Learn about grassland wildlife and experience an African savanna-like environment. Trek the trails to see some African and Asian wild animals like lions, cheetas, and meerkats. You can do all this without the need to go to the savannas of Africa or grasslands of Asia.
Travel 32 kilometres southwest of Melbourne to reach Australia’s Werribee Open Range Zoo, a 225-hectare African themed zoo which is part of Zoos Victoria.
Located on Werribee River in Werribee Park next to the Werribee Mansion, the zoo houses grassland animals from the wilds of Africa, Asia, North America, and Australia.
Upon arriving at the zoo, take a 40-minute tour on a Safari to see grassland animals from around the world. Animals include hippos, bison, zebras, waterbucks, camels, ostrich, rhinos, oryx, etc. The Safari bus can take up to 140 people on board.
You may also try to follow the trails of Pula Reserve Walking Trail to see some African wild animals like lions, vervet monkeys, cheetas, and meerkats. Or trek the Australian Journey Walk that showcases Australian endemic wild animals such as the koalas, kangaroos, emus, and cassowaries.
Visiting the zoo offers you a unique experience. You can see, hear, and smell the savanna where you will be in the midst of grassland animals. Most of these grassland animals are iconic, and many of them endangered — zebra, giraffe, bison, camel, gorilla, rhino, and much more.
At the Learning Centre, learn more about the animals in their natural environment. Also, learn about their history and geography. A simulated African village equipped with educational tools and features enhances your experience.
Here are some noted endangered animals you can spot while on a safari tour:
Only less than 300 addaxes remaining in the wild. These African native animals are critically endangered. They used to be found in the Sahara Desert.
African Wild Dogs
They used to live in sub-Saharan Africa. But human activity displaced these wild dogs. Less than 6,500 of them remain in the wild.
Bison herds used to wander through the grasslands of North America from Mexico to Alaska. But human settlements caused the demise of many of these North American buffalos.
These Indian antelopes used to roam in grasslands of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal. Loss of habitat and animal hunting dramatically reduced their population.
Also called water horse, hippos are victims of illegal poaching for meat and ivory tusks/teeth. They are almost extinct in the wilds of Africa.
Found in the wilds of Africa and Asia, illegal poaching for horns has dramatically decreased the number of rhino population.
Book a Werribee Open Range Zoo Tour with Wildlife Tours Australia and experience the grassland wildlife. We will pick you up from your hotel, leaving the city through Westgate Bridge. Onboard the safari bus, there will be a live commentary from a safari guide.
Don’t worry about lunch. Meerkat Cafe has an excellent list of scrumptious food on its menu. On the menu includes soups, salads, sandwiches, steaks, etc. You can also order a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. Enjoy your meal and drinks with a view of the cheeky meerkats, one of African grassland animal species.
By Kelvene Requiroso, content writer and member of the SEO team of the Melbourne-based Get Lost Travel Group.