Are you in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta with your family and wonder what kinds of fun activities you can do together? Well, there are actually many options, but maybe you’d like to go to the zoo?
The answer is Taman Safari Indonesia, located in the Cisarua district of Bogor (located about 1 hour away from Jakarta). A safari park is surely a different type of a zoo. In a typical zoo, all of the animals you see are caged, but in a safari park many of them are not.
Welcome to Bogor’s Safari Park
Literally translated as Safari Park Bogor, it is Indonesia’s first safari park, built in 1980 and it occupies 170 hectares (420.1 acres). Taman Safari Bogor contains more than 2,000 animals from around the world, and is a great place for you and your kids to spend an entire day feeding the animals, watching animal performances and playing in the theme park.
The entrance ticket is 250,000 IDR (18.71 USD) for adults (230,000 IDR, or 17.21 USD for kids). The ticket price includes the safari journey and free animal shows. In the park, you don’t need to worry about the heat of tropical weather, as Bogor is a city located on a highland with cooler weather. There are many shady trees inside the area too. It is about a one or two hour drive from Jakarta, or 3-4 hours from Bandung, the capital city of West Java Province.
Feed animals from inside your car
The highlight of any visit to Taman Safari Bogor is the safari journey. From inside your car, you and your family can see and hand-feed many kinds of free-roaming animals. Not all animals can be fed from your car, though.
You can stop at friendly animal zone with herbivores such as giraffes, zebras, deer, llamas and gaurs (wild oxen native to India and Southeast Asia) and feed them with carrots that are available for purchase near the entrance for 10,000 IDR (0.75 USD) for 4 bunches. On the other hand, extra caution is required at the big cat zone with tigers and lions. When passing through the carnivore’s zone, you are not allowed to open your car window, let alone feed the animals (there is a warning sign for that).
Alternatively, you can use the shuttle bus provided by the park for the safari tour, but I suggest you hire a driver and enter the area with a rental car because you can stop at anytime and for as long as you want, and focus on interacting with the animals.
Photo sessions at the Baby Zoo
At the end of the safari journey, park your car and go to the attraction center where you can spend some time and have some fun. A part of the center is called the ‘Baby Zoo.’ It’s actually a zoo with assorted animals like snakes, birds, cougars, dolphins and kangaroos, but inside you can get near and touch young tigers, orangutans, snakes and even dolphins!
Isn’t it nice if you keep a dog or a cat at home as your pet? In this safari park, you can have a similar experience with these baby animals, have your photos taken with them and you can even bottle-feed a tiger cub milk! It costs an additional 25,000 IDR (1.87 USD) per person for each encounter and make sure you bring your own camera as the management doesn’t provide a photographer.
Swim with dolphins
In your country, do you or your kids occasionally go to a dolphin show and love how these mammals perform stunts in the air, catch balls or wave their tail to say goodbye? No worries, because in addition to circus-like tiger and elephant shows, this park also has dolphin shows, taking place at 2 different times daily. However, it is more than just a show, as you and your kids can have the very rare experience of swimming with the dolphins here!
Kids or adults who can swim can join a 30-minute ‘Swimming with the Dolphins’ session, which costs an additional 400,000 IDR, or 29.93 USD per person. There will be 2 dolphins that you can hold on to as they swim around the pool. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. In the pool, extend your arms and all you need to do is catch their back fins when the 2 dolphins come to you and off you go; you are now floating with them!
There will be a short briefing before swimming (i.e basic instructions on how to keep your head up while holding on to the back fins) and there are several trainers in the pool during the whole session to make sure that everything is under control.
The animal rides
When I talk about animal riding in Indonesia, you may think it must be riding a horse. Yes, there are some ponies for your children to ride, but how about riding a camel? Can we have such an experience here?
Well, you are lucky to be here as at Taman Safari Bogor, you too can ride a camel (or even an elephant) for an additional fee of 250,000 IDR (18.71 USD) per adult. It’s not difficult at all to ride on a camel. You will sit on the saddle on the back of the camel/elephant, hold on the handle attached on the saddle and the staff will lead the camel.
It is best to arrive early
Taman Safari Bogor is open from 8.30 am to 5 pm and if it is possible, visit the park during the weekdays, as weekends can be crowded. However, if a weekend is your only option, come before 8.30 am (if you are from Jakarta, it’s better if you can leave at 6.30 am to avoid a possible traffic jam). This will ensure that you can spend more time during the safari journey, yet still have enough time for all the animal attractions. So, are you and your family ready to see these rare animals at this safari park?