Sharjah Safari plans to be 'unparalleled wildlife attraction'

Preparations continue for launch of the largest safari park outside Africa

An upcoming wildlife attraction in Sharjah promises to be an "unparalleled natural destination in the region".

Preparations are gathering pace for Sharjah Safari, which will be home to more than 120 species – including rare animals native to Africa, the rarest of which will be the black rhinoceros.

The safari, which will be the largest in the world outside Africa, will have more than 100,000 native and African trees, the most important of which are Acacia tortilis.

Officials at the Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) unveiled the logo for the eagerly awaited tourist spot at a press conference on Thursday.

Hana Al Suwaidi, chairwoman of the EPAA, said the sprawling park will be made up of 12 environments representing the terrain of Africa and will include a section for giraffes, 15 of which were released in the wild to adapt to the safari atmosphere, and an area for rhinos.

"With the approval of Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member and Ruler of Sharjah, the Sharjah Safari project, set within the Albridi Reserve in Al Dhaid, was the most important event in the authority's extended journey," Ms Al Suwaidi said.

"Many years of work have gone into protecting the environment, preserving nature and ensuring the availability of resources for future generations, as national wealth and sustainable development.

"The Emirate of Sharjah and the UAE will soon have a tourist attraction and an unparalleled natural destination in the region. We look forward to Sharjah Safari contributing to preserving biodiversity and wildlife and highlighting the efforts of the emirate."

The Sharjah Safari logo features four animals; an elephant, a giraffe, a lion and a rhinoceros.

Safari already making its mark

An opening date for the safari is still to be confirmed but it is already carrying out crucial conservation work.

In August, the birth of a southern white rhino on site was announced, giving new hope for a species that has faced the threat of extinction for more than a century.

The baby rhino was the result of a breeding programme, supported by the UN, that focuses on African native species.

The southern white rhino is primarily found in South Africa and continues to be in peril from poachers.

First thought to be extinct as far back as 1895, the species is making something of a comeback, with its population now estimated to be in excess of 20,000.

“There were many challenges in breeding this species. They are used to living in open landscape space in the savannahs,” Ms Al Suwaidi said at the time.

“They prefer humid environments because their skin is very dry. It was a big challenge to create the adequate environment and breed it here in Sharjah.

“Thankfully, the species found themselves in a safe environment in the safari and the breeding worked."

Updated: September 24th 2021, 7:05 AM
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