It was nearly a year ago that I discovered there was a Safari not too far from where I live. In fact, its only a bike ride away from my apartment in Schunat Ha Tikva, being located in Ramat Gan's "National Park" or "Park HaLeumi".
The Safari has normal daytime hours during which you can enter and wander the car by foot, or drive your own car and watch animals from the window. Bus tours are also available, but I have heard that they leave something to be desired.
At the very center of the Safari there is an enclosed Zoo with chimps and elephants, and just beyond is the Lion territory.
Now, I'd thought about going during the day, until I heard that the Safari runs guided night time tours of the park of two kinds: Safari Layla (Night Safari) and Safari Chatzot ( Midnight Safari).
Both tours are approximately two hours long, with the Night Safari being slightly more tame, oriented towards families and visitors of all ages (5 and up) while the Midnight Safari is specifically geared towards young couples and groups of friends, with Sex and Reproduction being the main topics of discussion.
While I don't think they offer either of these tours in English, I still think the experience is exciting and entertaining even if you don't understand what the guide is talking about. I mean, we're talking about catching glimpses Zebras, Antelopes, Giraffes, Lions, Elephants, wide varieties of birds and even Hippos.
So, when Yotam and I decided it was time to check out the tours ourselves, we naturally went for the romantic, young-people's sex and reproduction tour. I mean, it sounded the most.... unique.
The only way to order tickets is over the phone (03-6305328) . When you call, note that the Midnight Safari runs during months of good weather only- September- October, April-May, and June-July and the starting time changes depending on the season. Keep in mind, though that tours typically begin around 10:00pm- 10:30pm.
We ordered two tickets (each ticket is 89 shekels- a bit pricey, but we decided to spoil ourselves) and headed over at around 9:30pm.
The tour was absolutely delightful. We sat most of the time on a long, tractor-pulled train, and our guides drove us through the park shining night-vision light on most of the animals so as not to disturb them. Look at the Giraffe below!
|This was our awesome train that looked like a tractor-train-zebra all morphed into one|
|Girraffe right by our train!|
Then they took us to the Lion's den where there were lions sleeping on on top of the other, petting one another and playing around:
|How cute is this lioness?|
And finally they took us into a unique taxidermy room filled with animals who died on their safari from natural causes. The animals were unbelievably well preserved, and we were able to explore the room (which is not otherwise open to the public) while they told us all kinds of crazy things about the anatomy and reproductive instincts of all different animals displayed there. Check out the pics below:
|Cheetas and Leopards|
|Bears! Oh My!|
|And even chimps.|