A little while back I wrote a post about the inquisitive and photogenic giraffes at Werribee Open Range Zoo but obviously there are plenty of other animals to see at this African themed menagerie only 30 mins from Melbourne. So while a real African Safari is many years off for me, for now I will satisfy my travel lust with a short drive down the highway.
Safari Bus Tour
The zoo covers 225 hectares and being open range the animals have the space to roam free. Not completely free of course. They are grouped in such way that they do not get a chance to eat each other. The only way to see a lot of these animals is on the Safari Bus Tour.
A 40 minute safari bus tour is included with the entry price. The bus allows visitors to get quite close to the wildlife and it is amazing to see animals such as zebras, giraffes and rhinos grazing contently on the wide open savannah with plenty of space to ramble about. This is by far the highlight of a trip to Werribee Zoo.
I must admit to feeling a little fearful when I saw the gorillas at Werribee Zoo. The last time I visited the zoo there were zebras on the island near the restaurant. I don’t think that zebras can swim and even if they can I’m fairly sure that they aren’t likely to attack, but gorillas? I was relieved when I went to investigate and saw electric fencing close to the waterline.
Open for just over a year now the Gorilla display is one of the biggest in the world. There are 3 gorillas, a father and his two sons calling Werribee Zoo their home. Because of the layout of the island and the viewing platforms built on the safe side of the water it is easy to get a good view of these critically endangered mammals.
The underappreciated zebras lost their island home to the more bankable gorillas and can now be seen on the safari bus tour. While they are my favourite they are obviously not valued by the public.
But look how cute they are!
Everyone thinks that they are so cute, so relaxed, so lazy but in reality hippos are easily angered, aggressive and can run quite fast.
But the hippos at Werribee Zoo must be rather content because all they did was nap near the water’s edge in their enclosure.
Lots of random animals that look like deer to me and like dinner to the lions
I can’t remember what they are all called. Next time I’ll take a note book on the safari tour.
The cheetahs have been sleepy every time that I have visited Werribee Zoo. They may be the fastest animal in the world but I’ve seen no evidence of it.
The meerkat enclosure runs along side the restaurant. These crazy little critters pop up when you least expect it and make lunch time a bit more exciting.
I love the lion enclosure at Werribee Zoo with its old army jeep that looks like it is about to smash through the glass. The glass that doesn’t really seem thick enough to stop a lion if it decided that someone getting their photo taken on the jeep looked like tasty meal.
Speaking of tasty meals on my last visit we fluked arriving on time to see one of the lions being fed. With the predatory beast locked safely away, a trainer scatted meat around the enclosure, including a big chunk up a tree. Then the trainer was safely locked away and the lion was let out. The display gave me a chance to give my long lens photography skills a workout. Hopefully they’ll be a bit better by the time I take a real African safari.