We started with feeding the Lorikeets. This was *Akash’s favourite part. He had been looking forward to this. To feed the Lorikeets, you buy food for them outside their enclosure, go in and hold it out to them. The birds swoop down on your arm to feed. Some of them even hop on to your head!!
After the Lorikeets encounter, we went straight to the balloon ride. This was the other thing Akash was really excited about. Since we had to wait for our turn, my sister suggested that we go look at some other animal and come back, maybe the lions. Akash flatly refused.
I have always wished go on a hot air balloon ride over the Pushkar Mela held every November in India or over the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. I had never thought imagined I would go up in a balloon over a Safari Park! This was a helium balloon that rises to 400 feet and facilitates a birdseye view of the park. When we came down, Akash was quite adamant on having another go at it. That ofcourse, didn’t happen. We moved on the see the lions.
Next on our list was the African Tram Safari. Here, I was able to see the animals I missed on my Kenya trip and refresh my memory of those I had seen. Akash sulked through the initially part of the tram ride partly due to the disappointment of not getting to go up in the balloon again and partly from hunger. A short while, few animals and a lollipop later he was loving it.
After a quick lunch, we found we still had time to go see the gorillas. I’ve been to
San Diego zoo a couple of times, but have somehow missed this exhibit each time. It is my dearest wish to someday go back to Africa to see them in their natural habitat. On the way to the see the gorillas, we passed the bat eared foxes. When they were pointed out to Akash, he broke out into an enthusiastic song, “What does the fox say? ringdingdingdingdingdingding…” At the gorilla enclosure there were a few adult gorilla and one absolutely adorable baby. One of the gorilla was playing and was all set to come down a rope. Much to the amusement of everyone around, Akash calls out, ” Be careful!!” “Be careful Gorilla, if you fall down you will get a giant aowie!!”
* Akash – my 3 yr old nephew