If you are dreaming of safari experience in South Africa, you should go and see our local version of it at the Calauit Wildlife Sanctuary located in Calauit Island – part of the Calamian group of Islands in the Northwestern coast of Palawan.
The Calauit Island sanctuary is a 3700 hectare habitat for Palawan endemic and African wildlife that are facing extinction.
Calauit was created in 1976 by President Ferdinand Marcos and declared a wildlife sanctuary. This is no ordinary tropical island, Imagine a calm and peaceful remote island in the so called Philippines Last Frontier – truly a Shangri-La.
Before the sanctuary was created, the International Union of Conservation of Nature in Kenya begged for such a sanctuary to help save the African animals that were being caught up in the civil violence in that area.
Upon your visit to the sanctuary you will encounter zebras, impalas, and giraffes that live in perfect harmony with bear cats, Calamian deer, mouse deer and peacocks. Interesting to note is that from the original group of giraffes, zebras, bushbucks, elands, topis, waterbucks and gazelles, the animal population has more than quadrupled over a ten year period to about 500 animals.
The increase in animal count is due primarily by the lack of predatory animals on the preserve.
Before the animals came, there were about 250 families that lived on the island and they were consequently relocated to a neighboring island and compensated with land titles.
Recently an aviary was added which houses rare and spectacular birds. There is a small fee to enter, and then an additional small fee which provides you with a guided jeep tour of the national park in a jeep designed with your safety in mind.
Due to the excessive travel time from Coron to Calauit Island, it is recommended that you rent a vehicle in Coron, or you can just hit the safari from Club Paradise like I did.