Friday, 21 January 2011
Aitana Safari Park
Towards the tail end of last year, we happened on a safari park that we had never heard of. It is tucked away in the mountains south west of Alcoy, and this week we decided to take a look.
The cashier spoke English and told us that we could get out of the car, as long as we stayed near the car, and the animals were far away (Obviously, this does not apply for the lion, or tiger enclosures!). I was very suprised as most safari parks make you stay in the car. Also, she advised us that the animals would be fed at 3pm, and we could go around again then.
We drove through, and followed the road around. There are some 1,500 hectares, in which the animals are able to roam freely, with just a few exceptions. There were only a few other cars around, giving us a wonderful view over the whole park. Having sussed out the layout, we had lunch in the restaurant (good food, reasonable price) and then went around the park again.
This time, we quickly came on a family in a Mercedes, but I asked Ed to pass them, so that we could enjoy the park on our own. This was very successful, giving us the chance to see the animals very close up, as they ate their food (hay), without anyone else chatting nearby. The other family understood what we had done, and I saw them hold back a few times, so that there was always a gap between us.
When we came to the elephants, we quietly watched them, but the handler told us to come down to where they were. We crept down, then, to my astonishment, he told us to stroke them. I was stunned. He chatted away, and explained that they were both females, and had been there for a long time, and were used to being stroked by the visitors. When I stepped back to take a photo of Ed, he said "no" and took the camera from me, and took a few photos of both of us. Excellent customer service. Later, we saw the other family, and they had stroked the elephants too.
For €17 each, we felt that this was an excellent day out and will certainly be going again.