If you’ve read our first postcard from Mauritius post you will know that our first few days were eventful with Little Z breaking out in chicken pox and confining us to the beach, lots of paddling about in the ocean and a million sandcastles of all shapes and sizes. Luckily a good few days later they dried up and with no more batches coming out we were ready to join the big Mauritian outdoors and go on Safari and make a visit to the petting zoo.
The Other Half was very excited about going on the Walking with Lions tour. I was slightly less excited at the thought of him being lunch but I was did quite fancy seeing the big turtles and seeing what they had for kids. So off we went to Casela to have a good day out with the animals.
Casela is a massive nature park which house a large number of species and has a lot of fun activities that you can do including ziplining, quad biking, segway-ing to ride around looking at the giraffes and zebras in their natural surroundings, the walking with lions tour, and a petting zoo for kids. I think you could spend the entire day there nipping around doing all the different things. Being pregnant limited my options a fair bit and being a small person, it limited Little Z’s options a bit too. We still had lot of fun working our way round seeing everything. We decided to dot he jeep safari where you’re enclosed in a very secure vehicle and the driver takes you around to see the lions, lionesses, cheetahs and white tigers. Its still a somewhat a bit of a rough ride through all the natural terrain and I needed to hold on tight to both Z and the bump to make sure both were ok. I opted not to do the giraffe and zebra one to give the poor bump a rest. It was so impressive seeing lions close up though. I think I was about a yard away from them most of the time. They mostly ignored the jeep other than to give us a bit of a lazy glance before going back to lying down in the hot afternoon sun.
I think my most favourite bit about the lions and tiger section was seeing the brand new lion and tiger cubs. The lion cubs were about a a month and a half old and the tiger cub was only 5 weeks old. They are currently being cared for by a specialist team and the poor tiger cub is currently teething so was loving a good chew on all his carers big boots. He is named Tigger and kept giving everyone around him a fierce little mew which was very very cute. Every so often he’d go for a cuddle and a good scratch from one of his carers. The lion cubs are named Serengeti, Ichita and Mambo and were very playful. They succeeded in keeping little Tigger a bit more cheery despite all his teething pains and looked very playful together.
It’s amazing to see the relationship of the lions with their carers. I was waiting for the Other Half to come back from his walk and suddenly saw a pack of lions roar at each other and have a bit of a scuffle. It looked like a bit of a push and shove match was going on. They got louder and one of the carers shouted over like a parent telling his kids to pack it in. They stopped pretty much straight away and then kept glancing back over their shoulder to see if the parent was still about. From what I gathered, they rear some of the pack and return them back to the wild and some will stay on at the nature park. Tigger the tiger cub is the first cub to be born in Mauritius in a very very long time and he was evidently a little bit extra special to them all.
The petting zoo is small but big enough for little children to enjoy a lot. Little Z got to pet a fawn and get up close to a pretty big old and wise looking tortoise. He was very wary about getting too near it but I think its the first time he saw one in so much detail. We chose not to enter the Emu’s den as they looked slightly fierce. I did stand for a while watching a man bravely (or stupidly) enter the pen to see whether the Emus would charge at him. They didn’t charge but they did stomp on over quickly to examine the stranger that was entering their space.
Thankfully the Other Half didn’t get eaten for lunch and came back to say the walk with the lions was amazing. It does look very impressive from the 200+ photos he took of the whole thing and there’s even a DVD that we have yet to watch. I think I would maybe possibly try it if I wasn’t pregnant. Next time. Maybe. Oh but then I’d have to look after Z still and I’m happy to sit it out so that the Other Half can have another go. Obviously.