night-time activities such as toasting marshmallows around an evening campfire and a delicious supper of scones, jam and cream. And don’t worry if you can’t rough it out. The safari camp is a luxurious slumber do with stunning canvas tents, complete with ensuite bathrooms. You can also go the extra mile and have your very own purpose-built balcony so you can wake up looking over the Werribee River and the Zoo’s African savannah.

 Royal Brunei Airlines flies Melbourne daily.

 

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