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Behind The Experience Monarto Safari Park

This week on our ‘Behind the Experience’ series we head to the Monarto Safari Park, in South Australia. Located one hour from Adelaide, the wildlife park offers the largest safari experience outside Africa. The 1,500-hectare park is home to more than 500 exotic and native animals including Zebra, Giraffes, Rhinos, Meerkats, Chimpanzees, Tasmanian Devils and Lions to name a few. You can even book a close encounter with some of the animals too.

Lion Zookeeper, ChristyLee walks us through an average day at Monarto Safari Park working with beautiful big cats during the Lions360 experience. We also learn more about her favourite Australian holiday and some top tips to get the most out of your visit to Monarto Safari Park.

Behind the Experience Monarto Safari Park Adelaide Experience Oz Blog

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you love most about Monarto Safari Park?

I work with our carnivores, mainly with our African Lions. I’ve been a part of the carnivore team for the past 7 years. Monarto Safari Park is a pretty amazing place to work and I enjoy being around so many passionate people. We all work hard to ensure the animals are enriched, happy and healthy and our visitors enjoy their visit to the park.

2. What does the average day look like for you at the Monarto Safari Park?

Anything but average! Before letting the lions out onto their ten-hectare lion habitat, I enjoy putting some different enrichment items out for them to interact with. This is usually when I get my best video footage of them interacting.

Next, I’ll prepare for our incredible Lions 360 tour. We run the tour twice daily and it’s really popular. In this tour I will meet up to 34 guests and take them inside the 360 dome where they are greeted by our lions that are in the exhibit. It’s the closest you can get to African Lions and everyone raves about it. At Lions 360, the visitors are in the cage, not the lions.

After having some lunch I will spend some time cleaning the lion night quarters and change up their environment by moving and adding some more fun toys to interact with. Then I get ready for our Lions at Bedtime Tour which runs 4 times a week and up to 6 people can book on to come behind the night quarters to feed our lions as they come off exhibit.

After prepping their meat, I’ll welcome the visitors at the lion night quarters. Once finished, I say goodbye to our visitors and then head off for the end of day checks, meat tub cleaning and write up notes from the day in our lion diary.

Behind the Experience Monarto Safari Park Adelaide Experience Oz Blog

3. What is your favourite part of the park and why?

I love spending my lunch break visiting the other side of the park. The visitor centre has a nice café where I can grab some lunch and go for a walk to see other animals including natives and our amazing chimpanzees. Inside the visitor centre, there is a stick insect display, and then I will wander around and have lunch watching the Meerkats, Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies, Porcupines and Chimpanzees which is a nice short stroll. Even though I work here, I always find something fun to see and do!

4. When you aren’t busy welcoming visitors, what is your favourite place to holiday in Australia and why?

We have some beautiful spots to visit in South Australia but my favourite holiday is when I went over to Bremer Bay which is a 5-hour drive from Perth in Western Australia to see Killer whales feeding around the Bremer canyon. They will come and feed in along the continental shelf which drops down 1000 meters in some spots.

The boat trip out took about 2 hours but it was well worth it. Seeing them so close feeding was just amazing. They came so close to the boat as they were very curious and would swim underneath and pop up on the opposite side.

I saw a lot of young males breaching out of the water after they had a feed. It was great to hear from the marine biologists on the boat about how they are capturing data about each individual orca that visits the canyon. They are only seen from January through until March. Any chance to get amongst nature is a definite favourite!

Behind the Experience Monarto Safari Park Adelaide Experience Oz Blog

5. Do you have a top tip you’d like to share with visitors to Monarto Safari Park?

It is a large safari park, in fact you can fit every zoo in Australia in Monarto Safari Park and there’s still room left over, so it’s worth taking the time to explore it on foot or setting aside plenty of time to jump on our Zuloop buses.

Make your visit even better by booking one of our animal experiences; I might be biased but I totally recommend the Lions 360 experience. (We have some easy walking tracks around the park that leads to all the exhibits on the park. My tip is to set aside a whole day if you can!

Are you ready to head on a safari and travel the open plains of Monarto Safari Park for a close encounter with beautiful creatures of the animal kingdom?

Monarto Safari Park is a must-do for families and is a great day trip within close proximity to Adelaide. To learn more about the park and say hello to ChristyLee, purchase your Monarto Safari Park tickets here.

Book Monarto Safari Park Tickets