The Jakarta Post
Taman Safari Indonesia (Bogor) is one of three safari parks in Indonesia and is located in the mountainous area of Cisarua, Bogor regency, West Java. (JP/Donny Fernando)
Taman Safari Indonesia (Bogor) is located in the mountainous area of Cisarua, Bogor regency, West Java. The vast complex is a zoo and animal theme park that has become a popular destination, drawing visitors from nearby areas as well as from across the nation and even from abroad.
Taman Safari Bogor is one of three safari parks in Indonesia, the two others being Taman Safari Prigen in East Java and the Bali Safari and Marine Park.
How to get there
Entrance to Taman Safari Indonesia (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
Located in Cisarua in the Bogor regency, the easiest way to get there from Jakarta is by car, which would also be convenient for visitors wanting to experience the park's Safari Journey.
Alternatively, visitors can catch the train to Bogor Station, taking them to the city of Bogor, which is still approximately 28 kilometers away from the park. From there, travelers can continue by ride-hailing app services or use the local angkot (public minivans) plying three routes.
Weekday entrance tickets for domestic visitors cost Rp 195,000 (US$13) per person and Rp 170,000 for children below the age of 6 years. Prices go up on weekends to Rp 230,000 for adults and Rp 210,000 for children.
Tickets are valid for one day only. (JP/Donny Fernando)
Meanwhile, international visitors are charged Rp 400,000 for adults and Rp 350,000 for children five years and below, regardless of the day of the week.
The entrance ticket includes access to the Panda Castle, the park's newest addition, which welcomed giant pandas Hu Chun and Cai Tao last year on a 10-year loan from China.
The ticket does not include a parking fee. Visitors without private vehicles can still enjoy the safari journey with on-site buses serving tours around the area.
Read also: Jakpost guide to Ragunan Zoo
What to wear
Elefant shows are one of the attractions. (JP/Donny Fernando)
Situated more than 1,000 meters above sea level at the foot of the Gunung Gede Pangrango national park, Taman Safari enjoys a cooler tropical climate than much of the country. The Panda Castle, the highest point in the park, sits at 1,800 meters above sea level and is surrounded by lush forests. Make sure to bring a jacket to stay warm.
Spanning over 160 hectares, it would also be convenient to wear comfortable shoes to enjoy an easy walk around the mountainous grounds, which also include a short hike to see a waterfall.
What to do
A bawean deer roams freely inside the safari park. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
Taman Safari is a vast complex with a plethora of activities, including a zoo cluster named "Baby Zoo" that allows up close interactions with a wide range of bird species, along with rides and various animal shows, such as elephants, sea lions and dolphins. There's also swimming with dolphins. For nature lovers, there is the Jaksa Waterfall to check out.
The following are the highlights of Taman Safari.
The Safari Journey allows for a close look at animals along the way, including African Ankole-Watusi. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
One of the park's main draws points is the Safari Journey. Here, visitors can see, interact and learn about various animals from the comfort of their vehicle.
A wide range of animals roam the open grounds, and guests are strictly forbidden to exit their vehicles. Visitors can get close up to elephants, emus, giraffes, hippos, wildebeests and crocodiles, among other animals.
Visitors can see hippos relaxing by the water while they go on the Safari Journey. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
Along the way, several sections are also safe for visitors to feed various animals, who would approach the car window for a munch, such as deer and zebras. To know when it is appropriate for a feed, pay attention for signs that say "Feeding Starts Here!", with a picture of a hand holding carrots, along with images of the animals that may be fed.
Clusters with dangerous predators, such as tigers, lions and bears, are gated separately. Inside these areas, visitors must keep the windows closed at all times. There are always zookeepers overseeing each cluster to ensure the safety of both visitors and animals.
Sumatran tigers play with each other. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
The Safari Journey also provides a night adventure, which is only available on Saturday evenings.
The Panda Castle opened in 2017 and houses two popular pandas, Hu Chun and Cai Tao. (JP/ Wienda Parwitasari)
Taman Safari in 2017 opened its Panda Castle - a Chinese-style pavilion - to accommodate special guests from China. Giant panda bears Hu Chun and Cai Tao share the home with four red pandas named Shing Shing, Mey Mey, Pai Pai and Hao Hao.
Red pandas can also be found in the Panda Castle. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
To get there, visitors must catch the shuttle bus, as it is forbidden to drive up to the castle area. If you’re prone to carsickness, note that while the drive is short, it take you up along a steep and winding road.
Once there, visitors can enjoy the fresh mountain air, with temperatures averaging 15-24 degrees Celcius. The cool climate is deemed a suitable environment that resembles the pandas' natural habitat.
Cai Tao is one of the two pandas currently living in Indonesia. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
Don't forget to take in the view, as the castle is surrounded by lush forests and mountains.
Stay inside Taman Safari
With so much ground to cover and so many things to see, it's unlikely visitors can explore the entire park within one day. Those who are curious to see everything the park has the offer could opt to stay inside the Taman Safari complex, as it provides a Safari Lodge for accommodation, with options ranging from a treehouse to a caravan and a bungalow. Guests staying do not need to pay for another entrance ticket.
Read also: Jakpost guide to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Where to eat
A traditional rice dish is among the options available from various eateries found inside Taman Safari. (JP/Donny Fernando)
There are numerous places to eat inside Taman Safari, where visitors can find a rich selection of cuisine, including restaurants serving traditional Indonesian dishes, food courts with varied fast food options, as well as cafes.
Among them is the Rain Forest Restaurant, conveniently located in the center of the park. Uniquely designed to live up to its name, the restaurant features a jungle design. The food available includes local delights such as rice dishes and satays.
The interior of the Rain Forrest Restaurant is designed to live up to its name. (JP/Donny Fernando)
Meanwhile, for a caffeine fix, there is Cafe Onta, located just across from the Rain Forest Restaurant.
However, for a more exotic and exciting selection, opt for the Panda Castle. Upon reaching the area, visitors are welcomed by an outdoor cafe, which offers a picturesque view of the mountains and a range of snacks, some of which come in the shape of a panda face.
There is also a glass floor view point balcony that stretches out toward the mountain. Be sure to obey the limit for the number of people allowed onto the platform at a time.
There is a spacious food court inside the Panda Castle area, with a wide range of Chinese cuisine to choose from.