If you’re thinking that you’ll be visiting a well-built, clean, and pleasant environment in which to keep animals – something like Longleat or Blair Drummond, then think again!
This is a poorly maintained, broken down, dirty and quite depressing location, and to see animals being kept in captivity, where they have very little vegetation or shade was awful. The enclosures are basically scrubland, carved out of the bare earth and have absolutely no relationship or bearing on the animals natural environment.
The sea lion show takes place in a dirty pea-green ‘soup’ and has an amphitheatre made of concrete steps with absolutely no shade from the direct sun, which, on the day of our visit was so hot we couldn’t possibly sit to watch. The dolphin show isn’t included in the admission price, therefore we never bothered going to it.
Even the cafes were dingy, dirty and poorly stocked. On the day of our visit, some were closed despite it still being high season in early September.
To get around the park you have to walk as there are no train rides or facilities for the disabled, so don’t expect any mobility scooters for hire, and, there are a lot of uphill sections and steps. In fact, I’d recommend disabled or elderly visitors to give this a miss, it’s just not suitable or safe.
The kids zone was overgrown with weeds and unusable. I decided to visit the toilets at one stage – the wrong move as I’d forgotten my gas mask – they were stinking and sloshing in water – at least I hope it was water. Thankfully we had anti-bacterial hand wipes with us. The only saving grace was the camel trek of five minutes duration for 3Dinar =£1.
As for the evening Zulu gala dinner and entertainment. Well, the time had been brought forward to 4pm, hardly dinner time. The ‘meal’ was no ‘gala’ dinner in my book. A weak watery soup with stale bread, a salad which was inedible, at least the next course, a Tunisian specialty which was basically a savoury filled deep-fried puff pastry (Brik) was edible, however, that’s more than could be said for the ‘chicken in a pot’ main course. One pot on the table to be shared among six diners. It must have been the smallest chicken in the world because I got a single drumstick! Then the final course consisted of a small plate of hard and unripe tasteless melon and a few grapes. At least there was unlimited wine, coke, and water…
Was it worth the time and cost to take the family on this trip – very definitely not, and I’d seriously suggest those thinking about a day out here give proper consideration to their financial outlay for the very poor return. The whole place has a running theme of being uncared for and seriously underfunded, leading to poor quality conditions and facilities.