From the astonishing beaches of Coron, who would have thought that there’s also a piece of Africa in this place? Months before this trip, I made a thorough research about the activities and the must-see places. I read some blogs and found out that going to this island is expensive. Yes, it is! This trip costs 2,500 with breakfast, lunch, and snacks. But I promise this is worth the splurge. After all, you can always make money but you can’t always make memories. =D Ok. So moving on… We scheduled this trip on our day 3 of stay and I got so excited to finally see a giraffe and a zebra in person for the first time. I haven’t been to any Zoo and I am not a fan of Zoos either. I don’t like it when animals are kept in cages but Calauit Safari Park is an exemption because here, they roam freely.
Calauit Island can be reached through a 4-5 hours boat travel from the mainland. Keep in mind that going to the island can be difficult to navigate since the boat sails in the West Philippine Sea. Imagine the huge waves. It would be a long exhausting boat trip, yet you will never get bored as you will see some scenic views from everywhere that can surely add up to your excitement. Along the way, you will witness a lot of islets. Each has a name given by the Tagbanua, one of the oldest ethnic groups in the Philippines.
So after 4 hours, we safely arrived at Calauit Island.
A 3,700-hectare island where most animals like giraffes, Calamian deer, and zebras roam freely. So, how did these animals get here? and Why Calauit Island? Why not Cebu or Manila, so many can easily access the safari park?
Here’s a Brief History: When former President Marcos attended a summit meeting in the African State, their government asked for help in saving the African wildlife threatened by war and drought. In response to the request, the Philippine government looked for a secluded location and they found Calauit Island ideal due to its size and vegetation. On 1977, 104 African animals from eight species (12 bushbucks, 11 elands, 11 gazelles, 15 giraffes, 18 impalas, 12 waterbucks, 10 topis, and 15 zebras) were transported to the island but only giraffes and zebras survived. The antelopes were less adaptable and died out.
I can see their happy faces from afar. As they get nearer and nearer I can feel that they are also excited to see us with some leaves in our hands. These animals are herbivores and their favorite is papaya leaves. If only I knew this earlier, I would bring 1 sack of papaya leaves all the way from Cebu. =D
Our tour guide introduced Von (the smallest giraffe) and the others namely Kabayan and Miller. They are named after their sponsors.
Hi there Zebras! I remember you guys from the alphabet. =D
Other animals endemic to Palawan:
Wild pigs and Calamian deer are also in the sanctuary. All the animals here are Filipinos because the original animals we imported from Africa are all dead, leaving their babies which are natural born citizens of Calauit.
You may also like to read Travel Guide to Coron
- Breakfast Snacks( Coffee and Pandesal)
- Breakfast( Rice, hotdog, egg, with fruits)
- Buffet Lunch ( with plates of seafood and fruits)
- Afternoon Snacks ( Puto Maya)