In Italy there’s a zoo park where you can interact with the animals. That’s right, you get to drive through the park in your own vehicle and you can bring food and feed all of the animals along the route. Except for the Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Ohhh my! Strict no windows down policy enforced in those areas.
I’m already getting ahead of myself. Let’s back things up just a minute.
The Zoo Park is located in Bari which if you put your finger on Naples Italy and dragged it in a straight line across the boot, you’d be almost right near it. Bari is just past Matera and Alberobello.
There are 2 sides to the zoo park. On the right side is the driving safari, which mostly everyone just refers to as Bari Safari. On the other side is the actual zoo part. When you buy a ticket both parks are included.
MOST IMPORTANT RULE FOR THE VISIT: Bring lots of snacks for the animals! They will come right up to your car if you have offerings to give. Some really good snacks to have on hand are carrots, bring tons of carrots!, peanuts, dried apricots, anything the animals would enjoy eating without getting a stomach ache. You can bring your own snacks inside your car so make sure to have plenty.
Driving up to the entrance of Bari Safari, I was so excited and nervous. There was a big gate and as we slowly passed through it I thought we were at Jurassic Park or something. AHHHHH!! I am terrified of dinasours.
Immediately we were approached by this guy, the bold ram of the bunch. He started poking around for treats. As soon as they found out we had them, they swarmed us! Morg and Jess kept rolling up the windows because deer and rams in your face is a very new idea.
Next we spotted a llama. Unfortunately it wasn’t a talking llama 🙁 Everyone knows those guys spit so we decided not to entice him with our treats.
When you enter you drive into the first gate and then wait for it to close behind you. Once it does, the second gate opens and you drive in. Meanwhile there’s a guy with a rifle in between the two gates just in case somebody decides to flee the coupe.
I watched a Tiger show in Thailand once, and it was crazy how one man stands in a ring with 8 tigers in the pit performing tricks. Talk about a high performance job! These tigers were just relaxin out in the heat.
Bears on the ground, bears in the trees, bears everywhere. Bears!
He thinks we can’t see him up in that tree, but we can, Bears!
I bet the trunk of that tree is all tore up because of some necessary back scratching going on. I love how this guy is propped up at the bottom of the tree, Bears!
GIRAFFES GIRAFFES GIRAFFES!
One grab of the carrot with his long tongue, one loud crunch of the carrot with his teeth, and all of his friends were alerted and came running.
Not as easy as you think to try to drive down the road with a zebra mouth sticking in the window of your car. He kept running alongside us as we went. That’s determination for a carrot if I ever saw it.
One look and that was enough. Back in the day, in the town of Mount Pleasant, my dad was friends with a guy who owned an ostrich farm. I saw how vicious these guys could be when I was growing up. Which meant a quick hello and a windows up on my end.
Another friend on the other side. These guys were very big fans of the dried apricots. We almost gave up half the bag just to the 2 of them.
Just receiving the camel stamp of approval.
Then he stuck his head in the car. The typical thing to do at Bari Safari.
As we said goodbye to the rest of the animals and exited the park, this guy decided to join. He walked right out behind us and over to the shrubs for some untouched snacks. In the picture above, he’s out in the employee parking lot.
Just a few minutes passed before someone came to lead him back inside the park boundaries.
After parking the car for 2 euro in the lot right at the exit, we walked inside to see a few of the other exhibits and animals. Taking this train you can head over to the polar bear, rhino, and hippo exhibits. The polar bears and rhino seemed very unhappy and I didn’t post the photos because it didn’t seem right.
Stopping by the Aberobello man with the Aberobello roof hat for a quick pic.
The main attraction over at the zoo is the baboon train. Its a train you get to get onto that has double mesh wiring, you get locked inside of, and drive straight into a baboon pit where you can feed the baboons peanuts.
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