Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
After all the trips I’ve done with friends or by myself, the least I could do to still be a good sister and aunt is to take part in a family trip. My sister initiated the trip to Taman Safari Indonesia (Indonesia Safari Park) in Cisarua, West Java, as an introduction to the animal world to his then 3 year-old son, and a little nostalgia trip for her and me as we had been there when NKOTB was at their peak. Some things have changed, been added and improved, and it was a fun family trip for us all, including little Mazel who learned more animal names and sounds 😀
How To Get To Taman Safari, Bogor
Go with your private car or hire a car (and a driver).
Or go with a public transportation. Accessible by bus (from KampungRambutan, East Jakarta), or by angkot (from Bogor, the nearest city from Cisarua).
Safari Journey at Taman Safari
It was exciting to have zebras’ nose up-close at your window’s glass. And you’re not supposed to roll down your windows, let alone feed them with anything. What bothered me was that people recklessly do just the opposite, feeding carrots to the animals when there are obvious signs telling not to (the veggies are sold outside of the entrance by nearby locals).
Oh and I didn’t get why some cars couldn’t just wait still for others in front of them. They overtook and then created a little jumble when turns out there are lions, llamas, or cows sitting pretty on the road right in front of them. I mean, what are they so rushing to get to?
Take a leak before you start the Safari Journey, so everyone can watch the animals closely for a little longer, and actually enjoy the moment out of the busy city streets. * inhaaaale…exhaaaale… *
Do take notice of the details of those jungle creatures that you don’t see everyday. Notice how pretty llamas’ eyes are, how chic zebras’ stripes are, how slick red cows’ skin is, and how innocent male lions can look when they’re just laying low and taking a nap.
And what a priceless moment it was seeing my nephew smiling and excited looking at the wildlife for the first time 🙂 * brought tears to my eyes * Kleenex, please..*
If you go with a car, you’d have to park it near the entrance gate before getting on the shuttle car that will take you to the spot where you’ll hop on the Night Safari train.
It was quite a surprise to me. I thought we were gonna go by a closed vehicle for safety reason. But I guess dinner time for the lions, tigers and crocodiles were done before the Night Safari started. Phew!
Some animals were kinda difficult to see in the dark although big lights installed on some points were on, as well as some smaller lights from our vehicle. A tour guide was explaining what we were looking at with his loudspeaker. Some of which I’ve forgotten by now… * this is why I studied art, not zoology *
The journey ended near the Baby Zoo gate. It was optional to go in there, but of course I went. No extra charge to get in, only extra charges to take pictures with the minnies. I hesitated to pose with the adorable baby lion because I was alone at the tour. Usually, if you’re using your own camera, your travelmate is the one who takes the picture, while the ranger focuses on directing and watching for the baby animal. Fortunately the ranger agreed to help take the picture of me with Simba, who behaved so sweetly there.
The next morning, it was my family’s turn to the Baby Zoo, with Aunt Vira (c’est moi) as the photographer.
We had breakfast at the park’s restaurant, at the lodging area to be exact. A nice outdoor ambiance, facing a swimming pool (I cannot imagine how freezing it would be swimming there!). The food was just so-so, Indonesian breakfast like fried rice, fried noodle, the side dishes, and western-ish menu like omelet.
You can also munch on various kinds of food at the Amusement park area, near the Baby Zoo exit. Pastries and all. It was also a nice shelter for us when it suddenly rained just before we finished our tour at the Baby Zoo. And I ended up purchasing some cinnamon bread for to-go 😀
This restaurant has been a hit since I was 3, that I know of. It hasn’t changed much until now, menu and ambiance wise. And same old, same old, the most selling point is the location which sits on the highest part of Puncak (Puncak Pas, which means ‘right on the peak’).
On this trip, we had dinner at RinduAlam, which is only about half an hour drive from Taman Safari. When we went back down after eating, man, traffic was horrific! Because too many cars go up the hill to Bandung direction, they stopped the downhill lane to give way to the uphill. And so there we were, spending about an hour extra just to go back, with my pregnant sister who needed to go to the loo!
I’ve actually been a customer of their yoghurt products which I’d buy at supermarkets. Turns out Cimori isn’t only a yoghurt brand but a dairy product factory that also caters a restaurant with yummy food especially the sausages!
We had an early lunch here right after we got out of Taman Safari at 10 AM. That was the time when downhill lane started to open again.
We chose the Zebra type (2 bedrooms with bathroom each + living room equipped with non-cable TV and a fridge), and the rate (which I forgot how much.. * facepalm *) included breakfast.
The rooms and bathrooms were clean, extra mattresses (not beds) are available upon request. I recommend you to bring slippers for inside use because the floor is omigod so cold! For tropical people, at least. Average climate of the area is more or less 50-70 Fahrenheit degrees (18-20 Celcius degrees) night and day respectively.
As my brief explanation in the Eat tab, uphill and downhill lanes are closed for certain times, especially in the weekend or holidays due to crazy traffic. There is a fix schedule The schedule can be different from weekend to weekend (which isn’t planted in my memories very well), but sometimes it can alter depending on the occasions.
Admission fee is slightly more expensive in the weekend and for international visitors it’s almost double the domestic visitors. More complete info on the admission fee here: http://www.tamansafari.com/Entrance_Fee.html
I paid IDR 100,000 for the Night Safari entrance fee.
Pictures with baby animals cost about IDR 10,000-20,000 / each animal, using your own camera. About IDR 30,000 using the zoo’s camera and to get the photos printed.