Visitors were already milling through the spacious safari-inspired lobby at one of Subic’s main tourist attractions. Our weekend getaway was almost over but we have one last stop before we let Monday gets its way. We tied our imaginary boots, donned our khaki vests and put on our helmets; Zoobic Safari here we come!
The first thing I noticed while waiting for our tickets to be processed was the tiger cub near the entrance. Little did I know that we’re gonna be having a pretty close encounter with this cat a few minutes later. Like children, we were herded into his den, handed a milk bottle and sat a few away from the little tiger.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TRAVELLING DORK
I knew that he could’ve easily given us a pounding that we wouldn’t soon forget but he was just so sweet! The instructor gave specific instructions before he let the cub come near and drink from the bottle A of Adaphobic was holding. It was an awesome experience!
We officially entered the safari grounds after. A path covered by a canopy of trees wound before us and I can hear the chirps of birds, it looks like we’re gonna be having a second round of bird activities.
Similar to JEST Camp’s Bird Discovery Center, Zoobic’s Bird Walk features multitudes of colorful avian species. Most are caged but there are a few that are simply perched on tree branches. We were even able to interact with some as handlers gave us pellets which the parakeets immediately flocked to.
A small zoo was also located near the area where we got to see sika deers, donkeys, miniature horses and one of the most dangerous birds on earth, the colorful but scary-looking cassowary. But what I loved best about the zoo was the friendly camels, you can even pet them!
Zoobic’s Serpentarium was next. It is housed on a dark barn of a building and is filled with all things slithery. Those with Ophidiophobia need not worry though; the snakes are all securely separated from viewers by thick glasses.
We rode our safari tram and proceeded to what Zoobic is all about, the Tiger Safari. But before we entered we were asked by our guide if we wanted to buy a chicken for the tiger. Question marks dinged up over all our heads.
Turns out the tigers enclosed on the Safari area wouldn’t go close to our jeep without a chicken bait. We were told that it would be a waste if we go through the safari without a chicken on hand. A whole chicken cost Php120.00, so we pooled our cash and proceeded towards the Safari gate.
A tiger immediately sensed our arrival and warily wandered towards our jeep. Our guide showed him our chicken and it immediately pounced the sides of our jeep. Man it was huge! I think its paws are almost as big as a small human head!
There were other tigers walking around and lazily lounging under the shades of trees, but they simply stared at us as we went past, we’ve got no more chicken on hand. It was not five minutes and we were out of the Tiger Safari enclosure. I didn’t know it would be so quick; had we known, we would’ve asked our driver to slow down.
Up towards our tram again, we visited the tiger pens. It was located adjacent to the safari area and houses numerous gargantuan-sized tigers! You can tell from the number that the Zoomanity Group is really successful in breeding these cats. I also saw a rare white tiger and a lion among the bunch.
The sun was already heating up as we proceeded to the next leg of our tour, the Bone Muzooem. As its name suggests, it houses nothing but animal bones. The most interesting I saw were the tarsier bones and the billy goat’s which looks majestic even after death.
Before proceeding to our last stop, we dropped by the Aeta’s Trail. We were presented a dance by the indigenous group living in the area. Their dance mimics the animals living in the forest, which they revere with the utmost respect.
The trail is replete with huge stone sculptures that depict open-mouthed pygmy-like heads. I asked our guide if it somehow represents anything about the Aeta culture. Apparently, it was simply out there for show and decoration. Alright then.
It was almost 12 noon as we entered our last stop for the day. The Croco Loco houses freshwater crocodiles. While it doesn’t have anything that is relatively close to Lolong’s size, it was still fascinating especially for first time visitors of crocodile zoos.
Before we bade farewell to the Zoobic Safari, we dropped by the souvenir shop which was full to brimming with all sorts of keepsakes to bring home. T-shirts and stuffed lion toys fill the shelves but I can’t seem to find any ref magnets. I bought the most ref magnet-looking keychain and decided to just make my own ref magnet souvenir at home.
It took more than half our day to fully explore Subic’s 25-hectare Zoobic Safari; it has its exciting moments but it also has a few dull ones. I can’t help but compare it to my Night Safari experience in Singapore which is understandably better than Zoobic’s. The question I guess is will I recommend it? For people whose TV sets are permanently glued to the Animal Planet, those with passing interests with animals and those who haven’t been on a safari, I would highly recommend it. It’s not everyday that you’ll encounter a tiger face-on after all.
Zoobic Safari Subic
Address: Group I Ilanin Forest, Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Telephone: (047) 252-2272 | (0929) 707-2222
Rates: Adult - Php495.00 | Kids 4ft. above - Php395.00
Kids 3ft. below - free
Open Hours: 8:00AM to 4:00PM Everyday
Website: Click Here
GPS Coordinates: 14.750772,120.265832
View Location on Google Maps: Click Here
BIG THANKS TO SUBIC HOMES FOR SPONSORING OUR SUBIC WEEKEND GETAWAY
AT HOME AT SUBIC HOMES | RUSHING THROUGH SUBIC’S TREE TOP ADVENTURE | JEST CAMP SUBIC ADVENTURE
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS AT THE ZOOBIC SAFARI | WEEKEND FOOD TRIP AT SUBIC