One of the more interesting byproducts of the President Marcos–remember all those shoes?- reign of extremes is the collection of rare African animals roaming about the game preserve of Calauit Island. Apparently the ol’ boy learned about some threatened wild African animals in war torn Nairobi and whipped out his big visa card and bought some. The animals have thrived on this lush island so now there are a dozen or more giraffes, Antelope and a large herd of Zebras and many local animals all under the protection of the reserve.
We arrived at the picturesque well protected anchorage late in the afternoon, launched the dinghy and went exploring. We found the Safari information center and made plans for our private safari the next morning. It was great to have Jof along who spoke the language and made all our arrangements, a real asset.
We arose early and headed to our 8am appointed hour. We selected the jeep safari, paid the 400 pesos a head and the 1000p for the jeep. Actually Jof got the local discount, i tried too showing i am just as brown as she, no luck.
We walked amongst the Zebras for a while then back in the jeep to see some other wonders. We visited an enclosed marsh with crocodiles and later saw some baby crocs too. We saw a family of Porcupines and some interesting monkeys. We all paused as we came up to the monstrous Python snake, this puppy was huge, probably because the feed him real puppies, something that gave the girls a jolt. i later learned the Python had belonged to the dive shop at Puerto Del Sol, but alas the giant escaped and munched a few chickens. So with the concern for the small children the owner gave it to the reserve.
We finished our tour, all full of amazement. We bid our guides farewell and a great big thank you for our unexpected safari. Again the Philippines proved to be a place of constant surprises. Like so many places before, i find myself gazing into the sky and saying to myself, “i like it here”.