a 2-day safari in australia

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Yes, you heard us correctly: we went on a safari in Australia! Seeing as our real African safaris had been put on the back burner, we put an alternative safari on the cards.

A five-hour drive north-west of Sydney brought us to a town called Dubbo.

Dubbo is home to Taronga Western Plain Zoo where the wildlife roam freely on the wide open plains. But not entirely without enclosures. There are moats or fences separating visitors from the animals but not to the point where we felt we were visiting a typical zoo.



We had booked a 2-day zoofari package, staying at the Zoofari Lodge.

What we got with the zoofari?

  • 1-night accomodation: in canvas lodges (more glamping than camping)
  • 2-day zoo admission
  • an African-inspired banquet on the first night and breakfast on the following morning: both unbelievably scrumptious
  • 3 exclusive guided tours
  • complimentary bicycle hire

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The 3 exclusive tours included a sunset tour, night tour and a sunrise tour. We were transported around via a mini bus with tours lasting about 1 hour each with approximately 20 people on board. ย On all three tours, we got relatively close to the animals and for some, we were able to feed them. It was unreal to see a hippo so active at night, a cheetah stalking ย and who would’ve thought we would’ve met a bongo from Congo! (And no, it wasn’t a drum…)


The tour guides were very informative and provided reminders as to the importance of conservation. Incredible hearing how many rhinos in the wild were being killed in a day and how habitat destruction and mining are affecting the numbers of animals in the wild!

We highly recommend if anyone is to head out to Dubbo, the zoofari overnight stay is worth it. After checking out of the lodge, we still had admission to the zoo itself. Hiring bikes is complimentary with the package but get there early for the golf buggies. They get snapped up very quickly. The other way to get around is to drive your own car through the zoo. There are parking spots along the way where you can stop and walk to see the animals.

Dubbo Zoo has been on our family’s to-do for so many years and finally this was the year to tick it off our list ๐Ÿ™‚

How much did it cost?

It’s calculated based on how many people per cabin. So for us, two monkeys, it cost us $658 for the package, which when we itemised what we were getting, it actually works out quite reasonable for 2 people.

There is more to see than just the zoo at Dubbo but we didn’t have the time as we only had a weekend here. Next time, we will be sure to make it a leisurely drive out and back with a few stops to explore things along the way.


13 thoughts on “a 2-day safari in australia

    Russel Ray Photos said:
    December 27, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. Iโ€™ll be back!

    rednomadoz said:
    December 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Well, you’re one up on me!! I haven’t been to the GWP zoo, despite passing through Dubbo several times! But maybe we should pool our resources as I’ve seen some of the other things in the area!!!!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      December 5, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      We are very keen to see more of Dubbo and the area! Definitely will look at what info you have posted should we get there again some day!

    Jaspa said:
    November 30, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    This sounds like a lot of fun. (I particularly like the giraffe photo!)

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 30, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      Thanks!! It was a good weekend getaway ๐Ÿ™‚ Giraffes are such graceful animals!

    Deia @ Nomad Wallet said:
    November 30, 2013 at 7:16 am

    I lived in Autralia for 5 years and never heard of this before! Sounds like a nice compromise when you’re too far away from Africa to enjoy a real safari. ๐Ÿ˜€

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 30, 2013 at 7:28 am

      Thanks for dropping by – yes, it was a compromise seeing as we were not able to go to Africa this time. That’s very cool that you lived ere for 5 years – we’ve never lived anywhere but here. The rest of the world is so far away from Australia ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Rachel M said:
    November 30, 2013 at 3:42 am

    I will also recommend a real African Safari. Some parks in my country charge as low as US $10 entrance per person (when you include accommodation, transport, food, camping the cost goes up), but i would think $658 would be adequate for a two day African Safari.

    Love the animals, but the rhino looks too serious.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 30, 2013 at 7:25 am

      Hehe – rhino does look very serious!! One day, we will do a real safari! Something we have dreamed for a long time ๐Ÿ™‚ – thanks for stopping by our blog ๐Ÿ™‚

    foreignsanctuary said:
    November 30, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Sounds pretty cool!! And by looks of it, you have lots of upcoming travel plans!! I would love to go to Tasmania….one day, hopefully one day!!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 30, 2013 at 7:23 am

      Thanks for stopping by!! Tasmania is a fabulous place – hope you do get there on day!

    theundergroundgourmet said:
    November 29, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    It is very nice. However, I think that a real African Safari would also be memorable.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 29, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚ – an African safari would be memorable no doubt! We do hope we will get there someday!!

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