Monday, 9 December 2013

Chimelong: Xiangjiang Safari Park - 29 Nov 2013

Xiangjiang Safari Park was the highlight of our trip to Guangzhou. The area covers 130 hectares and it's the biggest safari in Asia. Adult ticket price is RMB250 and child (height of 1.2-1.5m) is RMB125.

The park is just 5 minutes away by shuttle bus from Chimelong hotel. There're 2 parts to the park, 1) The Safari on Wheels where the trams will take us around the safari; 2) Safari on Foot, the 'walk through' zoo. We wanted to take the tram first so we used the North entrance. Though we arrived early, we already saw the crowds and dozens of school buses. We literally ran all the way into the park so that we're ahead of the school children.

Safari on Wheels

"Do keep all parts of your body within the vehicle"??

The tram ride takes about 40 minutes. The park is big, so it's a good idea to start with tram when the queue is still not too long. 

Going around the habitats, ie the Australian forest, American jungle, Asian desert and rainforest, Eurasian highlands, predator territory, the African plateau and savannah where the animals roam freely. The kids love the fact that the animals were so close. 

Safari on Foot

The park has many different sections and exotic species and animals. Get a guidemap and decide what you wanna do and see so you won't miss them. Check the show times but best to explore the park first and keep those shows towards later part of the day. The local visitors target the shows first and leave early around 3pm, so it's good idea to stay away from the crowds. 

The Jurassic Park trail as a first impression of the safari??

Everyone has to enter through the Green Dragon Hill b4 they get to the outer zoo. It's a big section and part of their crowd management strategy so don't stay too long here. There're many lemurs and cute woolly monkeys at close distance. Parrots, parakeets and hornbills who're so used to humans that it's hard to feel they're wild animals. Also a few huge anteaters who're busy looking for food. Don't forget the anaconda at the snake trail. I don't understand why they have the fake dinosaurs and snakes here cos even without them, there's already so much to see.

The Stars

The stars of the safari are the giant pandas and white tigers. I'll cover the panda separately. The park is home to the largest number of white tigers bred in captivity in China!!

Days old tiger cubs

First time we saw such close up of the cubs and tigers. The breeding programme started in 1998 from one white tiger. Today, there're more than 150 white tigers and 6 different types of tigers at the safari park. 

3-month old tiger cubs 

 White tigers are not albinos. Albinos have red eyes whereas white tigers have beautiful blue eyes. Today, all the white tigers are bred in captivity, and the wild ones are already extinct.

Playful 6-month old tiger cubs were irresistible

White tigers have stripes, and are different from the all-white snow tigers.

7-year old little ferocious tiger on the prowl!

Special tiger show at 1/2 hour interval from the glass enclosure showing their prowess to climb and swim.

Another attraction is the rare Red Panda. They're much smaller than Giant Panda but very adorable. Their main diet is also the bamboo shoots.

The park has a sizeable collection of koalas, now being successfully bred in captivity in the park. We've not seen them so active even when we first saw them in Oz. There's also the albino kangaroos in the Oz section.

There're only 3 animal shows at the park so we've ample time to explore and observe the animals. The shows were good, especially the stand-up brown bear comedians and the elephant who could write Chinese of course!

We've such a delightful time at the safari. It could be the cold snap on the day of our visit that the animals were exceptionally active. They've so many success stories of their breeding programmes for different kinds of animals. There're also many restaurants and washrooms everywhere in the park to disperse the crowds and the food prices were reasonable.

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