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» 29 Jul 2013

We decided to go for a walk with the lions at Safari Adventures which is based in Casela Nature & Leisure Park on the west coast. From the moment we got off the bus we were pleasantly surprised to see large enclosures with Lions, Tigers and Cheetah. They were all loung-ing around in the sun or laid up in a tree – all looking very chilled and re-laxed.
We chose to do the interaction with the 5 four month old lion cubs first which was an incredible experi-ence, their cute and cuddly faces completely captured our hearts.
Our guide Jean Bruno was visibly also completely in love with these little guys as he chatted to us all about them. After 10 minutes with the babies our next adventure was the cheetah interaction which takes about 15 minutes. There is also a large viewing platform high up so
people can look down on all of the enclosures ideal for children to watch the animals whilst Mums and Dads do the interactions. As we walked into the Cheetah enclosure
I was a little apprehensive. The friendly guide called Loic soon put us at ease as we stroked the chee-tah, he was so relaxed he purred!! I could have stayed the whole day just stroking him.
Next onto the Lion Walk – there were about 10 people in our group but I believe they go up to 12. After a security talk by the de-lightful and friendly Steeve, our guide who was accompanied by an-other 3 animal handlers, we went into the Walking area – Steeve ra-dioed to release the lions – and what a magnificent sight as the 2 lions walked towards us, stopping to play along the way. One was a Beige colour and one was White!
We walked through the woods, in lovely dappled shade, during this hot and sunny day, the lions strolled along in front of us – stopping to smell and chew the grass just like my cat at home – it was all surreal – here we were an ordinary married couple out for a stroll with 2 lions and oh so beautiful they are.
During the walk Steeve told us lots of interesting facts about the lions, the atmosphere was jolly and laughs and smiles all around. You stop along the way for photo oppor-tunities, and there was a photogra-pher taking photos and someone videoing it all.
I am an animal lover and don't do zoo's but these animals were well cared for, well fed and well loved, the animals were at ease with each other and also with their keepers.
After about an hour we stopped back at the main entrance gates to say goodbye to the lions and their handlers. Once the lions are safely back – you are lead out of the woods, to a shaded area where a welcome cold drink is waiting for you, there is a comment book and I
have never seen a comment book so full of praise! We were then given a certificate of our experience and then asked if we wanted to buy the DVD of our walk, included in the
DVD was the still photos of us stroking them, also included for us was our cheetah interaction photos, the cost 1,000 rupees which is about £20.00 I could not believe how reasonable it was for such an awe inspiring experience.
After buying the dvd we went on the Big Cat Drive thru – we boarded a fully enclosed 4 x 4 over-land vehicle and drove into the en-closure – trying to spot the lions in the wooded area, and joy of joys there in the long grass a fully grown male lion raised his head up promptly followed by 2 females be-hind him – there were children on the truck and their excitement at seeing a male lion so close was in-fectious – we drove further on and came across another male lion, grooming himself in the afternoon sun.
All in all the day was fantastic, enriching, and out of this world and remarkably good value for money, the friendly staff went out of their way to make our time there a mem-orable one. ■Dee Kevan
Safari Adventures - Royal Road, Cascavelle
Tel: 452 5546 - Mob: 718 3769

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