We went to Taman Safari Indonesia 2 during my recent trip to my home town. At first, I was skeptical and expecting ‘just-another-zoo’ just like Singapore Zoo and ‘Batu Secret Zoo’. Boy was I totally wrong. We had a BLAST visiting there and if you haven’t, I highly recommend you to visit this place.
Before I go on explaining what you can get from visiting Taman Safari Indonesia 2 (let’s shorten it to TSI2), I want to let you know that in the past, I have visited some of world class zoo and theme parks such as:
- San Diego Zoo (voted as best sub-tropical zoo world-wide)
- Singapore Zoo (voted as best rain forest zoo world-wide)
- Sea World at Florida
- Disneyland at California
- Walt Disney World (Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Epcot) in Florida
So you know, I have pretty high expectation about zoo *big grin*.
Ok, let’s start..
TSI2 is actually very huge (in fact, it is the widest safari park in Asia). The park itself consists of 4 different regions:
- Wild animal safari adventure
- Theme park,
- Water park, and
- Baby zoo.
For ticketing, there are 3 types of tickets. The deer package is the cheapest one, where you can get access to safari adventure, animal shows, and baby zoo. Rhino package is slightly more expensive, but you get extra access to water park and all rides in the theme park (but limited for single ride usage). With unlimited Rhino, it is very similar with Rhino ones, but you can ride as many as you want in the theme park and you can get a free rent tube in the water park.
For my family, we bought the most basic ones (deer package), because *psst…* we didn’t know that there’s such thing like water park in Taman Safari, so we brought no swimming gears (lesson learnt: do more research before travelling). But if I am going to visit this place again, I would definitely get the Rhino package. Now, let’s start our safari adventure..!!!
Wild Animal Safari Adventure
First, we were greeted by wild animal safari. Oh, by the way, typically people came here by car, because that’s the only way you can enjoy wild animal safari. Or if you don’t drive, you can take safari bus provided there, but definitely no leisure stroll here lol.
The first thing to do though, to buy carrots (came with stems) at safari entrance. Along the safari trip, we will be able to feed some herbivorous animals, such as deers, bisons, or zebras. We made mistake by purchasing ours on our way to TSI2 from local villagers. Apparently, they took advantage and sold the feedings at muh higher price. Lesson learnt here, it is better buy at authorized vendor.
The safari region is quite huge, and divided into several continent-based sub-regions, in the following sequences: America/Europe, Asia, then Africa.
There are a lots of animal, yes, A LOT. My mother earlier told me that it may not be a good idea to visit TSI2 because some of the elephants were performing circus in nearby town (so we expected not to see elephants). But to our surprise, there are still, at least 10 elephants, in the wild safari park it self, and some more which are used for elephant ride. The number of animals are simply enormous.
We are used to see two male lions and our favorite -the only one- white tiger, Omar’ in Singapore Zoo, and so we are contented with that. And guess how many lions you can see in TSI2? At least seven. Yes, and they are running freely in the wild. We simply took our time to admire these ‘king of jungle’ herds, just a few meters from our car. They are just lovely animals.
And guess how many deers are there? At least 30, and that is from single species. You know that there are various types of deers, right. Like the handsome one here with a gorgeous horn.
He approaches our car and eating carrot fed by our daughter. And yes, if you have small children, they will definitely love the experience of feeding the animals. Not all animals can be fed, though, but the park has designated some specific places where animal feeding is allowed.
As we completed the safari adventure, we parked our car (there are ample cark park space for cars and tour buses).
We continued our journey by foot to enjoy the theme park, 10 different animal shows, and baby zoo.
The theme park itself is rather small, But actually packed with 21 different rides. Some are for small children only (no adults allowed), while some others are for both children and adults.
The kids rides are pretty basic, they just vary the transportation type used. My son enjoyed safari jeep and the race car ride. For a more challenging ride, adult supervision is required for preschooler and below. Duo father-son and grand father-grand son enjoyed the bumper car the most. I rode dumbo elephant ride with both kids (but apparently my son disliked it). We meant to ride the roller coaster at the end of our visit, which is supposed to be pretty fun, but unfortunately didn’t have enough time and the kids were already super tired. Oh, btw, you remember that I didn’t buy theme park tickets up-front, right. There’s actually a ticketing counter inside the park itself who sell individual ticket ride and package ticket ride (one ticket for 21 rides). So, we bought two of the package-ticket ones, and the kids get to enjoy the ride, while the adults take turn having fun with the kids.
From the rides, we went to watch the animal show, which happen to be sea lion show. I really love the amphitheater, which reminded me of similar stage setting of animal show in Sea World (Florida). The show was good (if I am looking from point of view of local Indonesian people). But there are certainly rooms for improvement, such as better sound system (we couldn’t really hear what the presenter was talking about clearly) and better story plot. Anyway, my first impression was nice and we enjoyed the show.
From the sea lion show, we went straight to baby zoo, while waiting for another animal show. Btw, there are 5 different shows, each at two different timings. So, altogether there are 10 shows. Yeah, perhaps you can spend the day just for watching shows, but we only managed to watch two.
The other show that we watched was white tiger show, which is impressive for me. Well, I’ve never seen three tigers coming up in animal show before, and boy they are so chubby and cute. My favorite part is when two tigers are racing by climbing up a pole (different pole for different tiger) to get their food. The funny thing is each tiger behaves differently. While the other one is more competitive by doing what people are expecting – climb up the pole, get the meat, climb down, and enjoy her meal on the ground, the other one behaves completely opposite. She’s playing around the pole first, then leisurely climb up, and enjoy the meal at the top of the pole (this part is hilarious!!), and finally climb down once she finishes the food. It’s so fun seeing how these animals are fooling around with their keepers. Unfortunately, the photos taken from this show was blur (sorry, guys).
The baby zoo itself is very big. I wonder why it is called baby zoo. Certainly the animals housed there are not only the baby animals, and it is very big area to explore. The only reason I could think of is because the zoo area is ‘baby’ compared to the safari adventure area.
We were only able to enjoy things accessible from the main path. If you come here with small kids or elderly (like what we did), plan a few stops so that everybody can get a little break.
By the way, among so many exhibits that we visited, here are some of our favorites.
Tiger exhibit, which is so huge, and decorated with Indian architecture style (I think I know where the inspiration comes from, haha, because I’ve seen similar setting in Animal Kingdom, Florida).
Aquatic land. This one houses sea animals such as penguin and sea lion. From the front, it looks like a pirate ship. As we enter the ship, we can see the penguins swimming in the water. We can also climb up to the ship deck and watch these little creatures from top, playing among themselves. There’s penguin feeding session too, but unfortunately we didn’t catch this session.
Photobooth with Baby Animals. Wohoo…, this is my number one purpose of visiting TSI2, taking picture with baby animals. There are a few animals to choose: tiger, lion, snake, or orang utan. We chose baby tiger, which was 8 months old, simply because it looks so gorgeous.
At the end of our visit, we took an elephant ride (which is much cheaper compared to Singapore Zoo). It costs about $5 for four of us to ride a single elephant, great value, right.
All in all, we were very happy with our visit to Taman Safari 2. We left the place close to its closing time with all the kids already tired and ready to doze off. Do I recommend visiting this place? Yes, definitely, there’s so much to see and explore (and we haven’t even explored the water park yet, remember). So, next time you want to have a safari adventure, do consider visiting Taman Safari Indonesia 2 at Prigen (East Java).