JEDDAH: The adventure brand Jungle Trek has opened a park in Saudi Arabia, offering visitors a real-life animal-watching experience, where visitors can walk along shaded paths and get close up to exotic animals.
The trek is one of Jeddah Jungle’s experiences as part of the Jeddah Season.
Experiencing wildlife firsthand, Jeddah Season visitors will also get to go on a thrilling safari experience on a Jeep and encounter seven different kinds of wild cats as well as other exotic animals.
On the Safari Game Drive, visitors can learn interesting facts about the wild cats with the tour guide.
For example, lions are the only cats that live in groups — a group can include 30 lions — and their roars can be heard up to 8 km away, with female lions being the main hunters.
Another fact: There are less than 2,000 Bengal tigers left in the wild, and their strips are just as unique as human fingerprints.
The tigers are an endangered species, grow faster than their orange counterparts, and are rare and happen once out of 10,000 births.
The golden tiger, also known as the strawberry tiger, is extinct in the wild. There are about 30 remaining, with Jeddah Jungle having three of these.
White lions are only born if the mother and father have the same gene, and the earliest recorded sighting of them was in 1938.
The liger — a lion and tiger breed — with a mane like a lion and stripes like a tiger, is the largest known cat in the world, and there are less than 100 ligers left in the world.
Faisal Al-Rahili, Saudi, 18, has visited Jeddah Jungle five times since it opened. The teenager said that he loves animals and grew up watching wildlife shows and channels such as Nat Geo Wild.
“I have always had a love for animals since childhood, and this safari experience is a childhood dream fulfillment,” he told Arab News.
Al-Rahili’s favorite zone is the Jungle Trek because it allows him to get close to and interact with a giraffe.
“I love everything about this place; it’s huge and there is a place for each type of animal,” he said.
Six-year-old Saudi animal lover, Omar Kaaki, listed the big cats he saw to Arab News.
“With some tigers, lions and white lions, we saw deers too and a tiger with gold stripes,” Kaaki said.
“Cheetahs and tigers are my favorite animals,” he added.
The first-grader asked his parents to take him to Jeddah Jungle. His mother, Dareen Akbar, said that the experience had brought so much joy to her son.
“He loves animals so much, as soon as we found out they are making a safari experience in Jeddah, we came here,” she told Arab News.
“It is a very nice experience, you do not have to travel abroad to go on a safari and see the animals; you can take your kids to see the animals here in your country,” she said.
Indian engineer, Mohammed Anish, visited Jeddah Jungle with his wife and children for the first time.
“It is a great place to spend quality time with your family; my kids love animals,” he told Arab News.
“Jeddah Season is fantastic and provides a very good experience,” he said.
Visitors to the Jeddah Jungle can wear costume symbolizing their favorite animals. It is an educational and entertaining initiative where children and young people compete in the designs of costumes for their favorite animals.
It also encourages them to expand their knowledge about these animals and gain new information from the zone’s guides, in addition to removing the fear of some animals, learning to coexist with them, and dealing with them as a friend to humans.
The Jeddah Jungle is home to about 1,000 species of wild creatures, as well as 200 species of rare birds. It has a reptile section, a bird section, a dog section and a farm, in addition to sections for shows and other services, and an entertainment section.
Jeddah Jungle zones are; the Tram Station, Elephant Enclosure, Lighting Garden, Lucaland, the Aviary, Taxidermy Museum, Reptile Land, the Farm, Safari Game Drive, Jungle Trek, and the Park.
The park includes an adventure zone, a children’s playground, an open theater, an archery space, paintball area, karting, and a workshop zone.
The annual Jeddah Season festival aims to highlight the city’s rich heritage and culture through a total of 2,800 activities in nine zones over the event period.
Held under the slogan, Our Lovely Days, the second Jeddah Season follows on from the success of Riyadh Season, which recorded more than 15 million visits over five months.
The festival season offers 70 interactive experiences, more than 60 recreational activities, seven Arab and two international plays, marine events, a circus, four international exhibitions, and a host of other options for families.