Zoofari Lodge at Taronga Western Plains Zoo is like an African Safari combined with a personalized behind the scenes tour. Except of course it’s not in Africa. It’s much handier.
We arrive early afternoon and take ourselves for a drive around and choose our “must-see animals” before checking into the Lodge and hopping on the mini-bus for our first guided tour.
The African wild dogs get fed each day in the late afternoon – and it really is a sight to behold. We’re told that if we were to fall in the enclosure, we’d last seconds before they ripped us apart. Savage beasts indeed.
We visit the Meer cat family next and learn about their latest family dramas. Apparently the latest litter of kids have kicked out dad so he’s being sent to another zoo, accompanied by his eldest son. And mum is a little bit distraught still.
Later that night, after a sumptuous dinner at the lodge, we’re taken back into the zoo for a look at the animals’ nightlife.
We get to throw hay at a hippo and get really close to the zoo’s beautiful Sumatran tigers.
In the morning, we wake to the sounds of wild animals in the ‘savannah’ next door and then we’re taken to meet them as they come out for brekkie.
Our guide this morning is Andrew, and like our guide last night he’s extremely knowledgeable and engaging. The kids get to show of their animal knowledge and learn a heap more.
Like how to feed a giraffe without getting slobbered on, why rhinos are endangered and why elephants are a little bit like pre-schoolers.
We also learn about the enrichment program for lions and why it includes rearranging the furniture and zebra faeces.
After our guided tours end we take ourselves on a bike ride around the expansive grounds and visit all our favourites:
- Daniel: rhinos and tapirs
- Mary: giraffes
- Kena: Sumatran tigers
- Fin: rhinos
- Me: can’t decide – lemurs or przewalski horses
- Simon: Bluetongue beer
More information: www.zoofari.com.au