Monarto Safari Park is to change its opening times over the warm, summer period to ensure the wellbeing, welfare and enjoyment of both animals, visitors and staff.
From 1st December through 29 February 2020 Monarto Safari Park will open half an hour earlier from 9am with gates closing at 4.30pm, last entry to the park will be at 2.30pm.
Speaking about the new opening times, Peter Clark, Director of Monarto Safari Park said: “As well as the new opening times, which take advantage of the cooler hours, animals and humans will be kept cool with new mister systems, extra shade coverings and plenty of water to ensure a more comfortable experience.
“In recent years any forecast temperatures of over 40C meant that the Safari Park closed. Now with the provision of more cooling systems for visitors, staff and animals we are better placed to help our animals and visitors beat the heat.
“To keep cool, animals such as giraffes, meerkats and porcupines will enjoy additional shade cover to what is already in place with misters in place in animals’ sleeping habitats.
“Monarto’s bison will also enjoy extra water facilities –with an additional wallow.
“Misters will be installed at all bus stops and at various viewing platforms as well as at the Visitor Centre/café deck eating area and children’s playground, ensuring our visitors can cool off and kids can have a play,” said Peter.
As well as the large shaded area of the verandah and decking area located at the visitor centre and café, extra Stratco shelters are provided at our bus stops, as well as additional shade at picnic areas and the children’s playground.
Any thirsty visitors can find SA Water fountains at the Visitor Centre and the rhino and carnivore bus stops. During peak holiday periods the pop-up café at Windana will open for visitors to buy cold drinks and ice-creams.
Those using the safari park’s Zu-Loop bus will enjoy the benefits of venturing through the park on an air conditioned coach and, when they’re not onboard or exploring by foot, can stop off at the café for a cooling ice cream and an icy cold drink and enjoy large fans which help air circulation.
Meanwhile, Monarto’s animal keepers, who are well used to keeping their animals cool, will do so with visitors present. Rather than missing out on the action, visitors will enjoy seeing animals cool off with icy cold enrichments, misters and plenty of water play.
Last year Monarto’s chimpanzees were treated to ice blocks and a clam shell water pool. They also have an air-conditioned indoor space to use when they choose.
Our native animals also received daily ice blocks and extra water.
Many of our animals come from Africa and are used to warm temperatures. Over the years, keepers have noted how these animals naturally tend to find shade under vegetation and in their habitats at the hottest part of the day.
Some animal experiences will move to the first half of the day, with our most popular experience Lions 360 operating two sessions in the morning with the last session finishing by 1pm. However, there will still be plenty of experiences and things to see later on in the day.
As previously, keepers will take forecast temperatures into consideration when it comes to animals’ wellbeing and welfare and will notify visitors of any cancellations the afternoon before a pre-booked experience. An alternative date will be offered.
Any customers with pre-booked animal experiences that fall over the summer opening period will need to refer to Monarto Safari Park’s website for the new opening times. The site will also list keeper talk and event times.
“Rather than stay at home, we are hoping our members and visitors will come and enjoy the cool activities at Monarto Safari Park and help us to continue our vital conservation work,” finished Peter Clark.