ES­CAPE ROUTE

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - LEGEND OF THE SEAS -

about me. He wouldn’t even care if I stripped off and took a bath as he lounges around in his bed of hay on the other side of the bath­room win­dow.

I don’t want to leave my room when din­ner time rolls around. I won­der what Innes will do while I am away. Hap­pily, there are other an­i­mals to dis­tract me. Over pre-din­ner drinks, hye­nas are fed raw chick­ens in front of Ja­mala’s guests and nor­mally shy snow leop­ards wan­der up close to a nearby fence. But the piece de re­sis­tance comes over din­ner, when two huge white li­ons ap­pear just me­tres away in a cave ad­join­ing the din­ing room.

There are 18 rooms at Ja­mala Wilder­ness Lodge, with most shar­ing a win­dow with an an­i­mal en­clo­sure, so it makes for in­ter­est­ing din­ner con­ver­sa­tion. Even those who fear communal din­ing couldn’t re­sist ask­ing: which an­i­mal did you get?

There are rooms that look out to a Malaysian sun bear or a tiger, lemurs, brown bears and a huge shark tank. There are “gi­raffe bun­ga­lows” that al­low you to feed car­rots to gi­raffes off your bal­cony in the evening. But the best room backs on to a lion en­clo­sure, com­plete with mum and cubs and all the sounds of the jun­gle.

NA­TURE LOVERS: Vis­i­tors try to get chummy with a chee­tah at Ja­mala Wilder­ness Lodge.

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