"When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around"

The Zoo

By Shanathalas

I recently had a brilliant trip to the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo with Jaime, Tancred & Evelyn. While the zoo it quite remarkable on its own - huge enclosures for the animals, etc… what really made the trip was staying in the Zoofari Lodges . I was initially a bit sceptical about paying a small fortune to stay in a tent, but I thought “how often am I going to go to Dubbo?”. Well I can say that it was well worth it. The “tent” was really a canvas cottage, complete with heated tile floors, ensuite, queen size bed, and fridge. A delicious dinner and breakfast were served which rivaled top restaurants in Sydney. But the true highlight of the trip was the three tours of the zoo that only zoofari guests get. After we checked into the lodge, we were taken on a “sunset” late afternoon trip of the zoo, where we got to see:

  • African Wild Dogs.
  • Giraffes
  • Lions
  • When this tour was over, we sat down to a great dinner (I had the salmon with pesto butter), after which we went on the night-time tour. Journeying through the zoo with only a few torches was great and we got to see some animals that were only really active at night. He saw:

  • Hippos
  • Maned Wolves
  • Wombat
  • Galapagos Tortoises
  • After which we returned to the main safari house where we relaxed with a few Gin & Tonics (as one does while on safari) and a game of cards game. Then we retired to our respective lodges*. Zebra lodge had a lovely surprise waiting for me (see posting entitled I’m Engaged!!!!

    The next morning we had to get up really early for the early morning tour. While we were all a bit groggy, it was still very enjoyable seeing:

  • Cheetahs
  • Tigers
  • Siamangs
  • Rhinosaurus
  • Then it was on to a full buffet breakfast, and quick drive round the zoo again, and the highlight of the trip: Hand feeding a tiger!!!. Well, tong-feeding a tiger through a chain fence. He was beautiful and had teeth like daggers. All four of us were so excited. Then it was off to a rather sad petting zoo - several wallabies and kangaroos that had the “beat-down” look most animals have when strange people come up and pat them, and some deer that tried to eat both Evelyn’s and my shirt.

    After the zoo was a trip to a Dubbo Bakery that claimed to have to best pies in Oz - to be honest, they were damn good. Then a 6-hour drive home to Sydney. All in all, a great weekend was had.

    The Shanathalometre gives it: 9/10

    * Each lodge is named after a zoo animal. Jaime and I had “Zebra” Lodge, and Tancred and Evelyn had “Wild Dogs” Lodge. I refuse to make any comment about this fact.


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