Spending night in the forest – for tarsier researchers an everyday activity, for most of locals a night mare, for tourist on the other hand it might be a challenge and a new experience.
The idea of organizing a night safari tours where tourists can spot tarsiers and other unique wildlife was carried out by Cristy Burlace, founder of Simply Butterflies Conservation Centre in Bilar, and Milada Řeháková, Tarsius project leader, already in 2010. Unfortunately there is not much tradition in organizing jungle safaris in the Philippines therefore it was hard to make tourist to come over. The situation changed in 2012. The Tarsius project got a substantial support from Czech Ministry of foreign affairs which helped us to focus more on development of ecotourism in neighbouring Rajah Sikatuna National Park.
With new promotional fliers a new round of promotion has been done and the Night Safari in Bilar has become more popular over the last three months. “We track the feedback of safari guest by asking them to complete a questionnaire at the end of the safari. 100% said it was better that expected and 95% said they would recommend it to others. Groups that have encountered the wild tarsier have been totally trilled with the experience. All groups have thoroughly enjoy their encounter in the rainforest at night, seeing and learning about the animals and plants that they normally don’t have a chance to experience in a truly wild situation. Been in the safety of a trained guide, guest have enjoyed watching snakes and spiders that they would normally want to kill or run away from”, says Cristy Burlace.
What is the night safari tour?
Tarsiers, a symbol of Bohol and natural heritage of the Philippines as well as many other unique wildlife of Bohol are nocturnal. Therefore we present our night safaris making this the best time to observe tarsiers and other nocturnal wildlife in their natural habitat, and in the natural activity period. Dusk is when the nocturnal animals are just waiting up and starting to feed. The nocturnal way of the world that we don’t normally take the time to stop and look at, is in fact full of life. Besides tarsiers you can encounter flying lemurs, civet cats, bats and fruit bats, owls, frog mouths, nightjars. Frogs and various insect species will sing one of the most fascinating concerts of nature. Thousands of shiny eyes or glowing mushrooms will bring you to the world of fairy-tales. We want to offer a positive eco friendly way to experience the wildlife in natural surrounding and bring about awareness of habitat conservation. Proceeds from Nigh Safari go towards habitat protection, wildlife conservation and provide better eco-friendly livelihood for locals.
If you are searching for an inspiration for your holiday come and join the Night Safari tour inside the Rajah Sikatuna National Park, Bilar and get an amazing experience of being in the tropical forest after dusk. You may enjoy the unique wildlife with all your senses and learn about all the wonders that can be encountered in the forest at night.