In my past 7 months in Jakarta, I’ve gone up to Puncak and Bogor (Taman Safari) twice – the first time with Agent D (Sept 2015) and the second time with my parents (Feb 2016). I always find it a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta. As Puncak and Taman Safari are both on higher ground, the air there is much fresher and cooler. Barring rain, it feels almost like the nice spring-summer weather one gets in temperate regions.
I went with Agent D on a weekend and with my parents on a weekday. And what a world of difference that made in terms of TRAFFIC. With Agent D, we left Jakarta at 6 a.m. on a Saturday and only arrived at Taman Safari around 9.30 a.m. (3.5 hours on the road). With my parents, we left Jakarta at 8 a.m. on a Wednesday and arrived ALSO at 9.30 a.m (a whole 2 hours less!). If you’re visiting Jakarta and thinking of heading to Puncak/ Taman Safari for a day trip, GO ON A WEEKDAY. On weekends, one lane (there are only two lanes, each in one direction) gets closed and the closure of the two lanes is alternated. This means that if the road you are on happens to be closed, your vehicle CANNOT MOVE at all. That happened to us and we were in a stationary car for over an hour. I remember having a strong urge to pee but there were no toilets around!!!
When nearing the Taman Safari entrance, you’ll see many vendors selling carrots. You can buy them to feed the animals. BUY LOADS. Trust me, the animals loveeee carrots. The entrance fees for Taman Safari are about IDR 250k for foreigners and IDR 150K for locals. You have to pay for your driver and there is a small cost for driving in your car.
Taman Safari is a safari park where most of the resident animals roam about freely. The animals are very used to humans and will come right up to your car. If your car windows are down, be prepared to have animals peer in (and lots of SALIVA over your windows).
Elephants were the first animals we saw, followed by camels.
At first, I was frantically waving the carrots to the animals to catch their attention. Over here, comeeee. But once they caught sight of the orange little things, they galloped to my car all at once. It was a little overwhelming but I warmed up to them fast.
Here are some of my favourite pictures of the animals. They are really good at flashing their big bambi eyes at you and giving a doeful look with the hidden message: “Pleaseeee could we have a carrot? Pretty pweeaase? One more pleaseeeee?” HOW TO REJECT SUCH CUTE FACES. I wished I had bought more carrots earlier on.
The animals do not observe ANY road traffic rules. They have no fear of oncoming cars and jaywalk everywhere and anywhere. So please drive carefully and don’t be too distracted with feeding them!
As our car approached the danger zone (which houses the meat-eating animals), we had to wind up our car windows and lock our car doors. Please do not dangle any carrots at this point or stick your head out of the window. Your head might be more enticing than the carrots!
The lions, bears, tigers, cheetahs etc were not in an enclosure and were roaming around freely too. Some were just beside our car. *shudders* This was the first time I was in such close proximity to the King of the jungle. HE’S SO HANDSOME.
Towards the end, our car had to cross a “river” where the water level was quite high. I was worried about our car engine but thankfully it survived!
On the way to the parking lot, my parents spotted a beautiful peacock! Again this was my first time seeing a white peacock strutting around in all its glory.
Just-for-laughs 🙂 🙂 🙂
After driving through the safari park, you can park your car at the main attraction center. There is loads to see and do there — walk around the baby zoo, catch animal shows (dolphins, sea lions, elephants, cowboys and more), browse souvenir shops, ride/ feed animals, play at the waterpark/ theme park, etc.
With Agent D, we both trekked up to see a natural waterfall. The sound of the water beating down was really refreshing! And there were not many people around (seemed almost like an undiscovered area), which was really nice.
After spending about 15 minutes at the waterfall, we headed for the sea lion show. The sea lion show was very fun and entertaining; we enjoyed it tremendously!
With my parents, we decided to walk around the baby zoo. It is like a mini zoo with selected animals in cages (e.g., pumas, snakes, kangaroos, birds and more). You can also cuddle and take pictures with baby lions and orang-utans. Children will definitely love it!
We spent about half an hour at the baby zoo and proceeded to watch the elephant show thereafter. Sadly, the elephant show was quite disappointing! I wouldn’t recommend it if you were in a rush for time.
Agent D and I left Taman Safari around 12.45 p.m. for Puncak. Our driver brought us to a lovely lunch spot overlooking the hills and tea plantations. REALLY PRETTY. I forgot to note down the name of the restaurant sorry
After lunch, we drove up to Puncak Gantole. That is the place to go to if you want to try paragliding. The unblocked view of the massive tea plantations and rolling hills below was breath-taking. Again I stood amazed at God’s wonderful creation.
Agent D and I wanted to have a go at paragliding but there was a 1+ hour waiting time. We couldn’t afford to wait that long because we had to beat the heavy traffic back to Jakarta. Oh well, looks like we’ll have to come back again sometime.
Pesona Alam Resort & Spa
My parents and I left Taman Safari around noon time. We decided to stop by Pesona Alam Resort & Spa for lunch. A 5-minute drive from Taman Safari in Bogor, Pesona Alam Resort & Spa is a HIDDEN GEM. I strongly recommend this place if you intend on staying in Bogor / Puncak for 1 night.
Settled on top of a hill in Cisarua, Pesona Alam is surrounded by beautiful tall pine trees with picture perfect mountain backgrounds. I say it’s a hidden gem because it’s relatively new and not many people have discovered it (yet). Tourists are few in number (on a weekday) and one can enjoy the facilities like the swimming pool with great privacy.
My parents and I had lunch at the Banyan Restaurant downstairs. There was NO ONE, as if we had booked the entire restaurant to ourselves.
Surrounded by breezy cool air and natural scenery, it was a very pleasant meal. The food was so-so only but the ambience more than made up for it. On Saturdays and PHs, the Banyan restaurant hosts an extravagant all–you–can–eat BBQ party accompanied with live music and fire dances (for just IDR 150k nett/pax).
The restaurant overlooks the pool so we went down to take some pictures whilst waiting for our food to come.
I’m hoping to spend 1 night at Pesona Alam during my next trip to Bogor. If you happen to go before me, let me know how your stay went! ❤
Have a great Sunday everyone!! Can’t believe a new week is starting again.