This is one zoo you cannot miss when in Thailand. If you are willing to ignore the confined quarters of the animals, you may actually think you are on a real safari.
Few zoos in the world can match the variety of species as at the ‘Chiang Mai Night Safari’ – this is the name of the zoo. The 300 acre property is surrounded by the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, and gives you a chance to interact with animals from all over the world. Including many you may not even have heard of. Like the Cabybara, the world’s largest rodents from South America, that look like rats created with a dose of super-steroids.
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The safari is divided into three parts:
* The central walking zone around the Swan lake. A 1.2 km walking trail allows you to see over 50 species of animals and many birds. These include black panthers, leopards, fishing cats, crocodiles, lemurs, bears, and tigers to name just a few. It is best to get here in early evening when the light is bright and allows for good photography. Afternoons may not be a good time as animals may stay be indoors to beat the heat. Finish this walk around sunset in time to enjoy the other activities at the park.
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* The South Zone: Take a 50-seater tram ride over 2.43 kms lasting about 30 minutes. This zone is home to mostly the gentler species like deer, zebras, giraffes and kangaroos who are only too eager to reach out to visitors for food. You can buy a portion of carrots at the tram station to share with the animals – do not feed them anything else. Some of the other species include gaurs, white rhinos, cheetahs and striped hyenas.
* The North Zone: This is another tram ride covering a loop of 2.13 kms and is mostly the abode of wild animals including lions, manned wolves, black bears, jackals, pumas and vultures. Naturally you may see them only from a distance.
Besides saying hello to animals, there are many other attractions you could spend hours over. These include the musical fountain and water screen show, an open-air cabaret by beautiful women, a baby elephant dancing to the music, and an awesome gift shop where you want to buy all the cuddly (and very reasonably priced) animal toys.
Chiang Mai has lots to offer – the night safari is top of the pops!
For more information visit http://www.chiangmainightsafari.com.
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