Thursday, July 17, 2014

Jakarta Diaries : 7 : Taman Safari

Till now, I had spent 2 good weeks in Indonesia. Half of my trip was over. And also the major part of work was over. I was having a relaxed time in office, and it was time to have even more fun outside. The next spot in the wishlist was Taman Safari. It was a highly recommended spot from everyone in my office. And after visiting I saw why, and now even I would recommend this to everyone visiting Indonesia.

After Taman Mini Indonesia, Taman Safari (Taman means park), is another marvelous example of a planned mega theme park. This park is based on a large area around 400 acres. It has two main parts, the safari, and the other is the amusement park containing a baby zoo, animal shows, and few rides.

Like last time, I was prepared to go alone to Taman Safari also. But a colleague introduced me to Meenakshi. She was also new here, and looking for company to go to Taman Safari. She had one more friend Deepa, working for another client of my company. We three decided to go together. We hired on taxi for Sunday. 

Our driver Suja, was a pleasant and decent man. He came 10 minutes late than decided time, and apologized at lease thrice for this. We left for the park pretty early in the morning, as we were advised to avoid the traffic. 

The driver took us through a short cut he knew, and the hilly village we crossed, reminded me of Darjiling, which I visited few years ago. Similar narrow roads, tea gardens, scenery revived my memories of the beautiful Darjiling-Sikkim trip I had with my family.

We reached Taman Safari and paid for the entry ticket. And the first part of the park, the safari started. The safari means a ride through a large forest area, where variety of animals walks free in their designated area. You are not allowed to leave your vehicle, but you can drive slowly to observe the animals.

On the way to Taman Safari, we saw many stalls selling fresh carrots. We did not buy, but after the safari started, we realized its purpose. Those carrots were to feed the animals in Safari. Many animals like zebras, camels, monkeys, come near the passing vehicles in hope of those carrots.

The Safari was just amazing. I saw many animals like giraffes, zebras, hippo for the first time, and that too walking free. I have seen lions and tigers in India before, but not like this. They are mostly locked inside the cage, and you are allowed to see them from the other side. 

This was the golden chance to use my camera, and I did it. I was really very happy to click pictures of such wild animals from so close. I was very very happy that day. According to me, this was the best day of my trip to Indonesia. I wasn't stopping clicking for a moment. I took hundreds of pictures.

Now, this is not the real wild life photography. These animals although not caged, are controlled in some manner. But this arrangement was the best possible solution between the typical zoo, and the real wild life.

In a real forest, to catch a sight of any wild animal is completely on your luck that day. Photographers say that you might not get a chance to see any tiger/lion even after 2-3 safaris sometimes. And in a conventional zoo, the animals look really bored in the cage. Here, there is certainty of seeing those animals which are free, and yet controlled, but in a near to natural habitat.

I was impressed with the Safari, and wished that we must have such place in India. This was my first time to click animals this way, and waiting for an opportunity to go for real wild life photography as well. Click here to have a look on the pictures from Safari.

The safari ended after around 2 hrs. And we reached the amusement park inside. This was like any other amusement park having few rides, 4D movie theater, food stalls and performances. The special thing about the park was the penguins, and the Komodo Dragon (which did not look like the dragon we see in movies). 

A baby zoo was also there having many civilized pet animals, like tiger, lion, snakes, monkey. For a small fees, you can click a picture with those animals too. I clicked a picture with a lion, and even though he was chained and trainer was around, it was scary. :D

Click here for the pictures of the Fun Park and Baby Zoo.

The park had many performances and shows. We watched sea lion show, dolphin show, cowboy show, bike stunts, and in the end tiger show. Here are the pictures of tiger show.

The Safari really made my day. I was very happy to visit this place. If you ever visit Jakarta, and have enough time, do not miss this place. :)