While it can’t be said the Night Safari is on the ‘avoid’ list, it creates mixed emotions.
The Safari grounds include zoo like enclosures around the main buildings in which some big cats: lions, leopards and tigers are housed in small spaces. However, the actual safari grounds provide large, natural spaces in which the animal seem happy. There are also animal shows which sits uncomfortably, but there seems genuine affection.
The Night Safari operates both day and night. Beyond the main buildings and musical fountain patrons head to trams and are taken on a trip around two different zones: Savanna and Predator. There is a definite Jurassic Park feel about the place as you go over the cattle grids into the various zones. The main strategy for keeping the animals in their areas is moat, which can make you feel a little vulnerable as the open tram tracks past major predators. The trams stops for a few minutes at each enclosure and shines a light on the animals as the guide tells us informative bits of information like, “the lion mane makes him handsome.”
There’s a good variety of species represented, and they seem much happier than those in the Zoo, as mentioned in 3 Tourist Sights to Avoid in Chiang Mai
As we travel through, I wonder how long it will be before the kangaroos figure out they can clear the moat in one bound?
Some critters deemed less of a risk roam the grounds and are free to approach at will. Although we are warned not to touch the zebras because they bite, the giraffes and deer are particularly sociable, sticking their heads into the tram for a pat.
Overall it is a good example of its kind, but perhaps the shows could be given the flick, even if the brochure does sell it up: “Having fun seeing the Tiger; lord of the forest, like standing on their two legs and much more intelligent. Great excited with the style of Tiger Man in feeding their tigers.”