Taman Safari is a national part located about 80 kilometers from Jakarta. It lies between Bogor and Bandung and a definite must-see if you are in Jakarta or its surrounding areas. Other than the refreshing lower temperatures, Taman Safari boasts over 80 animal species thriving in their own natural habitat. As you commence your adventure and enter the park, you see all kinds of animals approaching your car and if you allow it, poking their heads inside and looking for food which you probably already bought coming up the hill into the park.
Evan was so excited to see so many animals and although he kept calling all of them Cow, he truly enjoyed feeding them and observing so many different species. Our favorite animals were the zebras, they are so friendly and eager to get a carrot that you just give in and succumb to their request. As we approached the “carnivorous zone” we were instructed to close our windows and speed thru. I’m glad we did since the lions and tigers were roaming freely and willing to make you stop at any point. Evan got a bit scared when he saw them but we has still intently looking out the window and saying meow-meow every time he saw a feline friend approaching us.
Towards the end of the Safari you can see more zebras and many monkeys. I was glad I had saved some of my carrots until then. By then, Evan was more confident and willing to pet and feed the animals. After the Safari is over, you can go to the recreation area where you can sit down and have a picnic or go to the Rainforest Restaurant, which is a cheap Indonesian version of the Rainforest Café. The food is ok but the best part is just getting out of the car and being able to walk around.
There is a nice theme park with what my husband likes to call 80’s style rides. You have to pay 10,000 rupiah per ride and it is worth it if you have a little one like my Evan who just adores to sit on a car and steer the wheel. After Evan was tired of the rides, we headed towards the Baby Zoo that is inside the aviary.
The Aviary is just gorgeous with a vast array of birds flying around and even a couple of dark habitats where owls and bats lurk around. We just flew thru the caves because I just didn’t feel like not being able to really see the birds or bats until they were less than a foot away from me. After the Aviary there is a very nice photo-op area where for a menial fee of 10,000 or 20,000 rupiah you can have your picture taken with a baby tiger or a baby orangutan. We opted for the orangutan as we had already taken pictures with a tiger on our last trip to the Batu Secret Zoo.
The highlight for the trip for me, other than the less-than-shy zebras, was riding a cable car up the hill. It had been a few years since I had last done that in Europe and I just enjoyed every bit of it. Evan seemed concerned as we entered the cart and he didn’t see any wheels attached to it. By the time we were up in the sky he was saying we flying, we flying! I think he enjoyed it!. As you are going up you can appreciate the beautiful mountain views and if you look downwards you can see the water park and a few more rides we decided not to visit.
We decided not to take Joshua on this trip because we didn’t know how long we would be sitting in a car or what to expect of the park itself. Next time, I will bring my little one with me and show him all the animals.
A few tips if you are visiting Taman Safari
- Try to avoid the weekends and major Indonesian Holidays. We went on a Tuesday morning and the place, although not empty, was very bearable and enjoyable. We didn’t have to wait in line to get on any of the rides and best of all we were able to stay on each habitat for as long as we wanted to.
- Make sure you get a good deal from the fruit and vegetable vendors outside the park. We were able to get 5 bunches of carrots containing about 6 carrots each for 10,000 rupiahs. We bought 15 bunches and it was just about the right amount. The bananas are pricier but are worth buying if you want to see some monkeys jumping up and down trying to grab them.
- Bathrooms are not up to “western” standards, so just be aware of this and bring tissues and hand sanitizer.
- The food is decent. As you probably noticed from the pictures, Evan just loved the sate. It is not, however, the healthiest or most delicious food so if you have picky eaters just know to be ready for this.
- If you are able to do so, stay in Puncak or Bogor for the night so you can avoid the traffic going back to Jakarta and you are able to enjoy all the attractions the park has to offer. Once you finish the Safari you can spend another 3 to 4 hours watching the animal shows, the aviary, and riding on the amusement park rides or going to the water park.
Once again, Indonesia succeeds in surprising me with its fantastic natural riches and I can’t help but be thankful for the opportunity to live so close to such beauty.
Jl. Raya Puncak No.601
Cisarua Jawa Barat, Bogor