Feeding carrots to giraffes and zebras in Costa Rica? Don’t be ridiculous. They don’t live in this part of the world.
But wait. Now they do, thanks to the efforts of entrepreneur David Patay and his new Africa Safari Adventure Park. Visitors to Guanacaste Province can now say, “Call me Bwana.”
Forget promotional brochures or websites with a boldface footnote that reads: “Wildlife sightings, while common, cannot be guaranteed.” Here they are waiting to meet you. Plus every visitor who wants to feed zebras, giraffes and camels receives a supply of carrots
“What impresses me is how close you can get to the animals,” says Cassio Carvalho, shore excursions manager with Princess Cruises. “Guatemala has a drive-through animal park, but you have to stay inside the bus and look out the window. This Africa safari is the real thing.”
A tractor drawn, open-sided wagon painted in zebra stripes is your transportation. There are padded bench seats and a PA system. As you journey, the guide opens the gates to each section of the ranch. Stay seated. The animals come to you. Get as close as you like. There are no predators. Your safari includes these animals:
Emu (The second largest living bird and unable to fly)
Gnu White Beard (Newborns instantly stand up and start running for 3-7 minutes)
Oryx Cape (They have the ability to radiate heat instead of absorbing it)
Nilga (It’s a very fast antelope that lives in the forests of India and is considered sacred because it looks like the cow)
Giraffe Reticulated (They will eat right out of your hand)
Zebra Grant (Like a fingerprint, each of them has different stripes)
Dromedario Arabigo (They can drink up to 150 liters of water in a short time. What’s the difference between a one hump camel and a two hump camel? Answer: One hump)
Meet them all, feed them and take pictures. It’s a family experience; for adults who want to learn more about nature and for children to realize these animals exist beyond cartoons. If only they could talk.
When you go:
Africa Safari Adventure Park is approximately a two-hour drive from the capital of San Jose. Cost is $70. Minimum age is 12 years old. A variety of packages are available that also include lunch at the on-site La Pampa restaurant. Besides the safari adventure, kayaking, ATVs and ziplining are offered.
By Chris Roberts, Caribbean News Now