Imagine being given the opportunity to wake up to lions, eat your meals with lemurs, and even share your bath with bears, all from the comfort of a unique new lodging experience.
Nestled in the heart of Australia's political capital, The Jamala Wildlife Lodge at the National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra offers guests a taste of Africa from the comfort of luxury accommodation.
Spread across three locations in the zoo, the 18 rooms, which range from giraffe treehouses to jungle bungalows, offer an intimate experience with all manner of wildlife.
Located just ten minutes from Canberra's CBD, the Jamala Wildlife Lodge opened its doors just last week.
Owner and operator Richard Tindale said that the Lodge was set up in an effort to educate visitors about aiding the survival of many of the world's endangered species.
It’s great for the animals; they’re going to get more space. It’s great for the viewing public; they’re going to get more things to see. It will be great for tourism and just for the local community,' he told The Chronicle.
Funds from the 'once in a lifetime' Jamala Lodge will be funnelled straight back into the breeding programs run by the zoo.
The Ushaka Lodge, which houses up to 26 people, is built around the monkey enclosure and has a built-in aquarium which offers private views of some of the zoo's sharks.
The Lodge comprises six king size bedrooms, communal dining, an open bar, two generous lounge areas, and an outdoor terrace, along with a pool and spa.
Only metres from the edge of Lake Burley Griffin, the indoor and outdoor entertaining areas have magnificent views across the lake to Black Mountain.
There’s a room with its own little jetty and it comes out over the shark tank here and so the people who stay in that room will be able to go to their bedroom and pat that shark,' Mr Tindale said.
The whole idea is when people are here it’s very interactive – wherever they go they’re going to have an animal pretty close to them.'
The Giraffe Treehouses are set amongst the giraffe enclosures, and the Jungle Bungalows are luxurious individual suites which adjoin either lion, cheetah, brown bear, or Malaysian sun bear enclosures.
The main room in the Jungle Bungalow is a glass U-shaped which allows guests the unique opportunity to sleep, eat, and relax just centimetres from your very own African safari.
The all-inclusive overnight packages incorporates two private tours of the zoo, and several immersive dining opportunities including a three-course meal overlooking the natural habitat of lions and hyenas.
Australian Capital Tourism deputy director Jonathan Kobus said that the zoo would be a boon to the local tourism sector.
The National Zoo receives no government funding and will continue to be a family-run business, said Mr Tindale.
family-run business: 家族企业