In real life, I do discuss food exactly like how I write in my food review articles. As always my food reviews are scored only on what I've tried and the service expected of that type of establishment.
Published April 10th 2013
Go on safari in Melbourne with serval cats, hippos and more
Werribee Open Range Zoo. Melbourne's answer to an African safari park. See the animals roam free, as nature intended. Like most Melburnians, I have been to Werribee Zoo before. I still remember the high-tech tour bus that had windows that lifted upwards and doors that opened up all along the bus. Over a decade has past and the now giraffe looking tour bus is still as cool as I remembered. Outside of Africa, this is the closest you can get to fulfilling that dream to go on safari. One of the unique experiences where you are so close to the animals.
Although you are safe, it's always exciting to see the animals come up close to the bus. Animals on safari range from favourites: zebra, giraffes and the rhinoceros, to rarer critically endangered antelope species such as the Scimitar-horned oryx and addax. The only unfortunate aspect of the safari is that not all the animals are a part of it. However this is understandable as they have to keep predators such as the lions separate. Werribee Zoo offers many interesting animal enclosures, including a meerkat enclosure that shares a wall with the meerkat café. There's also an Australian animal section, bandicoot reservation and wool shed on site.
There are many zookeeper presentations at the zoo, and one I would recommend is the serval cats. They are not displayed in an enclosure open to the public at Werribee. Sit in the front row and you are about 3 metres away from the beautiful creature. One of the three serval cats is accompanied by a zookeeper to the little enclosure in front of the audience. No glass, no bars, but for some roping that is similar to that in a cinema cue there is nothing to stop it from walking right up to you. Nanki, our serval star of the show is one of the livelier cats. She was charming, cheeky towards her zookeeper. Sabotaging his routine and flicking water at him as revenge for making her go into the pond.
The other presentation I attended was the hippo one. The hippos are to Werribee as the elephants are to Melbourne Zoo. The lovely hippo themed pier houses mother and daughter trio: Primrose, Tulip and Lotus. Be prepared for snoring, drool, lots of talking and that's just the hippos. The zookeeper even does some dental work that would make a dentist shudder. Again we are offered the luxury of being barely 3 metres from the animals. However this time there are bars separating the hippos from the audience. Hippos unfortunately are the main cause of animal caused deaths in Africa, due to accidents that are related to the hippos' lifestyle.
Werribee Open Range Zoo combines the safari experience with a more traditional zoo. There are a number of interesting exhibits and sections that make even the more traditional aspects novel. The presentations are interesting and really add to the animal experience. Perfect for any animal lover.