“ Tier- und Pflanzenpark im Süden Teneriffas. „
I have recently returned from Tenerife and while I was there I took the opportunity of visiting The Jungle Park. My father went there about 10 years ago and raved on about it so off we went. It is easy to get to if you are staying in the PDLA, Torviscos and Los Cristianos area as there is a free shuttle bus which runs daily. From the North there is also a bus but it has to be booked in advance. You can also book the excursion at the many tourist offices in the resorts. We decided to take a taxi from Parque Santiago 3 as we had just missed the bus and it was about 17 euros, which wasn't bad for 4 of us.
The park is in the hills in Arona and, for obvious reasons, is off the beaten track but it was worth it. The entrance fee for non residents is 23 Euros for adults and 16 Euros for children but if you go on their website you can get a discount voucher saving you 15%. The website is www.aguilasjunglepark.com. It is open all year from 1000-1730.
There are a total of 31 attractions, which are highlighted in the guide, with the first animals you come to being the tigers including white tigers. You then continue past the penguins, crocodiles and hippos until you come to the first show - the parrot show, or exotic bird show. This isn't the usual parrot pushing a bike trick that a lot of places seem to have (although they do have some tricks under their wings!). here the birds fly down to the stage from behind you and it's not just parrots but other exotic birds. Some of them even land next to you and walk through the audience and it's only then that you notice the handler is stood there calling them. It is a good show although nowhere near as good as the Bird of Prey show, which, by following the map, would be the last attraction and the highlight of the day but we'll come to that later.
You continue round past the exotic birds to the gibbons, orangutangs and the big cats. Some of these, such as the leopard have glass at the fromt of the enclosure and it feels like there's nothing between you. From this distance you can really appreciate the awesome beauty of these creatures. You're then off again looking at the jaguars, lions and white lions before coming to alligators and more monkeys, lemurs (very cute!), snakes (not so cute!) and other reptiles, as well as the red panda. Then there's the bob run, which is basically a bob sleigh - so it's fast!!! After you've recovered from that there's more apes including chimps, and mandrels and then you come to the jungle raid - another favourite with kids. This is series of ropes and rope bridges aswell as tunnles, giving the impression that you really are in the jungle. After that it's the bird of prey show............
This is a truly awesome show starting with the birds flying just above your head towards towers on either side of the arena, or just flying high in the sky until they are called. The handlers run around the arena calling the birds, which may be just behind you but you're not aware of it until you feel their wing brush past your ear - we're talking falcons and eagles here as well as vultures. I could keep going on about this show but it wouldn't do it justice. If you're going to Tenerife go to the park and see for yourself. The birds of prey showtimes at present are 1200 and 1600 and the exotic birds showtimes are 1100, 1400 and 1700.
The good points are that the handlers seem to really love the animals and have genuine respect for them and that you get to see some of them close up and in action. The bad points are that the animals don't always seem very stimulated and some of the enclosures seem too small for the animal. It was, however, overall a good day and worth the visit.