In Madagascar Movie, Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, and Gloria the Hippo escaped from New York City to Madagascar and to Africa (Also, now into Europe) we also had an escapade of our own into a small island in Northern Palawan, called Calauit. One of the Calamian Group of Islands and a wildlife sanctuary created by the Philippine government.
In August 1976, President Ferdinand Marcos declared Calauit as a game preserve and wildlife sanctuary in response to an appeal by the International Union of Conservation of Nature for Kenya to help African animals be saved from civil strife.
The imported animals include 20 giraffes, dozens of zebra and antelopes. President Marcos ordered the locals to move other places and then he ordered to clear the bamboo forests to make the place similar to the savannahs of Kenya.
CALAUIT ISLAND TODAY
Today, the African animals still roaming around the island and the number of animals is roughly the same as the original number. What adds to the mystery is that it was all done without fanfare and with little public knowledge until the People’s Power revolution toppled the Marcos oligarchy in 1986.
The island is being promoted to tourists, where the animals and their habitation provide a glimpse of Africa in a remarkable tropical setting.
“Calauit Island… Coron is really worth a visit!“ KrisAquino said via Webstagram. Her Calauit adventure was featured on show, KrisTV last March 9,2012.
All of the existing African wildlife are Philippine-born.
The best time to be in Calauit would be 7am-9am and around 4pm, because the animals are hiding if it’s too hot.
HOW TO GET THERE
You can reach the Calauit Island by air. There are daily flights offered by Cebu Pacific, AirphilExpress andZestAir from Manila to Busuanga (Francisco B. Reyes Airport). Travel time is 45 minutes.
So, we flew from Manila to Busuanga and from Busuanga Airport, we took a van to Coron town for an hour (P150.00/person 2012 rate).
When we got to Coron Town, we arranged our Calauit Trip for the following day. We stayed in Luis Bay Travellers Lodge, a newly built home-and-stress-free ambience located on Coron Boulevard. We took all the rest we can get as a preparation for the BIG DAY!
There are two ways on how to get to Calauit Safari Park. First, is a 3-hour travel by land and a 15-minute boat ride to the island. Second, is a 3 to 4-hour boat ride from Coron town straight to the park.
24th of February 2012, we woke-up early, Call Time was 4:00AM, We left Coron by boat at around 4:40AM. We were 11 in the group, including the 3 boatmen. We arrived in the island …