Jungle Park zoo in Tenerife
Mrs DannyUK found that there was something called Jungle Park zoo about a 40-minute drive from the hotel. The reviews seemed OK and the prices were affordable.
A last minute decision was made to stay away from the pool today and instead to make the most of the hire car we have. More specifically, it was decided that we’d be visiting Jungle Park.
The kids were keen and so no sooner had it been discussed then we were on our way.
Driving in Tenerife
Driving through the Tenerife streets is frightening at best. Mrs DannyUK is doing all of the driving while we are away. This is primarily to save the kids from any travel sickness issues they may suffer as a result of my *ahem* more confident driving.
Tenerfians seem to have little or no fear when driving. They swerve in and out of traffic, choose whatever lane they feel like on a roundabout, regardless of which exit they need and are quick to sit up the back side of your car if they deem you’re driving too slow.
Fortunately, Mrs DannyUK is made of tougher stuff than she lets on. Despite a couple of mishaps where she applied common sense whilst those around her drove in a manner resembling Stevie Wonder in a set of dodgems, we got there in one piece.
The park itself is situated at the top of a hill. Given that our rental car seemed to be powered by a hairdryer rather than an engine, I worried we wouldn’t get there. We did, eventually, though at times it felt as though the car would give up on us.
Jungle Park prices
I have to admit at this stage that my expectations were low. I’ve been spoilt in the UK when visiting the brilliant Chester Zoo or the local Colchester Zoo. They have set a standard which I was confident that Tenerife wouldn’t meet.
I’m pleased to say that I was wrong.
We arrived at the park not long after 10 am, which is when they open.
Paying 26 Euros for each adult, the price of a ticket for kids aged 10 and under was 9.50 Euros. Having noticed the pricing when we arrived, a quick conversation was had with the 11-year-old stepdaughter who magically turned 10 shortly after we had spoken.
71 Euros isn’t cheap for a family of four, but it’s on a par with UK zoo prices. Cheap if you spend a day there, expensive if you’re there for only an hour or two.
It’s worth noting that if you jump online and go to the official Jungle Park website (link is in English) you can get a 2 Euro discount on each ticket you buy. I didn’t know that at the time or I’d have bought the tickets using my mobile in the car park!
The first thing we did when we got in was to head for the exotic bird show that was scheduled to start at 11 am.
We followed the map and were soon sitting in what looked like a Roman amphitheatre, waiting for the show to start.
Exotic bird show
We weren’t disappointed. What I thought may be a 40-minute time-waster turned out to be a fantastic start to the day.
With two keepers presenting the show, they flicked between Spanish and English commentary. The English was spoken at speed with a strong Spanish accent. As a result, it wasn’t always easy to hear what was being said.
Not that it distracted from the show. The sheer range of exotic birds was amazing to witness, and the close proximity to them was awesome.
The exotic bird show is set up in such a way that the birds are actively encouraged to fly close to the spectators.
On a couple of occasions the trainers handed out small pieces of fruit for spectators to hold in the palm of their hand. The birds would then eat the food directly from the hand.
The entire show was free and lasted around 45 minutes.
Ropebridge, Bobsleigh and more
After the show had finished we decided to make our way through the rest of the park. Although it’s called a park I’d definitely refer to it as a zoo.
Among the various other animals on display, we saw lions, tigers and leopards, penguins and primates as well as lots of others.
We stopped in the early afternoon to watch the sea lion show which again was free. Whether it was the heat of the sun or just having had a full day, I’m not sure. The sea lion show wasn’t a patch on the bird show we’d seen earlier. In fact, had it not been for the welcome sit-down, I’d have rather missed it out entirely.
Having said that, I’ve just asked Mrs DannyUK about the sea lion show and she insists that both her and stepdaughter enjoyed it. She also insinuated that I may have been tired and hot by this stage. That explains my grumpiness towards the beasts, I guess!
After that had finished we were back on our way around the park. Infuriatingly, despite having lots of signage throughout the park, it’s incredibly easy to get lost. We followed signs to several points only to find that the signs seemed to stop and we weren’t where we expected to be.
Referring to the free map given to us as we entered helped us find our way. It would be better if the signposts were laid out in a much more constructive way.
Not that it prevented us from hunting out whatever it was that we wanted to find.
The kids were keen to go over a rope bridge or two and then to use the bobsleigh ride, the latter of which was 4 euros per person. Worth it in so far as both kids went on twice and thoroughly enjoyed it.
As we started to exit the park we visited the small guinea pig farm. Food for the small furry creatures was available to buy for 2 euros. The kids spent some time chasing and feeding them before calling it a day.
We eventually left sometime around 4 pm having spent the majority of the day there.
Apart from the signs, the only downside was eating at the park. I’d avoid the restaurant, where the food was poor and the service was non-existent.
In fact, it was only when I got up to leave having waited for 20 minutes for a waitress to walk by that someone acknowledged me, and I suspect that was only because we’d finished eating and they feared we were about to leave without paying.
It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in South Tenerife though. The entrance price is worth it for the sheer amount of time you spend there. Both Mrs DannyUK and I loved it, and the kids came away extremely happy with the day too.