Since our past visits to El Nido and Coron, my list of favorite experiences in Palawan has grown. With its abundance of white sand, palm fringed atolls, one of the most unique islands to visit in Palawan is Calauit Island, where the only wildlife sanctuary and game reserve in the Philippines is found.
A morning boat ride took us to the island (Fashion tip: Bring a hat! Take a water bottle! And wear a swimsuit under lightweight, quick-drying clothes, both for the trip at sea and the sweat-inducing ride around the park!), where we were briefed before boarding a charmingly rustic jeepney that drove us to where the animals were roaming freely.
Spread out over 3,700 hectares, the sanctuary is home to a variety of wildlife, like Calamian deer, Philippine crocodiles and wild boar, but most strikingly the zebras and giraffes which were originally brought in in 1977 to help save endangered animals from Africa, and which flourished and bred so that we saw a good number of them walking around with their babies trailing close behind.
Fashion has always taken inspiration from beautiful animal prints, but these unique markings do more than look pretty since they function as identification marks for each animal (much like our finger prints). I got to admire the markings up close when we had the opportunity to feed the giraffes their favorite leafy acacia branches–although in this case we were the ones fenced in and the giraffes were the ones free to approach us 🙂
Cheers to the care and preservation of all animals and kudos to the wonderful caretakers of Calauit’s wildlife sanctuary!
*Photos by Tippi & Ito Ocampo