Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Zoobic Night Safari at Subic, Zambales

We went to Zoobic Safari last November 5. Zoobic Safari is a 25-hectare amusement park located in Subic, Zambales. To go there, we took a Victory Liner bus in Monumento (regular bus - P169/pax, P121/pax for senior citizens; airconditioned bus - P202/pax, P162/pax for seniors). Upon arrival at Olongapo, we took a jeepney to the SBMA gate (P8/pax) then a taxi to Zoobic Safari (P350/trip). The taxi fare was costly, yes, but it was a long ride and the taxi was a van-type vehicle so you'll spend less per person if you're going in a big group. As far as I knew, there was no alternative - no buses or jeepneys went to and from Zoobic, just private vehicles and taxis. The system was to get the driver's mobile number then text him around 30mins before the end of your trip. Failure to get the driver's number might result in the commuter having a hard time in going back since there were very few available taxis waiting outside Zoobic Safari.

The driver of our taxi was friendly and chatty, so the taxi ride was leisurely. The scenery was also terrific - lots of greens! For someone born and raised in Manila, breathing fresh air and seeing lots of trees has become a luxury so I really appreciated the time just looking at them.

Upon arrival at Zoobic, we were told to sit near the hall entrance to have our picture taken. I didn't like that part, because with the way the staff ushered us ("let's take a picture first!"), it sounded as if the pictures were included in the tour package and were therefore free, but they were not.

One of the primary reasons why I wanted to go to Zoobic was to have my picture taken while I was petting/feeding a tiger cub. When I saw the tiger in the feeding booth, though, I had a thought bubble: that is not a baby tiger!

tiger at Zoobic Safari
tiger at Zoobic Safari
tiger at Zoobic Safari

The tiger was a little petulant. There was a time when its handler was pulling on its chains to make it get up and approach the bench, but it wasn't responding and was even clinging to a leg of the table. It was probably bored or sleepy or tired of being fed milk by the tourists. There was another tiger nearby. This one was inside a cage, pacing back and forth, back and forth. Truth be told, I felt bad for the tigers because they looked bored. I just hope that all the tigers in Zoobic's Tiger Safari took turns in being the feeding area tiger and the caged tiger.

Since the feeding tiger was a lot bigger than I expected, I had to muster more courage. When I finally had it, we approached the staff, only to be told to come back because it was already feeding time for the tiger. Well they got no resistance from me, I wasn't interested in being so close to a tiger who was already expecting a fresh meat that minute. I had no plans of being an appetizer.

Anyway, since there was only a little less than 2 hours of daylight left, we opted to try the Sky Safari zipline first. Afterwards, we roamed around the zoo then got included in the Night Safari tour.

Some of the lovable animals we saw while we roamed on our own:

bird at Zoobic Safari bird at Zoobic Safari civet cat at Zoobic Safari white carabao buffaloes at Zoobic Safari camels at Zoobic Safari camel at Zoobic Safari deer at Zoobic Safari deer at Zoobic Safari deer at Zoobic Safari goats at Zoobic Safari rodent at Zoobic Safari

In the Night Safari tour, we rode with the other folks in this tram called the Zooper Train.

Zooper Train tram at Zoobic Safari
Zooper Train
We dropped by the following attractions:

The Serpentarium: home of the snakes, lizards, iguanas, turtle, and other reptiles.

iguanas at Zoobic Safari Serpentarium lizards at Zoobic Safari Serpentarium lizards at Zoobic Safari Serpentarium lizards at Zoobic Safari Serpentarium lizards at Zoobic Safari Serpentarium lizards at Zoobic Safari Serpentarium lizards at Zoobic Safari Serpentarium snake at Zoobic Safari Serpentarium snake at Zoobic Safari Serpentarium snake at Zoobic Safari Serpentarium turtle at Zoobic Safari Serpentarium

Croco Loco:  A steel grated walkway prevents you from being the crocs' nutritional source. Here, you can also buy a piece of chicken to feed the crocs via fishing pole.

crocodiles at Zoobic Safari Croco Loco crocodiles at Zoobic Safari Croco Loco crocodiles at Zoobic Safari Croco Loco

The Forbidden Cave: the place to see stuffed animals. The stuffed lion looked weird though.

stuffed bird at Zoobic Safari stuffed goat's head at Zoobic Safari stuffed tiger at Zoobic Safari stuffed deer at Zoobic Safari

Tiger Safari: Here, you ride a jeep-type vehicle having protected windows. A Zoobic staff rides along with you and baits the tiger with chicken to encourage the tiger to come close. Sometimes, a tiger will get on top of the vehicle. One funny tiger in our trip looked intensely at the chicken dangling outside our jeep, contemplated, then decided that he was still full and that his seating spot was way too comfy to abandon.

Tiger Safari at Zoobic Safari

Somewhere along the way, we saw this ostrich (I can't remember where, probably on the way to see the greyhounds). Bright eyes and a lovely smile, don't you think? :)

ostrich at Zoobic Safari 


Day Tour vs Night Safari Tour
The Night Safari tour was only available during Saturdays from October 29 to end of December 2011. I'm not sure when it first started, 2010 perhaps? The day tour would enable the visitor to see the animals clearer and to take better pictures. Many of the places were really dark at night, with few artificial lighting, which was a good thing since the animals would not be bothered. It was just a bit inconvenient for my poor eyes and low-tech camera.

The perks of the night tour were the fire dances. The first one was a fire poi dance while the next one was a tribal fire breathing dance. They were both highly entertaining.



The dancers performed after the tour. Our group and our tram mates were the first or second batch to finish the night tour, so we had to wait a loooong time for the other visitors to finish. Nevertheless, it was a great show. A parade of the lovable animals were also included in the night show.

miniature horse in animal parade at Zoobic Safari donkey in animal parade at Zoobic Safari bird in animal parade at Zoobic Safari bird in animal parade at Zoobic Safari bird in animal parade at Zoobic Safari crocodiles in animal parade at Zoobic Safari crocodiles in animal parade at Zoobic Safari crocodiles in animal parade at Zoobic Safari deer in animal parade at Zoobic Safari greyhounds in animal parade at Zoobic Safari goats in animal parade at Zoobic Safari Kalahari goats in animal parade at Zoobic Safari sheep in animal parade at Zoobic Safari white tiger in animal parade at Zoobic Safari

Here's a funny video of an aeta chasing/herding a flock of geese. This is part of the animal show.



And now for some constructive criticisms. I checked other reviews just now and found all of my criticisms in other people's reviews, so it's not just me.

Poor communication. We arrived at an awkward time (mid afternoon). After we had our picture taken during our arrival, we were pretty much left to our own devices. No one bothered to let us know what we should do next. We were in the reception area for about half an hour and since we did not get any instructions, we just assumed that we just had to explore Zoobic by ourselves so we tried the Sky Safari and visited some of the animals. We thought that the day tour pass (worth P449/pax) was just an entrance ticket. We only learned that there was a guided tour when we asked for directions to one of the attractions (the sun had already set). The female staff we approached asked us who our tour guide was and we said that we did not have any. She seemed concerned and she took the initiative to include us in the Night Safari tour and to waive our tram fees and we were thankful for that. I read other reviews and some people have also remarked regarding the poor communication to first-timers. It would have been easy for visitors and for the staff if they would just give visitors a leaflet regarding the guided tour during entrance or while visitors pay for their tickets.

Rushed tour. Again, I saw the same remark in other reviews. The stopovers to the attractions felt very rushed. This was very pronounced on our trip to the Croco Loco, Forbidden Cave, and the Greyhounds area. We just entered the place then walked at a regular pace to the exit and back to the tram. Couldn't we linger for a while and appreciate the animals? I couldn't even take a picture of some of the animals because I had to move my ass in order not to be left behind. Being left behind would suck, because the tram wouldn't wait for you. No one was even checking if everyone was already back in the tram.



Zoobic Safari
Group I Ilanin Forest
Subic Bay Freeport Zone
Subic, Zambales

Makati Office
3/F Yupangco Building
339 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City, Metro Manila
Zoobic Safari Web site
Zoobic Safari Facebook page


33 comments:

  1. Totoo ba to? Nakarating ka ng Subic? At may instruction pa how to get there ha... =)

    Di pa kami nakakapunta dyan pero gusto ko.

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  2. i went with my family to zoobic safari during the kids' school field trip about the same time as you last year. they totally enjoyed it and it is one of my backlog posts haha...your post reminded me to start writing it.

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  3. haven't been to Subic yet..but would love to..i really wanted to see myself those real wildlife animals though i've seen some already in Mindanao, but Subic's zoo offers different sites to see..right?

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  4. I would love to visit this place! Already planning to go there next month. Thanks for the info on how to get there. :)

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  5. We were supposed to go to Zoobic Safari this February. But since we're a really big family, we decided to just do it some other time because we lacked the estimated budget. Hopefully I get to find an even greater/affordable deal so that I may be able to take my family here, especially the kids. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ma'am if interested in coming to Zoobic Safari and Ocean Adventure anytime this year , please contact me at 09321331494.

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  6. Sounds like this was a disorganized organized tour. Such a turn off, really. You lost precious time that you could've used in exploring the place and enjoying its attractions.

    Oh, and I wouldn't pet or even get near a wild animal, no matter how docile-looking. They are unpredictable. I wouldn't be the one to be there when they decide to maul someone! The way you described the tiger, it seemed it was getting restless...definitely not the state of mind you want a wild animal with sharp teeth and claws to be in.

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    Replies
    1. The most enjoyable part for me was actually before the guided tour because we got to see the animals without being rushed. I was tempted to pet the camel since its head was sticking out of the fence but like you said, it was probably not a good idea to pet a wild animal.

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  7. I've been to Subic several times
    But I kept on missing this place..
    No worries though for me, I just got an invitation.
    Hopefully I'll have this covered soon!

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  8. Gusto kong pumunta at ayaw mas naiisip ko kasing mas magandang malugi ang zoo kesa sa pumunta dyan simula nang mapanood ko ang THe Cove Documentary. Ang mga hayop na yan napapgod din at nag sasawa sa mga ginagawa nila.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't watched The Cove but I get your point Ralph. I didn't really think much about zoos before but my visit, truth be told, made me rethink about my stance about zoos.

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  9. Didn't know they got camels too! I'm not a huge fan of zoos, but I can imagine how educational they are to the young ones and the young once.

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  10. The Zooper Train looks cute and fun to ride heheheh

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  11. I have been to Subic only once years ago for shopping. I guess I will skip this one since I really don't like safaris.

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  12. I'm a resident of Olongapo and I work inside SBMA. Everyday I travel and inhale that fresh air! and I know I am so lucky! I've been an expat to malaysia for 5 yrs in a polluted Port Klang, and everyday I am thankful that I am finally home. My nephews and nieces loves to visit Zoobic Safari. But I have been there myself.. hehe ;)

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  13. Not a big fan of zoos since I believe animals should be released into the wild where they truly belong. But I will love to go to Zoobic, if only to get a chance to get close to a tiger. I love cats!

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  14. I hope they improve on their services that is so sad. Did you wrote the management?

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  15. amazing ng mga tigers and it's great that you posted videos together with the pics.

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  16. 2 time nakong nakakapunta sa Zoobic.. At aaminin kong nag enjoy ako sa mga show.. pero naiisip ko din, mas okay sana kung nasa wild sila. :(

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  17. wow, they also have a night safari as that of the singapore zoo... and it's here in the philippines. how convenient. thanks for sharing. Yahweh bless.

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  18. Wanting to feed the tiger cub? For me, it's too dangerous. You'll be sorry if that animal will misbehaved. One of your limbs will be beaten up. Ggrrr! Very dangerous. I'm interested to visit Zoobic Safari for the rear animals.

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    Replies
    1. Yup better safe than sorry. I think other zoos have real tiger cubs (not like the big one in my pictures) which you can pet and feed milk, so I still have a chance. :D

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  19. Thanks for sharing your experience about Zoobic. I guess getting there as early as possible works best so you'd be able to enjoy your stay there. ^_^

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  20. It's an exciting adventure for my family to go to this place.
    I wish I can bring my kids here.

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  21. Amazing pics! I am very fascinated towards wildlife and in night safari would be thrilling.

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  22. I'm too afraid to try feeding the tiger cub.

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  23. Hi po ang entrance sa zoobic zafari residence po ako ng olongapo.. First time ko makapunta dyn..

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