The Tour Specialists Tour Blog
Cairns Wildlife Safari – Dine on the Edge
Posted on November 29, 2009 by admin
The Cairns Wildlife Safari is an easy scenic 35 minute drive west from Cairns and just 9 kms west of Kuranda on the Kennedy Highway. It is WELL worth the visit! The zoo is open daily and even has a breakfast with Australia’s largest pride of lions option or a day option but I chose to make my appearance there by trying out the “Dine on the Edge” or dinner with Lions which runs only Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. This appealed to me as I knew that most animals really come alive at night and I was incredibly excited to see this knowing the wide variety of animals that I was about to see.
We were greeted by the staff who immediately offered us a complimentary glass of wine or beer, along with hors d’oeuvres and canapés. The group is lead down by your personal guide to see the hippo feeding. It was magnificent seeing these massive creatures devour an industrial sized dumpster of lettuce. The guide informed us about the realities of hippos and despite the fact that they do not look fit or in shape, they are responsible for more human deaths in South Africa than any other animal in the entire world! They eat primarily lettuce but maintain a high body weight due to their slow metabolisms. Overall they were beautiful creatures but definitely not friendly enough to get close to. One of these Pigmy Hippopotamuses even showed off her new baby.
We next continued our stroll over to the monkeys, otters, assorted birds and then to our dinner setting. We took a stroll into the dining area not expecting the excitement that was about to happen. We suddenly realized that the eating area was fenced in… but why was this? Soon enough the male lions are released and come parading your way for their feeding time. It’s so amazing at how close you can actually get to them.
Moments later, your attention is pushed to the other side when the guide begins to point out the meats that are tied up into the trees. This side is where the females live. When they were unleashed, it was amazing to watch them attack their dinner by going as far as even climbing the trees. It’s enthusing how high they can jump and how easily they can climb. As this is happening, a plattered dinner is served to your table with chicken, beef, vegetables, soup and much more. While you eat, the excitement continues as the lions on both sides of you continue their dinner until the bones are licked clean… and some even devoured. Alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at the bar if desired.
Next up is a tour of the rest of the Cairns Wildlife Safari zoo. Everyone receives their own flash light as it is now beginning to get quite dark out. On the tour, you will see bears, tigers, cheetahs; dingoes have and even get the chance to pet a full grown rhinoceros. At night time, the zoo really comes alive, as for most animals, the night time is when they are awake and ready to go hunting. The day time is when they generally rest and hide from the heat of the day. At night, if one animal howls, they all begin to do it together which is a sign of marking their territory. The loudest animal is then recognized as having first choice of the area he/she wishes to be theirs. This goes on all night according to the zoo keepers and has even been so intense that it has been reported by the residents of the houses 10 minutes drive away that they can over hear this at points.
After this fun and informative tour around the Cairns Wildlife Safari, you are brought back to the dining area for coffee/tea & dessert of the day. It’s time for one final photo of the lions before saying goodbye. The guide kindly walked the coach transfer guests and the self-drivers out to the car park to bid us farewell.
This is the only venue in Australia where you can dine with lions by your side so definitely be sure to find your way to the Cairns Wildlife Safari for this once in a lifetime experience.
For more information about family tours and much more please visit The Tour Specialists
By: Blythe Rallo, Tour Consultant for the Tour Specialists.
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