Al Ain Safari set to open with lions, zebras and giraffes

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World’s largest man-made safari park offers a unique opportunity to get closer to animals exclusively from the African continent . The much-awaited park opens on Wednesday.
World's largest man-made safari park offers a unique opportunity to get closer to animals exclusively from the African continent . The much-awaited park opens on Wednesday.

Abu Dhabi - The African Safari includes, at the moment, 12 different species of mammals, all indigenous to the African continent. They are mostly antelopes, but there are also lions, zebras and giraffes.

By Silvia Radan

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Published: Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 20 Apr 2016, 10:10 AM

 The world's largest man-made safari park will open to the public on Wednesday. Part of the Al Ain Zoo, the Al Ain Safari spreads across 217 hectares of land, at the foothills of Al Hajar Mountains.
"Almost every day we've had people coming to the zoo's gates to ask when we are opening the safari," said Mark Craig, director of Life Science at the Al Ain Zoo.
On Wednesday, the first of several wildlife tours experiences will open, the African Safari.
"In the future we will also have an Elephant Safari, and Asian and an Arabian Safari," he added.
The African Safari includes, at the moment, 12 different species of mammals, all indigenous to the African continent. They are mostly antelopes, but there are also lions, zebras and giraffes.
"At the moment we have 200 animals in the park, but by next year we are planning to add eight more species, including big birds such as ostriches, and increase the number of animals to 500," Craig told Khaleej Times.

 
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The park tour lasts for about one hour and can be done either in a large Nissan Patrol SUV or in a specially modified truck, which holds up to 22 people. The truck is fully enclosed with glass windows (can't be opened), but it has a small platform at the back, where people can go out to take photos at designated stops. Truck seats sell at Dh200 per person.
The SUV is considered the VIP option and the tour price is Dh1,000 per car. The driver, always an Emirati man or woman, will double up as a tour guide. More importantly, it goes on a different route, to get closer to animals, particularly the lions' den. Though the centre was inaugurated in 2001, it has only been used as a research facility.
Visitors to the centre will have access to five different exhibition areas focused on Abu Dhabi emirate's desert environment, traditions, conservation efforts and emerging sustainability agendas.
Tour options
> Specially modified truck which can hold up to 22 people; Dh200 per person
> VIP option in SUV priced at Dh1,000 per car
>For more information visit: http://www.alainzoo.ae/home/plan-your-visit/tickets.aspx
silvia@khaleejtimes.com


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