23 Jan 2012
You are inside a caged jeep that traverses a bumpy rough and winding road that snakes its way through the jungle of the mountain. Then, a tiger suddenly appears from the woods. A man from your group dangles a chicken meat that caught the attention of the big cat.
The jeep stops and the large carnivorous feline mammal approaches. Right from your very eyes and few inches away from your face, you see how it devours the meat down to the last bite. Then, as the man gestures, the tiger climbs up the jeep.
The tiger looks at you through the glass part of the roof. It stays there for the meantime, while another tiger approaches the other side of the vehicle and feasts on meat sticks out by a tour guide.
Now, you have two tigers guarding your group. One, on top of the jeep and the other one just outside the window, licking fresh residue of fresh meat it just swallowed. Now you realized that the only thing which protects you from being eaten by these known wild fierce creatures is the safari jeep you're riding in. And it dawned on you that although you are in a safe place, paradoxically, in this reverse situation, you're the one in the cage while the tigers are the ones looking at you from the open ground.
Sounds heart-pounding? Well, this is just one of the highlights of Tiger Safari which is among the exciting attractions that form the Zoobic Safari Adventure. Welcome to Wild Animal Kingdom, like no other in the whole archipelago, where various species of animals from Asia, Africa and America are found. As of now, it's the ultimate "Forest Adventure" destination in the Philippines with a land area of about 25 hectares.
Apart from Tiger Safari, you can look forward to more exciting "what to do" in Zoobic Safari, as follows: feeding alligators at sea of crocodile in Croco Loco, being driven through an animal sanctuary of farm and exotic animals like wild boars, guinea fowls, potbelly pigs and wild ostriches that roam free in Savannah, being entertained by native Filipino people to a tribal show that features butterfly dance, war dance, and the amazing monkey dance that catapults up a tree in Aetas Trail, hold a baby tiger while feeding it in Petting Show, get a close-up look of reptiles such as lizards, iguanas, king snake, pythons, boa constrictors, monitor lizards, turtles and other cold-blooded creatures in Serpentarium, going over to the rodent kingdom where different species of rodents such as tiny guinea pigs, porcupines and large Palawan rats are waiting to be discovered in Rodent World, look into a rare collection of real stuffed animals and skeletons in Animal Moozeum and get acquainted with different species and behavior of wild birds and mammals both docile and fierce such as pheasant, peafowl, lovebirds, hornbill, water buffalo, deers, black ape, Philippine mouse deer, camel, donkeys, cougar, lions and a lot more in Bird Walk, Bird Thrill and the rest of walk tour right before boarding a tram on your way to the main attractions. One last chance to have a closer look at tigers behind enclosures happens in Close Encounter. In the Pavilion, right before the guided tour starts, you can pose with a large tiger in front of the camera while holding a baby bottle into its mouth for a photograph that will remember your adventure by. Souvenir shop is also located here. Finally, if you want some add-on for your adventure, you can go see Butterfly Garden, do Hip-Hop Bay-A-Walk and the exhilarating wild animal sightseeing offered by Sky Safari as well as the daring Zoobic Night Safari Adventure.
How do you get to Zoobic Zafari and do all of these and back to Manila the same day?
|Zoobic Safari in Subic|
Zoobic Safari is located in Subic, province of Zambales. One important thing to remember in going to Subic by bus is to take the SCTEX route. From Cubao, it only takes 2 hours and 25 minutes for a bus to get to bus stop in Subic in which the terminal of taxi bound for Zoobic Safari is located.
For this trip, I boarded Victory Liner with 6 trips daily to Olongapo City via Subic and SCTEX, scheduled as follows: 5:30 am, 7:30 am, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 5 pm, and 6 pm.
Schedules might change. For confirmation, you can call Victory Liner Cubao at these telephone numbers: 7274688, 7274534 or 4108986.
Zoobic Safari Adventure Tour from Manila
Jumping-off Point: Victory Liner Bus Terminal Cubao
- Buy a ticket for "SBMA" (Subic) and don't forget to say "via SCTEX" otherwise you might get different route. For this tour, we are leaving at 5:30 am, so be at the terminal past 5 am. If it's too early for you, just get to the bus terminal past 7 am for 7:30 am departure. Fare rate as of this date: Php 235.
- Get off the bus at SBMA to which conductors refer as SM when they announce the arrival. Landmarks here: SM City Olongapo, Jollibee, Ministop and Wimpy's Restaurant. The bus actually enters a large parking area-terminal to unload passengers at the bus stop there. The entire terminal is located at the corner of Rizal Highway (road from Manila) and Magsaysay Dr (road that leads to Olongapo and used primarily by pedestrians but impassable for motorists). See map below this post. Travel time from Cubao is approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes including stopovers.
- Have your breakfast at any food outlets around the area. Foods are expensive inside Zoobic Safari ground so make sure you are full.
- Go to the taxi terminal near the Ministop located at the bus stop. Don't confuse the other Ministop located across the road with the one on the terminal. Taxis here are white SUVs with SBMA logos on the body. Now, here you have to haggle. Say your destination. Ask for the rate. Driver says Php 450. Don't give in right away. That is if you're in a budget. I myself got it for 300. So, if you're good at haggling, you would surely get the same rate. If you don't, go to the other terminal located to the other side of the road. Walk across the main road which is Rizal Highway. The other terminal is located at the back of the building opposite Jollibee. It's there that I lowered the rate from Php 450 to 300.
- Travel time to Zoobic Safari from taxi terminal is around 25 minutes. The driver will give you his cp numbers telling you to text him after the tour so that he could pick you up as there are no taxis going back. Don't fret. As I've experienced it, there's indeed other taxis waiting. Only you wouldn't haggle, would you? So, if you take different taxi on your way back, you pay Php 450. Now, I need to confess. When I realized that Zoobic Safari is too far afterall and the driver seemed to be nice person, I gave him the amount he had actually bargained for which is Php 350.
- Buy ticket for Php 499. That's include the Tiger Safari. Immediately, you will see the ticket booth. There's also a ticket for Php 399 but it ends after the walk tour. Since, for me, the highlight of the adventure is the Tiger Safari, Php 499 is a steal. Go for it. Nevertheless, once in Tiger Safari jeep, there's an additional fee amounting to Php 210 for the chicken meat that's going to be divided into the number of groups in your caged jeepney. If there are three groups in your jeep, then each group contributes Php 70.
- Get into the Pavilion where the guided tour is organized. While waiting for your tour guide, it's time to have your photos with a chained tiger taken, for a fee. It's optional on your part. And like in other tourist destinations in other parts of the world, there will also be a picture taking that will be edited minutes later. Once you see your finished pictures with different versions featuring various Zoobic Safari environs as your background, it's up to you to buy them. No obligation on your part.
- The Tour Guide will conduct a briefing. Listen intently as they discuss safety reminders, "do's and don't" and the complete stages your group will be taking in the order of their sequence within the duration of the guided tour which lasts two hours.
- Tour begins. Enjoy!
- Two hours later. Entire tour has ended. You can text your driver. While waiting, you can check out the souvenir shop inside the Pavilion for some stuffs to bring home.
- Back to SBMA, it's time to treat yourself to a delicious food. It's feels good to have a sumptuous meal after an adventure expedition. So, you might want to explore some dining spots outside Subic. Get out of SBMA via Magsaysay Gate that leads to nearby SM and head to Olongapo City where you can find different restaurants, bars, spas and more. Watch for my upcoming post on some places I've checked out during my stay in Olongapo City and Subic. If you haven't subscribed yet, it's time to do so. SUBSCRIBE HERE, for free
- Wait for any bus bound for Manila along Rizal Highway, just opposite the bus stop at which you alighted the bus from Cubao. Many buses pass through here from their Olongapo terminals. Most of them are bound for Pasay and Cubao.
|Zoobic Safari Tram ride|
|Caged Jeepney in Tiger Safari of Zoobic Adventure|
|An ostrich roams Savannah in Zoobic Safari Subic|
|A tiger in a cage in Zoobic Safari|
|Tourists wait for their turn in Close Encounter of Zoobic|
|A hornbill in captivity|
|A tour guide conducts briefing before the start of guided tour in Zoobic|
|Giant trees of Zoobic Safari|
|African grey parrot in Zoobic Safari|
|A camel is among docile animals in Zoobic Safari|
|Crocodiles at Croco Loco in Zoobic Safari|
Map shows bus stop and the two taxi terminals. Jollibee is at northwest corner of Magsaysay and Rizal Highway while SM City Olongapo is located to the other side of the river which serves as boundary for Olongapo City (top island) and Subic (bottom island).
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