A few weeks ago we went to Zoobic Safari in Subic Freeport Zone in Central Luzon, Philippines. It’s a place that I’ve been dreaming to go to ever since I saw it in tv some years back. It could be the closest you can get to an African safari in Central Luzon perhaps? hehe. This safari is a 25 hectare park that serves as a sanctuary for diverse wildlife from farm to exotic animals found here and abroad. We drove through tree lined roads in Subic where the forest is protected ( that explains why some monkeys still roam around the area hehe ). Sadly though I’ve heard from local folks that due to some infrastructure developments their natural habitat is slowly being destroyed.
The sun was high up, and the air is humid when we arrive in Zoobic Safari. We parked beneath a tree in a dusty non cemented parking lot which is almost full with vehicles already. This is obviously the season when tourists flock the place, good thing we still managed to get a shaded slot. After settling the entrance fee for the all around tour, we headed to our first Safari adventure.
First stop: I had my photo taken with a friendly albino python snake named Alvin. I’m actually scared of snakes but I didn’t know why this slithering creature charmed me so much that I never felt afraid. There is also a handsome White Tiger in one of the cages, he looked tame lying on the floor, but then who knows hehe. White Tigers are said to be a rare pigmentation variant of the Bengal tiger. Another first close encounter is with a cute and funny looking owl whose big round eyes knows which camera to stare at lol!. I would have wanted to have a photo taken at one of the tiger cubs playing in its cage but during that time these big cats were not yet ready for photo ops.. 🙂
There were caged animals from colorful birds like hornbills and parrots to apes, wild boars, deers, and the uber sociable camels who we get to feed with tall grasses, they do have a big appetite! Unfortunately we wondered why we can’t seem to find other animals in their cages. I hope they’re not gone and are just transferred to somewhere cool due to the very hot weather that day. After that we headed to the white train where we drove in the Savannah to see ostriches, as well as some farm animals roaming free.
The main attraction for me definitely is where we get to ride in a metal screened jeep to meet the big wild cats. The first protected area was for the Lions who I guess are either shy or lazy, and never bothered to go near our jeep. Luckily for us when we visited the Tigers’ domain, the majestic orange creature appeared and heartily gobbled the chicken that our guide was holding. The cat even jumped up our jeep’s clear roof with a thump when the guide threw a part of the chicken above us! By the way the chicken is worth 200.00 pesos which we have to buy before the ride to feed the wild beasts, but you have an option not to, but then these big cats might not go near the jeep if you don’t have one to feed them haha!. 🙂
After that exciting close encounter with the great beasts we went to ride our white train to another site where we saw more tigers in large cages. Our guide told us to be alert and careful when tigers turn their back to us ’cause that’s the sign when they will be pissing, and it might spurt out of their cages and if it unluckily hits you it could take days for the odor of their urine to wear off. After that we visited a cave of dried and preserved animals, another is a museum for skeletons. Then we proceeded to the Aetas trail, where we met two friendly Aetas who showed us some tribal dance moves, one even went up a bamboo in just a few leaps! cool!
It was also the first time I had a very close encounter with a lot of crocodiles. We had to cross a bridge encased by metal screens and iron grills only. Many of those large reptiles could be seen beneath our feet for only either a foot or a meter away, one could almost touch them. Just be careful not to stick out a finger or else.
The tour I must say is worth it except that I wasn’t able to see a few of the animals in their cages, I never had the opportunity to hold a real Tiger ( which is understandable due to the beast’s conditions), and lastly some of the attractions should be improved and renovated. But then I still highly recommend this place especially for groups who love wildlife adventures. Visiting Zoobic Safari is still quite an experience!. 🙂
For further information, packages, and directions for Zoobic Safari please visit these sites:
Current Rates based on Zoobic website:
Day Tour Entrance Rate
Php 495 – Adult
Php 395 – Kids 4 ft. and below
Free – Kids 3 ft. and below
Note: Purchase tickets online to avail 10% discount
•11 attractions (Zoobic Park, Rodent World, Serpentarium, Forbidden/Zoobic Cave, Tiger Safari Ride, Close Encounter, Savannah, Animal MuZOOeum, Aetas’ Trail, Hip-Hop-Bay-a-Wak, Croco Loco) for approximately 2 1/2 hours
Other amenities to make your tour more exciting (optional)!
•P50 / person
Animal Food Basket
•P100 (Zoobic Park)
•P200 (Tiger Safari Ride), P50 (Croco Loco)
Sky Safari (Zipline)
•P199 / person
GirafZ Ride (Segway)
•P199 / person
3D Movie (15 mins)
•P69 / person
Photo w/ the Tiger* (Schedule: 9 am- 3:30 pm (excemption when the tigers are full or not in good condition)
•P240 – good for two persons (4 x 6)
•P390 – good for 3-4 persons (6 x 9)
•P540 – maximum of 6 persons (A4)
* May also use own camera for personal copy
ANIMAL SHOWS AND PARADE!
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays : 10:30 AM, 1:30 PM and 3 PM