Thursday we took a P-Day and went to Taman Safari, a very large drive-through wild animal park in Bogor, a suburb of Jakarta. We took the train to Bogor from Jakarta (about an hour ride).
Our friend Jemmy Mongan picked us up at the train station. We had been told DO NOT go to Taman Safari on a Saturday, so we figured a Thursday would be good – however, it was still a school holiday (left over from Idul Fitri, which seems to go on for weeks) and it took 2.5 hours to drive the few miles to the park.
Taman Safari is a drive-through park like there are in the States, but the amazing thing is that there are NO barriers. These animals roam the grounds and there is NOTHING to prevent anyone from getting out of the car and walking up and “petting” the animal. Lions, tigers, bears, hippos, they were all there, fully accessible. This is so far removed from what we would see in the States – there would be barriers, fences, trenches, guards, electric sensors, etc. everywhere. Here – no such thing. They do have signs telling people to stay in their cars, but hey, if you wanted to get out, you could. But, luckily, very few do (that we know of), because that would be crazy, and people here are fairly sane.
I could post a million pics of animals, but I’ll spare you – elephants look the same here as anywhere in the world. But the presentation here, allowing unfettered, super-close access to the wildest of animals is unlike anywhere I’ve ever seen.\
We also saw two of the shows – a ‘wild west’ show that was surprisingly pretty good. Didn’t need to know what they were saying (it was all in Bahasa) to know there were good guys, bad guys, Indians, cowboys, cattle, horses, bank robberies, etc. There was also a ‘globe of death’ show, which was four motorcycles in a metal cage. I’ll post pics on that later.