“ Located on the island of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands „
Our holiday this year in June took us to Fuerteventura. Like every other time we've gone aboard there is always an excursion to go to their local zoo. Fuerteventura was no exception and we jumped at the chance of going, especially as most of the excursions there were not suitable for young children this sounded like the perfect day out.
**All about Oasis Park**
Oasis Park is the largest zoo in the Canary Islands with an impressive 800,000 m2 plus of open space, more than 250 types of animals. The park offers the biggest cactus garden and more than 6,800 species of exotic plants from all over the world all around the park.
There are four shows that go on at different times the day so you'll be sure not to miss any of them. Shows include parrot show, reptiles, sea lions and the incredible birds of prey, if that wasn't enough for you, you can also ride on a camel in Oasis Park Camel Safari.
There are three restaurants scattered around the park with a large variety of Canarian dishes for the whole family to enjoy.
**Prices and Opening Times**
Prices for Oasis Park are very reasonable at 24euro each for adults and children 3 to 11 years old pay 11eurors each and under 3's get in for free. If you book via an agent you are likely to get around 3euros knocked off the original price, which isn't a great deal but every little helps.
Opening times are everyday from 9:30am to 18:00pm.
**How do we get there?**
Oasis Park run their own free bus and ship service with customers travelling from Fuerteventura with four coaches with 59 seats and one 87 seated double decker. All buses are equipped with air conditioning, TV, video and stereo. Or if you are located in Lanzarote you can get a ship from 40euros an adult and 20euros for children from the ages of 3 to 11.
If you're travelling from Lanzarote the prices are 40euroes each per adult and 20euros per child from the ages of 3 to 11.
**Getting There via Bus**
As we were situated in a private house in Caleta De Fuste instead of a resort or hotel, we had to travel to the nearest hotel where the Oasis Park bus picked us up. Lucky the nearest hotel for this was a five minute walk away. We got picked up 8:30am due to the 45 minute drive it takes to get there, we got a double decker bus and it was rammed, we managed to get a seat with Leah having to sit on our knees.
Due to the journey being 45 minutes, they break the journey a little by stopping half way to have a look at the sand dunes, which by the way when you step out of the air conditioned coach the heat hits you like a tonne of bricks due to the space being so open and the strong sun bouncing off the sand. It felt like you were at the Shari Desert, magical, something you'll properly never see again. You don't have long at the sand dunes, around five minutes, which is enough just with the sun alone. Then it is full steam ahead to Oasis Park.
Oasis Park do say they have TV, radio and video on all buses for our entertainment, however we didn't see any of this in action.
**Arriving at the Park**
Arriving at the park with the other coaches, as you can imagine that is a lot of people. As everyone is getting picked up at different times and the coaches are all going to different locations and hotels, you need to make sure before entering the park you know what time your bus is arriving and what bus number you're getting on. Doing this is a little rushed and confusing as no one knows where to look, there is a little notice board with all the information on that you will need. Remembering this information will save you a long and very costly taxi journey back to your resort.
Queuing up with everyone else to pay or in our case as we all ready paid before entering the park via an agent we needed to get stamped to verify our entry. Thankfully all this part is under a shelter so no need to worry about the blistering heat. It is also worth noting to slap on plenty of high factor sunscreen before entering the park and always carry a bottle with you as you are likely to forget while looking at all the animals and exploring.
**Entering and What Animals Am I Going To See?**
Upon entering the park you are transformed into a magical word of exotic plants and animals. The first animals you will see outside are Titis De Pincel Blanco, is a type of monkey you will find these lovely creatures hanging around on trees and jumping from one tree to another. Followed on from Titis De Pincel are Tamarinos Labiado, which both come from the same monkey family.
Going through metal doors, which are through the park, you have to close behind you so some of the wondering animals can't escape into another encloser you are taken to see Tortugas Africanas, which are one of the smallest tortoises in the world. At the time Mr and Mrs Tortoises decided to have a little va va voom at the time if you know what I mean? And yes I did take a picture for you all to see.
The first show you will encounter is the Parrott Show. Here you will see a number of different parrots all with different markings and tricks to do. All the staff who do shows all speak in Spanish first and then English this is due to the local schools etc, He tells you about the animals, what they can do and what tricks they are going to perform.
This is a first magical show, which everyone enjoys. There is limited seating in the Parrot Show so be warned you may be standing outside hovering over peoples heads to get a look. The parrots do tricks such as riding a bike, pick colours, shapes and numbers, relax on a deck chair and fly across the audience's head so you can see the beautiful animals in all their glory.
All shows last for around 10 minutes.
From the show you are taken to see Lemures De Collar, these animals are not roaming around the enclosure but are instead in their own cage with lots of trees, plants and flowers for shelter.
The second show of the day takes you to see the Reptiles. This is another great show where there are two members of staff telling you about snakes, crocodiles and other exotic reptiles living in Spain and around the world, as well as having live adult crocodiles behind them. They picked four members out from the audience to take part in an 'experiment', which in fact is a good excuse to get them to do silly things to make the rest of the audience laugh, like pretending to take an animal out of a box when it fact its a cuddly toy. The last box however is a 6ft python, which gets wrapped around their heads and a picture taken as well with the python and staff.
The staff wonder around with the animals for you to touch if you want.
Following the track and post signs you're taken to see Serplentes, which comes from the snake family. These creatures live more in the outdoors with a pond nearby.
Straight onto seeing Lemures Cola Anillada, there were a pack of these animals and are so cute, they look like meerkats.
As your walking all around the park there is also a lot of shade due to exotic plants and tress covering the sun giving you little shade if need be.
Going on to see Lago De Flamencos in their big pond with lots and lots of them all standing on one leg, which my daughter found funny.
Crossing a bridge from the Flamencos takes you to see adult Crocodiles. These beasts are situated inside a deep muddy pit surrounded by water. The fence is very high so there is no worry of any accidents happening. There were around four crocodiles inside mostly all together with one in the water poking its head out.
Moving on to a glass enclosure you will see the very gorgeous Mangostas. Now these do really look like Meerkats, they are lively, fast with the cutest face you've ever seen. Nearby you are taken to see Otters, as you can imagine these darlings are very fast and always in the water so a good picture is hard to come by.
Going to the Giraffe's balcony, you are able to see from a height, hippos pool, cheetas hillside and the huge African Birds that take you close to The Big Grand Valley.
While walking to see the other animals you will meet along the way, Raccoons, Lemurs, Kangaroo, Mongooses and more. You will also see the Crocodile nursery, where the baby crocs are in their specially designed pool.
If you want to pee, now is the time as there is a WC sign with an arrow pointing to where it is. The toilets aren't fantastic I have to admit, there is water over the floors near the sinks, the bins are full and overflowing but luckily there is a baby changing table, just remember to take your own matte to put over the table.
There is also a bench situated outside if you need to stop and rest, okay time to move on.
Walking through the open dirt tracks, which on very hot and dry days the staff sprinkle the floor with water to keep the dust down you are taken to see the giraffes. There are plenty of giraffes to see and even though they enclosed behind a very high fence their long necks means they are able to still lick your hands if you put them out. When we were there in June we also are baby giraffes, which was lovely to see.
Quite a walk away from seeing the giraffes you're taken to see Guepardoes, which in English stands for Cheetah. These brilliant animals have a very large space to roam and sometimes can be hard to spot them due to there being hiding places etc.
Walking down from seeing the Cheetas, you're taken to see the Hippos. You know by seeing them on the TV their big animals but when you see them up close you realise just how massive they are, and wow when they open their mouth, they sure do open their mouth. Walking a little further you're taken to see Orice Gacela, which are like deer's, they are roaming around in the open, although behind a fence for your protection.
Onto the next animals called Jaribu Africano, which stands for The African Jabiru. The African Jabiru are big birds with very long beaks.
Next you will see Lago De Tortugas (giant turtle). Giant turtles are situated in a big pool, which I found hard to see anything.
A short walk takes you to see Sabana Africana, which belongs to the deer family and opposite you will see Reserva Camellos (Camels) and very close by is elephants, which you can imagine is a huge part of the park, you are able to see the elephants up close or sit inside with windows all around so you have a great view of the elephants and camels enclosure. From seeing them and with a little walk you are able to see zebras in all their glory.
Here if you wish you are able to ride a Camel on Oasis Park Safari, which is an extra 10euros each for adults and 5euros for children from ages 3 to 11. The safari takes you though spectacular views of the Jandia beaches.
From all this now is the time to have a browse in the surveyor shop. Here you will find lots of cuddly toys for rip off prices, tip save your money and move onto the park if you have children. The park is under shelter with straw ceiling, there is plenty of room for your children and others to play without knocking into each other. From here and onto something to eat in the restaurant is needed with the toilets situated nearby if needed. Restaurant Sabana is a lovely open/outdoor restaurant, with very much a wood, outdoor, forest feeling. Here you will also find cats roaming around, which look wild and scrounging for food that has been dropped. Such a shame to see and when we've had our meal we dropped a few chips for them to eat, which they did without chewing.
This restaurant offers a range of foods for all the family to enjoy, it can sit up to 250 people. My husband and I ate smoked chicken, chips and a salad with coke, while our daughter had the same but smaller with an orange drink. All together with ice cream at the end came to around 25euros.
Now refreshed we move on to the next attraction which is the kids farm, which is situated a little walk from the restaurant. In this little farm you are able to see and stroke some of the animals like, chickens, rabbits, gunnie pigs, hens, baby chickens and goats. Leaving the kids farm there is an anti-bacterial gel you can use to wash your hands especially after stroking the animals.
Onto the third show Sea Lions, this show is undercover so no need to worry about the blistering heat. It is worth noting if you miss any of the shows you are able to go back afterwards as they run a few shows throughout the day at different times, all times are situated outside the show entrance.
The sea lions show takes you to a big seating area where everyone will be able to sit down, unless on a very busy show you are able to stand on the balcony. The show starts with two trainers talking about the sea lions, how they came to be at The Oasis Park and what they've achieved. The purposely leave a gap in the middle of the seating area and poured water down, unknown to us this is where the adult sea lion walks across and kissing some of the audience. We found this was a lovely touch we hadn't seen before at any of the zoos we had been to.
There were four sea lions performing, doing their tricks with their trainers, alone and together with other sea lions. At the end of a 15 minute show all sea lions take to the big pool and wave good buy to the audience before splashing everyone.
A long walk, which feels like a mountain especially in the blistering heat to get to our final show of the day Birds of Prey. The walk is a massive 1.5km up steep hills, there is a free bus that can take you all the way to the top but space is very limited but good for the disabled. While you're walking you're going through the largest Botanical Gardens in Europe. The gardens contain more than 2300 different species and 28000 different plants and cactus plants. Some plants are more than 4m high.
Birds of Prey show is a magical show where you get to see some of the most beautiful birds. You will see eagles, owls and falcons. The staff show you how well they can fly, the speed in which they fly, how they catch their food in flight or on the ground with their magnificent sight. After each bird has done their trick a member of staff brings the bird close up for everyone to see the power and pure muscle of the bird. All birds also fly over the audience (be warned you must be sat down throughout the 10 minute show due to not scare the birds). As you can imagine this was difficult for me but I managed though it, until I had to stand up but that's another story!
At the top you will also find another WC to have a little tinkle and a place to eat. It is also worth noting all over the park there are machines for bottled water, drinks and ice cream.
On the way down and onto the exit you will come past some more animals including Mapaches, also known as raccoons. Lince, who is an animal that belongs to the big cat family. Puercos Espines and other animals from the monkey world, before heading out to the exit and finding your coach.
**My Overall Opinion**
I am pleased to say I think the whole of the park was adequate for pushchairs and disabled users. However, at the beginning of the park I would say this is not the case due to small bridges and narrow paths to get passed. But I am sure there is another entrance to go through where it is easier for you, just ask a member of staff who would be happy to help.
On a whole this was a fantastic day out for all of us, even though you're there all day you do think you'll get around everything in half that time but this is not so. You've literally got something to see or do for the whole time you have there, which I think is fantastic and a great day out for the money.
I would also go as far as saying Oasis Park was the best zoo we've visited while being on holiday.
While we were leaving we saw a lot of men and women who didn't apply their sunscreen throughout the day and needless to say they looked very sore.
We applied sunscreen throughout the day and more so on my daughter who was also covered up.
Leaving to get dropped back off to your hotel the coach takes you straight there without stopping, which we found to be a good thing as by the end of the day you're absolutely shattered and want to get home.
This was a fantastic trip for all the family and one I would recommend to anyone who is going to Fuerteventura or Lanzarote.