Calauit safari - feeding the giraffes at Calauit Wildlife Park

It’s big at 3,700 hectares. And it turns on its head the Law of the African Jungle. Calauit Wildlife Park, where a variety of African species roam free in Southeast Asia’s largest exotic wildlife park, is an extraordinary evolutionary laboratory. Feeding giraffe? Patting zebra? Wow! Not in a million years in Africa have the animals there been domesticated! Why? Come and find out. And discover much more as you explore this surreal brainchild of a former dictator. This is one of Tribal Adventures’ trips billed a million star experience. You check in to a locally-crafted fan-cooled sea view bamboo pavilion with a communal mini-plunge pool fed by fire tubs called kawa. You can take a dip off the beach and a snorkel at the coral reef 150 meters beyond. Add to that the 4×4 transfer in and the safari to Calauit Wildlife Reserve with its zebra, giraffe and endangered Calamian deer species, wandering through virgin rainforest to take a dip in fresh water lagoons, your own personal sea kayak to explore the coastal waters of Dugong Bay and you’ve got a two day trip that adds up to a week-long adventure. Priced as low as 4,600 pesos per person with overnight accommodation, the price includes a feast of activities including the Calauit Wildlife Safari and all meals, snacks, drinks, transport and entrance/guide fees. Nothing to pay except a bar bill for drinks harder than beer, the local variety of which — San Miguel — is also gratis.

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  • Duration: 2 Days and 1 Night

  • Cost per person:
    4+ Persons P5,819
    3 Persons P6,546
    2 Persons P9,456
    1 Person P16,550

    Free pick up and drop off at Busuanga Airport or Coron town.

  • Inclusions: Private boat/car, park/entrance/guide fee to Calauit Wildlife Reserve, 3 hearty meals and 3 meriendas, drinks including drinking water, free beer and rum, beach/bath towel, personal mask-snorkel, personal sea kayak, mountain bike and accommodation in fan-cooled Camp Calauit pavilion with use of mini-plunge pool — whose water is fed piping hot by signature kayak fire tubs called kawa.

     

  • What to bring: Sunscreen, hat, bug repellent, refillable water container as you will be provided only a single new plastic mineral water bottle that you will need to refill, walking shoes that will get wet or strong sandals, swim wear, waterproof layer, dry clothes, educational giveaways like crayons for children in place of tip money.

  • Accommodation: Accommodation is in Tribal Adventures’ signature seaside and beach view bamboo pavilions on its 10-hectare beachfront adventure retreat Camp Calauit, located at Cheey, Busuanga. The closest beach to the airport, being only 21 kms away, it is Busuanga’s most picturesque AND in the center of “dugong country”. Shared shower and toilet facilities with individual lockers. Hotel linen, towels, comfy mattresses, netting, pillows and toiletries are supplied. Upgrade at no extra cost for early birds: To Seaside Pavilion or SandCastles beach house, both with private bathrooms and mini-plunge pools at no extra cost! But you have to book early and please include request at the time of booking so we may confirm availability, allocated available seaside pavilion or beach house and get back to you with a confirmed reservation.

  • Note: A National Tourism (Kalakbay Award) winner, Tribal Adventures puts its money where its ecotourism mouth is, by splitting income 50:50 with the local people at Kayak Inn, Antique and Camp Calauit, Palawan. Camp Calauit is on the road to also becoming an operational joint venture with local Kagayanen and Tagbanua tribes people.

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    Comfy Beach Pavilions

     

    Sea kayaking

    Included in all Camp Calauit tours are snorkels and masks and provision of a single or double sit-in, foot rudder-controlled sea kayak, ideal to go out and visit nearby islands and our magical sandbars. (Cheey has some of the Philippines most spectacular coastal scenery and is home to the largest number of dugong–sea cows–in the Philippines). We also have a couple of sit-on sea kayaks but do reserve these ahead.

    4×4 safari to Calauit Wildlife Reserve

    We arrive from the airport on Day 01 by 4×4, travelling over rough road for 50 minutes to reach base camp, Camp Calauit and the adjacent Palawan SandCastles. The trip to Calauit is early on Day 02 and it departure is around 7am after breakfast by 4×4 or by motorised banca with the option if you go by boat to paddle the mangrove channel and on to the Calauit Reception Center. ¬†The decision to take the boat is dictated by weather, tide, guest preference and road conditions. If we go by boat, we dispense with the short banca trip from the jump-off point of Macalachao after the 75 minute 4×4 ride from Camp Calauit. We also forgo the hike into the waterfall. Either way, it’s a great adventure, the highlight taking the safari either by foot or by truck to view African and local animals in a wildlife park that is reputedly the largest in Southeast Asia. The giraffe literally feed out of the your hands. And explain to an African how on earth you were able to pat a Zebra! The genius of Calauit is that in the space of several generations of African non-preditor animals species that have never been tamed on the African continent are on their way to being domesticated: It is a remarkable Darwinian laboratory for Evolution!

    There is also the cute Calamian deer thriving in the park: ¬†elsewhere they are endangered. Returning to the 4×4 — or kayak to meet banca–after a 3-hour safari we visit Sinibayan Falls for a barbecue lunch and swim in the rainforest before returning to Camp Calauit and Palawan SandCastles mid-afternoon. If seaborne, you will paddle to your banca and you’ll go island hopping, stopping to snorkel: You might even spot a dugong! Even better, you might get out and even swim with one.

  • DAY 1

    (Sample Itinerary for Overnight Trip)
    1:00 pm Unless notified of different time, pick up from Airport or Tribal Adventure center at the Market, Reclamation & Boat Loading Area in the center of Coron town
    2:30 pm Arrive at Camp Calauit, to settle in to your accommodations and merienda
    3:00 pm Depart for afternoon sea paddle to along coast and around nearby islands, stopping at a local village, perhaps picking up some sea urchins to take back as an appetizer.
    5:30 pm Arrive back at Camp Calauit to relax in a plunge pool or hike tribal hill for the sun set view. Sunset drinks back at The Bridge Bar.
    6:30 pm Dinner and camp fire to swap your experiences over beers and rum.

    DAY 2

    (Sample Itinerary for Overnight Trip)
    6:00 am Early breakfast as early birds catch the Giraffe
    7:00 am Depart by 4×4 for Calauit Wildlife Safari Park, home to giraffe, zebra, elan and the endangered Calamian deer. Or depart by banca, kayaking into Calauit itself
    9:00 am Walk into the park, getting up close and personal with giraffes which will eat out of your hand!
    11:30 am 4×4 trip to Sinibayan to trek through rain forest into jungles for a remote BBQ experience and swim in fresh water lagoons. Alternatively, kayak/banca/snorkel/dugong spotting experience
    2:30 pm Arrive at Camp Calauit to pick up your gear for return trip to airport for late flight out or to Coron, arriving by 5:00 pm.