Calauit Island, Palawan, Philippines

February 2013
This was our fourth day in Palawan and last day of exploring this beautiful paradise! We started off really early and we were up and out at 4:30 AM! This is because our first stop, Calauit Island, is a 3-hour-boat ride from Coron. It can be reached thru land as well but it will take longer because the roads are not asphalt, which means it will be bumpy and dusty as well. Please do bear in mind that if you are to go by boat, there are no stop overs. So for those who are sea-sick, this might not be the best option. The waves were a bit strong but they were not scary big. We felt like prisoners being sent out to a deserted island. As it was dawn, we didn't see any other boats! 
Calauit Island is a wildlife sanctuary initiated by Bong Bong Marcos (former President Marcos' son). The animals were imported from Kenya and were being tested if they can survive the island's climate and condition.
Nevertheless, the animals, giraffes and zebras to name a few, are now living and continuously growing in numbers, in this beautiful safari!
After three hours of a bumpy boat ride, we have finally arrived!

There are options on how you can explore this island: Option 1: pay and ride Option 2: walk for free.
Our guide expected we would go for the first option, being all girls, but actually to his surprise, we chose to walk instead! ha! It would be more fun to explore by walking even under the scorching heat of the sun! We were just up for some adventure!
We started around 9 AM, just in time to feed some of the animals. We were walking for barely 5 minutes when we were welcomed by a group of Calamian deer! It is so refreshing to see them just eating freely and doing their normal routine, without cages.

Then off we go to feed Gerard, the Giraffe! Being an animal lover myself, I felt really happy feeding him and getting this up-close! He was really a gentle giant!

I didn't realise giraffes can be that strong! While trying to feed Gerard, I literally felt like he was going to pull me upward too! It was like a tug-of-war while feeding him.


Before there were no barriers in feeding the giraffes. But there has been a recent accident wherein one of the guests was apparently kicked by one of the giraffes. So for safety reasons, guests can feed the giraffes from inside a fence. At the end of the day, they are still wild animals. So as visitors to their home, we should still take precaution.

I think we spent almost an hour with Gerard and the other Calamian deer. They were just so adorable. And we had so much fun feeding them!

So we continued our walk, and not to far off, we spotted a group of zebras just hanging out. Little did I know that their stripes are actually unique for each one of them, just like a human fingerprint.

They were quite anxious when we were trying to approach to get a closer peek (and photos). This position (as shown below) is what they naturally do as "look out" to warn the others against possible attack from predators or humans. 

Not all of the animals can freely roam around the island and are therefore enclosed on cages.


We also encountered some unusual trees. I didn't know that there is actually a camouflage tree! I was indeed learning a lot from this trip.

This was definitely worth the three-hour-boat-ride and a 4 AM wake-up-call! I am really glad we have included this in our trip. Not only have I learned a lot, I have enjoyed getting close to the animals. If you ever come to Coron, make sure to go to Calauit Island too.