For a close animal encounter with a difference, take a tour of the Savannah at Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Just like being on safari, the bus ride, with open windows, takes you on an informative journey amongst the animals that call this area home.
Tours start daily from 10am and run for approximately 15-20 minutes. I recommend trying to join the first tour of the day, we may have just been lucky on this occasion but the numbers were low, therefore allowing each of us a window seat and prime view.
With a very informative and enthusiastic driver at the helm, I assumed the tour would follow the well-driven track. Then on noticing the giraffes weren't even close to the track but over on the far perimeter fence, I assumed that was as close as we were getting. But off the track, we went and gradually approached the awaiting giraffes. Pulling up close, the bus stopped so those onboard could take photographs. While admiring these amazing creatures, one curious giraffe starting heading over. This inquisitive, nosey chap sauntered up and eye-balled us through the open window. This was the type of up-close I was hoping for.
Onward we went and stopped at a group of Eland who were quite content to keep grazing as the bus passed by. A few looked up to acknowledge our presence and are no doubt used to a busload of gawkers. Staying put made photographs a lot easier to take though!
My personal favourite, the White Rhinoceros, also took time from grazing to come over to the vehicle as we approached. He gave the bus a nudge with his horn. This made the whole experience for me. Finally, an ostrich, having never seen one before, was certainly interesting to observe and a lot larger than anticipated.