Nature-lovers can have an African safari-style experience without leaving NSW with the official opening of the Savannah Safari at Taronga Western Plains Zoo today.
The Savannah Safari experience features two purpose-built safari trucks that carry visitors through the zoo’s African Savannah exhibit, featuring giraffes, two species of antelopes and ostriches.
NSW Environment Minister Mark Speakman opened the exhibit and joined zoo staff and supporters on the first truck ride.
“The Savannah Safari project is an excellent addition to Taronga Western Plains Zoo. It will help to educate and inspire visitors about conservation and wildlife, while also enhancing the zoo’s overall visitor experience.” Mr Speakman said.
The $1.4 million project, jointly funded by the NSW Government and the Taronga Foundation, also includes a new elevated platform, from which visitors can view the animals in the Savannah exhibit, and extensive redevelopment of the exhibit and public areas, with new seating, landscaping and walking paths.
Member for Dubbo Troy Grant said Taronga Western Plains Zoo, recently recognised as the state’s top tourist attraction at the NSW Tourism Awards, was a major drawcard for visitors to the region.
“The Savannah Safari is another great reason to visit the award-winning Taronga Western Plains Zoo, and I invite everyone in NSW and from around the world to come and have a look at the zoo and everything else Dubbo has to offer,” Mr Grant said.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo director Matthew Fuller said the Savannah Safari offered unique opportunities to see some African species up close.
“In addition to the animals currently on exhibit, in the coming year we will be introducing white rhino and zebras to add to the safari experience,” Mr Fuller said.