CEBU SA­FARI & AD­VEN­TURE PARK

Com­mune with na­ture and cel­e­brate life in a world-class fa­cil­ity

Cebu Libre - - FRONT PAGE - By MARS G. AL­I­SON PHO­TOS BY JUNJIE MEN­DOZA

Siberian tigers, leop­ards, chee­tahs, African lions, swan s , meerk a t s , o t t e r s , camels, lla­mas, a bird show that can ri­val that of the Jurong Bird Park in Sin­ga­pore.

Th­ese and more of the 111 species of ex­otic an­i­mals that you won’t likely get to see in your life­time can be found in one world-class fa­cil­ity that’s so close to home – the Cebu Sa­fari & Ad­ven­ture Park. Here you get to see not just an­i­mals, but you will also get to walk amidst over a mil­lion bloom­ing or­chids and other plants.

The Sa­fari oc­cu­pies 170 hectares of the 2000-hectare prop­erty of the Lhuil­lier fam­ily in Corte, a moun­tain barangay of Car­men, north­ern Cebu. Car­men is about an hour and a half from Cebu City and the Sa­fari is about eight kilo­me­ters from the na­tional high­way.

This 10-year-in-the-mak­ing Sa­fari started out as a dream and a flora and fauna col­lec­tion of revered Ce­buano busi­ness­man Michel Lhuil­lier but is now be­ing sup­ported by the en­tire Lhuil­lier fam­ily—the M. Lhuil­lier Group of Com­pa­nies.

Ac­cord­ing to Ed­uard Jar­que Loop, the vice pres­i­dent and chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of the Sa­fari, the con­cept, which is pat­terned af­ter the San Diego Zo o (Cal­i­for­nia, USA), stemmed from Lhuil­lier’s love of na­ture.

“All through­out the mak­ing of this Sa­fari, we are not al­lowed to cut trees, ” said Loop.

Af­ter years of plan­ning and ac­tual work, the Sa­fari opened its doors last De­cem­ber—first to its em­ploy­ees and now to the pub­lic by book­ing on week­ends, Fri­day to Sun­day.

Jar­que added that as of the mo­ment, they can ac­com­mo­date up to 600 guests per day dur­ing the week­ends but when the Sa­fari goes fully op­er­a­tional this April, they can ac­com­mo­date up to 3,000 guests each day for six days. A

day will be re­served for park main­te­nance.

For now, the Sa­fari is charg­ing P800 per per­son in­clu­sive of a lunch buf­fet. Guests will be taken on a tour on board a tram to the African Sa­vanna wherein you will get to see ze­bras, wilde­beests, greater kudus­bles­boks, wa­ter­bucks, hel­meted guinea fowls, and African crowned cranes. Then to Michel’s gar­den and pavil­ion which is lit­tered with over a mil­lion or­chids, you’ll find the tiger turf, the orangutown, the sa­fari outpost where you’ll get to feed the gi­raffes and get to see the meerkats, swans, ducks pel­i­cans and geese. There’s also the macaw aviary and the aviary dome, where you’ll get a chance to feed ex­otic birds.

Guests can also take a cool walk along the canopy trail wherein you’ll get to view cas­sowaries and ot­ters.

The price will be the same once the park fully opens but will no longer in­clude the food. Guests will not be al­lowed to bring food, be­cause the Sa­fari will have restau­rants and a cafe kiosk by then. This is to pre­vent guests from feed­ing the an­i­mals with food brought from out­side.

In lieu of the food, the P800 fee will al­ready in­clude the bird show that will ri­val that of Jurong Bird Park in Sin­ga­pore in an am­phithe­ater that can sit about a thou­sand peo­ple. The show fea­tures birds rac­ing the flag, spell­ing the names of an­i­mals, do­ing sim­ple math, singing happy birth­day and many other tricks.

Also set to open at the Sa­fari this year are four ad­ven­ture rides, the 1.3-kilo­me­ter zi­pline, the bi­cy­cle zi­pline, an ob­sta­cle course and a 25-meter swing.

So as sum­mer draws near, com­plete your planned ad­ven­tures in the sun with a visit to the Cebu Sa­fari & Ad­ven­ture Park where you can com­mune with na­ture and cel­e­brate life in a world-class fa­cil­ity.

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