Since its inaguration in February, more than 35,400 enthusiasts of eco-tourism, nature, and the animal world, have visited the Sharjah Safari, the newest destination added by the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah (EPAA). The Safari was unveiled by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and will be closed to visitors during the summer months from June 20 until September 2022.
As the largest Safari outside of Africa, Sharjah Safari is located in the Al Bridi Reserve in the Central Region, serving as both a tourist location for wildlife lovers, as well as an avenue for scientific research and breeding programs of endangered species. Sharjah Safari has become a favourable destination for visitors who wish to see and learn about different species of animals.
The Sharjah Safari houses a distinguishing group of animals originating from different parts of Africa and 12 unique environments .
The Safari extends over an area of 8 square kilometres, with a large natural lake, scenic picnic area for visitors, and numerous cafes.
The most important ecological and natural tourist destination unparalleled in the region
Her Excellency Hana Saif Al Suwaidi, Chairperson of the Environment and Protected Areas Authority in Sharjah (EPAA), said: "Sharjah Safari is the largest safari in the world outside Africa, and is a true African nature reserve. We have witnessed a great turnout since its opening, and have remained strict and cautious in regards to all precautionary and preventive measures for the safety of our visitors, staff, and the animals. As a natural tourist destination unparalleled in the region, the Safari has a vital and effective role in preserving biodiversity and wildlife, highlights the efforts the UAE undertakes to enrich natural life and protect endangered animals.”
HE Hana Saif Al Suwaidi added: “Sharjah Safari calls attention to the importance and lucrative position of eco-tourism in the country. We essentially ‘transport’ tourists and visitors through the various regions of Africa, showcasing how animals live in their diverse environments that we have replicated here in Sharjah."
Sharjah Safari contains several areas that mimic the natural regions of Africa, and the first area, “Into Africa”, takes visitors on a unique walking experience to explore the wildlife endemic to the islands and archipelagos scattered along the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean.
The second region, the Sahel, is represented by deserts, grasslands and diverse wildlife. It stretches in Africa from the Atlantic coast of Mauritania in the west to Eritrea and the Red Sea in the east. It is a transitional zone rich in wildlife between the Sahara Desert in the north and the Savannah to the south.
The third region, the Savanna, in eastern and southern Africa extends from the coast in the north to the Kalahari in the southwest. This African tropical grassland covers half the area of the African continent and is home to the largest concentration of biodiversity on Earth.
While the fourth region, the Serengeti, celebrates the largest migration of animals in the world every year, as large groups of herbivores migrate across the Serengeti plains and works to attract predators and animals that feed on carrion, crossing the Mara River, where Nile crocodiles lie in the murky waters. These crocodiles are dangerous to migratory herbivores.
The fifth region, Ngorongoro, formed from an extinct crater, is a unique ecosystem and home to some of Africa’s most famous species. While the sixth region, “Moremi”, was inspired by the canyons and valleys of southwest Africa formed over centuries by the heavy monsoon rains; These dry and sandy riverbeds contain aquifers that support life throughout the dry season, including the tallest animal on Earth.
So far, there are more than 50,000 animals from more than 120 species of animals that live in Africa, and the black rhino is one of the most critical and rare animals in the safari. In addition, more than 100,000 African Acacia trees were planted at Sharjah Safari, and the plants vary between local and African species.