Selwo Aventura near Estepona is a full day out for the family. Take comfortable shoes and join the safari.
Once through the gates you find yourself in a luxuriously foliated area with animals that appeal to the younger explorer including the animal supposedly the most beautiful on earth, the Red Panda. Very shy they tend to sleep through the day in the crook of trees in their compound. Less shy, as curious of you as you are of them, are the Meerkats.
Nearby is the 'Little Farm' where, if they are so inclined, and children generally are, they can stroke goats, pigs and sheep. Not to be stroked are any of the extensive selection of primates, or for that matter the alligator that lurks in its pool separated from the public by a thick sheet of glass.
There are flamingos and cheetahs, wallabies and Barbary sheep and a host of other animals that appeal to the younger audience as well as adults. Wandering freely around the paths and, when they feel so inclined, many of the animal enclosures, are peacocks, guinea fowl, a black swan and various ducks.
The way onward takes you past a large lagoon across which there is a hanging bridge that the more adventurous can try. You then pass through the lemur enclosure. Apart from being cute these animals are experienced escape artists as we found on our visit as the procession of people through this area was brought to an unscheduled halt whilst an exasperated keeper danced around trying to corner one of the rascals that had managed to infiltrate itself into the crowd and pass through the security curtain. It all made for a good photo shoot.
Beyond the lemurs is the Canyon of Birds, a ravine that is fenced and roofed with a huge net. Here you will see flocks, if that is the correct collective noun, of numerous species of Ibis including Sacred, Australian white, Scarlet and Bald Ibis as well as Cattle Egret and huge Yellow Billed Storks. Hanging bridges that take you to observation platforms at higher levels ensure you have a good view of these birds that tend to like perching in the tops of the trees.
Exiting the canyon you enter the Lake Reserve, a huge area that supposedly resembles the Serengeti plain in Africa. Here you will see elephants, hippopotamus, elands and antelopes, wildebeest, rhinoceros, zebra and giraffes. For an extra charge you can take a Serengeti tour in an open wagon that takes you through the area. If you prefer you can follow the paths outside the area and see just as much. Finally you reach the African village where you will find cafes, sheltered eating areas and services overlooking the lion enclosure. A good place to recuperate before retracing your steps.
At different times of the day you can see bird of prey displays and get up close to snakes. During the bird of prey display a Griffon Vulture, a huge creature with a two metre wingspan, is sent to soar over the 'Serengeti plain' much to the consternation of the smaller birds that frequent the area that fly off in panic to find shelter.At different times of the day you can see bird of prey displays and get up close to snakes. During the bird of prey display a Griffon Vulture, a huge creature with a two metre wingspan, is sent to soar over the 'Serengeti plain' much to the consternation of the smaller birds that frequent the area that fly off in panic to find shelter.
Stay the night
Masai Village has 10 cabins decorated like Watu, with African motifs. Each cabin has a double bed, with the option of extra beds, television, hot/cold air-conditioning, fridge and bathroom, with hydro-massage shower.
The Selwo Masai Lodge is located in the first part of Selwo Aventura, Nature’s Portico. Enjoy the lush, green tropical and sub-tropical vegetation, the exceptional views of the Great Lake of Africa and the great hanging bridge which crosses it.
Take exit 162.5 off the A7 coastal highway (just east of Espepona). Head inland and follow the brown signs for Selwo Aventura