It seems that the destiny of the centennial palm grove, made up of about four thousand trees and known as Los Leones or The Lions, in reference to the two sculptures at its entrance, was preordained.
This was the location selected to establish the Rio Safari Elche Park in 1983, by the CV 865 road which links Elche, which is nine kilometres away, and Santa Pola, just four kilometres away.
A Hundred Species
Rio Safari Park are specialists in rearing and caring for wild and exotic animals. Sea lions, antelopes, ostriches, bisons, boa constrictors, zebras, chameleons, cockatoos, chimpanzees, crows, llamas, jaguars, dromedaries, hippos and giraffes may be found here amongst almost a hundred species and nearly 800 animals.
To enjoy their unique company a guided tour by train may be taken around the park. There are also various shows to enjoy including the sea lions, with the possibility of bathing in their company and the guacamayos.
Rio Safari Elche, through its charitable foundation, has developed a therapeutic programmes involving sea lions, designed for people with disabilities.
Paellas and Crocodiles
Some highlights of the Rio Safari Park are the reptile cave, where the habitats of reptiles and amphibians are recreated, the aviary, the crocodile farm and the chimpanzee island with more than 1,000 square metres of open space, with vines, rocks and hammocks as well as the farm school, with painting, bread baking and recycling workshops. Young children may get to know the little goats and lemurs and have a ride on a pony or dromedary.
In the restaurant it is possible to taste a typical rice dish baked over wood chips. For those who prefer to bring their own food, there is a picnic area and there is also a cafeteria.
In addition there are trampolines, a kart circuit and, in the summer, a swimming pool with slide.
Winter: 10:00 to 18:00.
Summer: 10:00 to 20:00.
Adults: 22.50 €.
Children from 3 to 12 years old: 17 € (proof of age required).
Special prices for groups of over 20 people with prior reservation): Adults 14 €, Children 12 €.
These prices include: a guided tour by train, a visit to the reptile cave, the aviary, the crocodile farm, the farm school, the animal shows and, in the summer, the swimming pool.