Terra Natura Night Safari Bookmark and Share

This was one of the things that really jumped out to my wife when we first arrived in Benidorm, it was the one thing that she really wanted to do yet was the one thing that had very little information about it. We tried to get information from so many people with little joy but I can only say I’m glad we persisted because our Terra Natura Night Safari was brilliant.

Terra Natura is the large zoo situated just outside Benidorm. It is open during the day and features everything you would expect of a modern animal based theme park. You’ll find different zones representing various habitats around the world including the aquatic zone. All well and good but the opportunity to walk around an almost deserted park at night where most animals are active was too much to pass up. At only 9 Euros for a ticket the night safari really is one of the best bargains in Benidorm.

Terra Natura Night Safari JaguarFor the 2011 season the night safari is a guided tour around the American part of the park. You’ll get to see some of the largest animals in Terra Natura (including the Elephants hopefully) before making your way past several monkey species to the Aztec inspired aviary. This is a really spooky experience and you actually will get to hear the birds and animals as they should be. Terra Natura is mainly comprised of lots of open spaces and being led by torchlight around such a space with leaves brushing your face and a rustle behind every bush is an experience we’ve never had the likes off anywhere else we’ve ever visited. Among the stand out moments what must come top is when one of the Jaguars was literally under our noses pawing at my wifes hand, it’s breath steaming up the glass barrier. Nobody even knew it was there until our guide happened to catch its eyes in his torch. There it sat inches way until it eventually got bored and sloped off. An experience like that could just never be repeated in daylight. Even the usually sociable Lamas and similar animals are even more approachable in the dark.

Terra Natura Night SafariIt’s strange then that such an amazing experience should be so relatively unknown. Despite picking up several flyers for the night safari everybody we asked seemed to know almost nothing about it. We eventually did get tickets from one of the Around Town shops but even then there wasn’t much information on how to get there…never mind getting home which was the biggest worry. On our second trip to Around Town (we were asked to come back) we were told that the Number 1 bus will get you there and back and runs till midnight. The bus is every 15-20 minutes. This is great except not every number 1 bus goes to the Terra parks. We gave up on our first attempt after waiting 50 minutes and being told be several separate bus drivers that they didn’t go there, “maybe next one read sign” is as good as it got. Eventually we tried again on a different night but this time booked a taxi (approx 13-15 euros), even he told us the park was shut and there was no point in going up there! Much the same as we got when we asked the hotel receptionist to book us the taxi in the first place. We turned up at 9pm for the 9:30pm start and the place was deserted except 1 security guard! After 5-10 minutes though other cars started to arrive and eventually there was a nice group of about 15 of us. It was also some relief to see number 1 buses pass by fairly regularly doing the loop up to Terra Mitica before returning to Benidorm. We were later told by the guides that the bus back to Benidorm runs till about midnight and is every half hour or so. Why this information isn’t widely available I have no idea? The bus stop is only a few minutes walk from the entrance. There is a taxi rank outside Terra Natura but there will be no taxis on it out of normal park hours (our hotel receptionist told us the opposite when we tried to book a return taxi to pickup after the tour) so unless you speak Spanish and can order a taxi from the park it’s a case of the bus or a long walk back to town I’m afraid. In fairness though we totally lucked out, our guide dropped us off back in Benidorm! We managed to teach him a few choice phrases for his upcoming trip to Liverpool in return, honestly, the nicest bloke I’ve ever met on any of our many holidays.

So in summary then the Night Safari at Terra Natura runs Thursday to Sunday, costs 9 Euros for an adult ticked and is one of the best trips we’ve ever done. It’ll cost you about 15 Euros for a taxi to get there or you can get the Number 1 bus (from the town, NOT beach, side of the main road), just be sure to look at the front of the bus to make sure it mentions Terra Mitica/Terra Natura. It is possible to get a bus back to Benidorm and they tend to run every half hour on the hour. It’s a brilliant tour and will no doubt become incredibly popular once word spreads.

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