Many of our hotel guests are often on the lookout for new and exciting activities and attractions when they come and stay with us. One of the most popular attractions is the Selwo Aventura wildlife park. I actually visited the park with my family recently so, for the benefit of those of you who have yet to visit this amazing location, here’s an account of our fun day at Selwo Aventura.
Located in the hills near the coastal town of Estepona, Selwo Aventura is approximately one hour’s drive from Sunset Beach Club. Although it might seem a little far to some, it’s well worth the drive!
Parking is easy as there is a large area just in front of the main entrance to the park. Once you’ve collected your entrance tickets it’s time to experience the magic! The park is split into four main areas or routes for you to visit, so I’ll give you a brief summary of what you will find in each and give you a few tips as to things you’ll want to see
This will be your first contact with the amazing wildlife of Selwo. The impressive central lake with its lush and tropical vegetation is the most striking feature of this part of the park. Nature’s Portico is laid out in such a way that you can easily walk around it, much like a zoo. In this area you’ll find an interesting selection of different species including primates, pelicans and colourful flamingos.
Recently added attractions are the new enclosures including the cheetah’s habitat, the lynx enclosure and a special area for the red pandas.
Fun activity to try out – Suspended over the large lake is the longest zip line in Europe. You and the kids can experience an adrenalin rush as you fly across the lake! There’s an extra charge for using the zip line but judging by people’s faces, it’s definitely worth it!
Once you’ve walked around ‘Nature’s Portico’, it’s time to begin your journey into the heart of Africa; you’ll be jumping on board special all terrain trucks which will transport you to the centre of the park.
This is where the real fun begins. With over 50.000 square metres of territory and home to a large and diverse selection of African and Asian species, this area of the park is spectacular.
On the large trucks, you’ll be taken to an area called “The Reserve of the Lakes”. This was probably our favourite part of Selwo as my daughters got to see some of their favourite animals including giraffes, white rhino’s, elephants, asian buffalos, wildebeest, zebras and lots more…
The Central Village also includes areas where you can enjoy a picnic (if you brought your own) as well as a fast food restaurant; this came in handy as by now the girls were getting peckish
Just around the corner is the bird exhibition which is definitely worth a visit. You’ll get to see eagles, vultures, condors and others birds of prey flying freely as well as learn fascinating facts about them.
Another of the more popular attractions in this area of the park is the Camel’s Walk. Here, for a few euros, you get the chance to experience riding on a camel! Although my kids were a little young to try this, there were plenty of families making the most of this unique opportunity.
One of the newest attractions in the Central Village is the Bengal Tiger exhibit. Did you know that there are less than 7000 specimens of this beautiful creature on the whole planet? Don’t miss this one!
Next on the girl’s list was a visit to the reptile exhibit with its anacondas and pythons! They insisted we visit these slippery creatures, however, as I suspected, we weren’t there for long…too scary for them!
The final recommended stop in this area of Selwo is The Great Bridge of Africa; 100 metres in length and suspended 16 metres in the air, you get to imagine yourself crossing a large African river whilst you look down on all the wildlife roaming freely
Route of the Valleys
The next stop is the ‘Route of the Valleys’. It’s time to jump aboard the all terrain trucks again and visit the Ravine of the Bears, Tiger Gorge and Lion Hill! No explanation needed as to what you’ll be able to see on this part of the visit You’ll be taken to the highest point of Selwo Aventura where you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the whole park and out towards Gibraltar and the “real”African Coast in the distance.
There is a large restaurant area where you can enjoy a quick snack or a more filling dish of the day. Of course, there are plenty of refreshing drinks and ice creams for the little ones too.
Once you’ve charged up the batteries, it’s time to head back down the hill. You have two choices, you can grab the next truck heading south or walk back to the Central Village area. I recommend the walk. A perfectly signposted path leads you through part of the “Route of the Valleys” and over 3 different hanging bridges.
Canyon of the Birds
The last of the areas you must visit is the Canyon of the Birds. From the Central Village area you can walk back to the main entrance of the park through the Canyon of the Birds. Covered by special nets, this area provides a habitat for many beautiful species of birds. As you make your way down the path you’ll come across toucans, cranes, yellow-billed storks and many other feathered friends.
Dining and Food Options
You can take a pack lunch and eat at one of the designated picnic areas or you can grab a bite to eat at one the fast food kiosks or the ‘Mirador’ Restaurant.
The Korongo fast food area in the Central Village has a good selection of quick snack foods. You can get a burger with fries and soft drink for just €7.99 (if you pre-buy online through the website) if not it’ll cost you €9.99.
At the Mirador de Africa restaurant you’ll get the fantastic views for free, a menu of the day with starter, main course and dessert will set you back €10.90.
Want to Spend the Night at Selwo?
Believe it or not, you can actually spend the night at Selwo Aventura. The Selwo Lodge hotel (3 star) with its Watu and Masai villages is located within the confines of the park. There are 23 cabins which reproduce the typical wood and stone structures from Africa and the interiors have the modern comforts of a hotel. You can get more information about the hotel on the Selwo Aventura website.
Adults – €24.50
Children (3 to 9 years) – €17
Seniors – €17
Quick tip – If you buy through the website, you can get discounts on these prices (approx. €1 per person)
10.00am to 6:00pm during the week (April, May, June & September)
10:00am to 7:00pm weekends (April, May, June & September)
10:00am to 8:00pm in July and August
10:00am to 6:00pm in October
10:00am to 6:00pm on Friday, Saturday & Sunday in November
Closed from 10th December 2012 to the end of February 2013
How to get to Selwo Aventura
From Sunset Beach Club you’ll take the coast road to Fuengirola and then follow the signs to Marbella(along the A7/N340 road) Once you get to Marbella continue on the same road and follow signs for Estepona. Selwo is located at Km 162.5. Don’t worry as the exit is well signposted. You can see a map and find more information at www.selwo.es .
So there you have it, a complete and – hopefully useful – review of a day out at Selwo Aventura. Next time you visit the Costa del Sol for your holiday (hopefully staying with us at Sunset Beach Club ;-)) make sure you plan a day out at Selwo Aventura, you’ll have a blast, guaranteed!