We were thrilled to have made it to the Zoobic Safari last June 30! It was my son’s answered prayer and he was over the moon when we finally set foot in this one-of-a-kind petting zoo, which is also famous for its tiger safari.
Zoobic Safari is located in the heart of Ilanin Forest West, Morong, Bataan. It took us around 4 hours, which includes the time when we stop over for breakfast, to get there. It’s a good thing that we scheduled our family trip on a weekday and took the Skyway-NLEX-SCTEX route which made our long drive bearable and comfortable. The weather was good on our way to Subic Bay Freeport Zone considering that Typhoon Caloy was passing the area surrounding our destination.
Before our trip, we did some research to learn about the rates, best time to go, and most convenient route to take. We also got in touch with Zoobic Safari via Messenger to inquire about their COVID-19 protocols and restrictions. They responded after a couple of days. We discovered that Klook, a travel app, offers Zoobic Safari vouchers at almost half the price. We took this opportunity and bought our tickets online. When we got to Zoobic, my husband presented our online vouchers at the ticketing counter.
We got to Zoobic around lunchtime, so most visitors were already done with their tour. There were not many people on-site, and it was beginning to drizzle when we started our first-half of our tour. Despite the weather, we had fun going around Zoobic.
Our tour began at the Zoobic Park and Serpentarium. At the entrance, baskets of vegetables — for feeding the animals along the way — are available for sale. Each small basket that has a few pieces of veggies costs Php100. Adjacent to the entrance is the section where guests can have a photo taken with a tiger. We did not avail of this attraction, so we don’t actually know how much it costs.
Here are the animals that we saw along the trail:
That Eclectus Parrot perched on top was swaying its head while my daughter was saying Hello. Take a look at it in the video below.
What I liked most about our walking tour is that the enclosures and pens, except for the one where the Highland Cattles are, is that they are not stinky. Even roaming mules — those that we have crossed paths with — do not stink.
Since trams that would usually take visitors to other attractions within the zoo are not available, we got back in our car to get to Croco Loco and the Tiger Safari. We went to see the crocodiles first.
Except for a couple of other visitors, we almost had Croco Loco to ourselves. Because the place was not crowded, and the weather was cooler, we went around Croco Loco at our own pace. True to its name, we got crazy seeing lots of crocodiles of all sizes! My son and I were able to feed two of the crocodiles in the pond underneath the steel bridge. We were given a bamboo pole that served as a fishing rod and used it to dangle a small piece of raw chicken until one of the crocodiles jumped to grab it. For that, we paid Php50 apiece. My kid asked the zookeeper if we could also feed the crocodiles on the other side of the bridge, the ones resting on dry ground. But, the zookeeper said that the crocs on that side would get hurt when they jumped and landed on the ground.
On the other side of the bridge, there was a section where guests could have their photos taken with a baby crocodile. We paid Php150 for our photo. After our family picture with the baby croc, we each got a chance to hold that little reptile. It was safe to do so because its snout was taped and the zookeeper was right beside us. The baby croc was as light as a handbag and felt like a toy reptile.
After Croco Loco, we drove on our way to the site where we had a close encounter with the tigers and lions. We were not able to feed the lions at that time because the zookeeper said that there was no other staff to help him out. Nevertheless, we had a great time learning about tigers, lions, and a Liger.
Here’s the beautiful lioness and her lion sweetheart.
Here’s the Liger called Neema. According to the zookeeper, Neema was bred in Dubai from a lion and a tiger.
For the much-awaited Tiger Safari, we drove a short distance on our way to the Tiger Safari Ride. We had to wait for the tram to get back for our turn. The tram got back with only three passengers on it — they were the family that was at the petting zoo at the same time we were there. So, I was thinking that we would also have the tram to ourselves. But then, a big group came and the staff said that we would be going with them. Thinking about social distancing, I asked the staff if they would fill up the tram. She said yes, and added that the tram has a large capacity. For the tigers to get near the tram, the zookeeper/tour guide riding with the guests must hold out raw chicken to lure them in. A bucket of raw chicken cut-ups costs Php200.
We were so amazed at these two tigers, named Tom and Jerry, because they responded well to the zookeeper. One of the tigers even jumped on top of the tram to get the food. It got off safely from the tram after eating.
We finished going around the Zoobic Safari at around 3:00 PM. My kids wanted to go to the Forbidden Cave, but the staff told us that it was closed. Zoobic has more attractions to entertain visitors, but because of the pandemic, only a few of them are open. Regardless, our family had a wonderful time at the Zoobic Safari and it was all worth the long wait and the road trip!
Since the pandemic started, our family preferred going on trips, which often doubled as our homeschool field trips, on weekdays. Here’s why.
Advantages of going on a trip on a weekday
- We avoided the crowds. The pandemic is not yet over, so we should not let our guard down wherever we go. Lesser people at the stopover and fewer guests at the zoo.
- Tickets are cheaper. We paid half the price! The weekend rate for adults is Php695 and Php595 for children.
- Fewer cars on the road. Made it more convenient and easier for us to travel up North despite a couple of road constructions on the way.
- Lower gas prices. Though I am not sure if this has something to do with the fluctuating fuel prices, we were thankful that prices were lower when we filled up in the morning. On our way home, we were surprised that fuel prices at the same gas station increased by Php10.
We’re praying to go on more family trips and make more meaningful and wonderful memories together!