Selwo Aventura W Esteponie. Na Safari Do Anadluzji ???

Selwo Aventura in Estepona. A Safari in Andalusia???

+ Wildlife observation sites around Málaga / Andalusia

Selwo in Estepona is advertised as an exotic adventure and fun for the whole family, where you can view wild animals while riding through the park in a typical safari vehicle.

Browsing park's website I imagined that we would find there a mini Game Park, in the likeness of those we often visited while living in the South Africa. Animals in such reserves follow their instincts, not confined to cages. And of course, I understand that it's not impossible to create a home in Europe on a large, open space for lions, ostriches, giraffes, African monkeys, and tropical lizards. But if the park is meant to have the character of safari, then I expected that at least the stands for large animal species would be of an appropriate size.

Some photos from Africa...

The whole park is indeed beautifully designed, hanging bridges, you can rent here lodges – a place where you can spend the night, with cozy bars and rest areas. You can spend several hours there, following the map, passing by beautiful vegetation divided into botanical sections, buuut… for me, the sight of hippos wallowing in small, muddy ponds, lacking enough space to move freely, was simply depressing. What I disliked the most was the giraffe enclosure, maybe because I had images of Africa in my head, where I watched these majestic animals traverse kilometers, nibbling on grass and leaves from trees and bushes. Here, they stood stretching their long necks to feeders with hay, and that was pretty much all they could do, as there wasn't much space for them to roam, similar to the situation with zebras, antelopes, and other hoofed animals. I won't even start on the elephants, which, despite being featured in advertisements, fortunately, we did not find in the park in Estepona.

Let's talk about ethics

Unfortunately, not all zoos or parks that keep exotic animals in captivity are scientific centers, such as those where biologists strive to preserve and reproduce species at risk of extinction. Even these seemingly positive actions bring a lot of controversy. Selwo in Estepona prides itself on being part of a network of organizations where animal welfare is of utmost interest, but, did you know that only about 3% of zoo budgets are allocated to nature conservation projects?

Does watching such beautiful and diverse creatures, 90% of whom were born in captivity, while the rest were taken from their natural habitat, supposed to stir empathy in us, especially among children? I believe it only does when we know how they got there and why they are there...

The sight of a cheetah, which will never be able to run dozens of kilometers reaching its record speeds, in a zoo condemned to senselessly walk in circles behind protective glass, as well as other species trying awkwardly to find shelter in cramped enclosures from the omnipresent gaze of onlookers, is supposed to relax us?
In their natural habitat, animals never seek human company, and one must make a veeeeery concerted effort to get close to them.

I won't write a word about the dolphin park in Benalmadena, except maybe that you can sail out from the port to observe them in their natural habitat.

What are little ones supposed to learn from visiting such parks?
What do you think of it?

If your children, and you, feel like visiting a nice zoo then I recommend it, both the one in Estepona and Fuengirola BIO PARK, which my few friends and I, after all, liked better.

PS I didn't write this text to induce guilt, sadness, or anger in anyone... I visit such places. Aggressive advertising effectively attracts the attention of little ones, inviting them to various attractions, and we, as parents, of course, want our children to have a good time. I didn't want to spoil my Little One's joy of visiting animals, but I was worried that an early message about why zoos are not the best place for animals might be too difficult for a preschooler to understand. However, I'm glad that he started to reflect on this matter very early on, perhaps I had a hand in it... And I would very much like more people to want to learn what zoos really are. + Here Click Here and Click Here you can read more.

I hope that soon, keeping animals in captivity for entertainment and financial gain will no longer be one of the ways to spend family time, especially when we have so many alternative opportunities to admire our smaller sisters and brothers in their natural habitats.

Selwo Aventura W Esteponie. Na Safari Do Anadluzji ???

Wildlife observation sites around Málaga / Andalusia:

  • Benalmadena - Motor boat trips for dolphin sightings
  • Tarifa - opportunities to observe many species of whales, dolphins and even orcas, as well as the migration of European birds in the Parque Natural del Estrecho. I recommend observation with the company Firmm From Tarifa. I will also soon write a bit about the whale watching.
  • Nature Park Guadalhorce, just outside Málaga - wild flamingos, eagles, ospreys, seagulls, and other numerous bird species
  • Mountains of Benalmadena, Malaga, Torcal de Antequera - chamois, eagles, and other species
  • Ekoreserva Ojen - Animal park, the possibility of meeting horned, but in a free area 
  • El Chorro area - many eagles and vultures' nests on the rocks
  • Diving / snorkeling around Nerja, Maro, Benalmadena - you can observe species of colorful fish, underwater flora and fauna
  • National Park Doñana – the province of Huelva / Sevilla – this park is a haven for numerous migratory birds, such as geese, flamingos, and Spanish imperial eagles. Moreover, you can encounter other species of wild animals here, such as the Iberian lynx.

Always on the move, though sometimes longing for a bit of boredom... 😉 My passions? Technology, photography, psychology, diving into various reads, and sports...especially the aquatic varieties! Professionally, I design websites, graphics, etc. I'm also the author of a website and a photographer at 📸

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