What I’ve been doing this week – visiting the pandas in Adelaide, South Australia

Hi Frugalistas!

Regular readers will know I tend not to write about life here in Australia.  I do travel regularly with my family at home, but don’t write about it.  This week though I’m making an exception – MissG and I visited Adelaide, capital of South Australia for a hot date with two VIPs – Very Important Pandas that is!  Funi and Yan Yan are the only pandas in the Southern Hemisphere and have been on loan from the Chinese Government for the past 3 years.  No visit to Adelaide is complete without a visit to see them.

The entrance to the panda jungle

The entrance to the panda jungle

Pandas sleep between 16 and 18 hours per day and we were taking a two hour plane flight to see them, so I wanted to make sure they were up and about to receive us.  Miss G and I therefore booked a special panda package.  We were fortunate to be part of a group of four who visited both the Chinese pandas and the red pandas in their specially built Panda forest first thing in the morning before the zoo opened to the general public.

Our guide Kim teaching us about baby pandas.  It is hoped Funi and Yan Yan will be parents one day!

Our guide Kim teaching us about baby pandas. It is hoped Funi and Yan Yan will be parents one day!

First we got to meet the red pandas, and watched them eat their breakfast (including their favorite pears and grapes) while we learned about these delightful, busy animals:

A starter of bamboo before the fruit

A starter of bamboo before the fruit

IMG_1812

Learning about these beautiful animals while he enjoys his fruit

Learning about these beautiful animals while he enjoys his fruit

Then it was onto the stars of the show, Funi (the girl) and Yan Yan (the boy).  They live in separate enclosures.  Pandas are solitary animals in the wild, and like many women, Funi gets a bit sick of Yan Yan’s antics, so it’s separate quarters for them.  We were fortunate to see both pandas having their breakfast – bamboo and panda cakes for Funi, and panda cakes for Yan Yan.  Panda cakes are baked biscuits made with left over bamboo, corn, fruit and protein mix.  Their keeper hides them each morning before the pandas wake up – so it’s a kind of panda hide and seek for breakfast!

Funi enjoying that first stalk of bamboo for the day

Funi enjoying that first stalk of bamboo for the day

Yan Yan looking for his panda cake

Yan Yan looking for his panda cake

Must be in there somewhere!

Must be in there somewhere!

Funi smiling with her panda cake

Funi smiling with her panda cake

Yan Yan on the hunt for another panda cake

Yan Yan on the hunt for another panda cake

Despite the cold wind, what a great morning!

If you are in Adelaide anytime, do visit the pandas and say hi!

Note:  the author booked and paid for her own tickets to Adelaide and to the Adelaide Zoo.  The Panda & Friends tour we went on is a special tour that is booked separately to normal zoo entrance.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , ,

8 Comments on “What I’ve been doing this week – visiting the pandas in Adelaide, South Australia”

  1. Jessica of HolaYessica 05/07/2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Those are so cute!

  2. chrissyglenn 05/07/2013 at 6:15 pm #

    Oh my goodness. I didn’t know you could do that in S.A.! I’m booking my ticket now!

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 05/07/2013 at 6:47 pm #

      They were lovely. Go early while they’re still awake (zoo opens at 9.30 and they were still having their breakfast)

  3. Pretraveller 05/07/2013 at 7:13 pm #

    Jo, it looks like you had a wonderful visit to Adelaide! I didn’t realise that you could see panda bears in Australia – something else to add to my ever growing list…

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 05/07/2013 at 7:16 pm #

      It was lovely! What I discovered too late is that you can do factory tours of the Haigh’s choc factory. Next time…….

  4. jpilkington09 27/07/2013 at 7:32 am #

    Went to Adelaide a few years ago, but spent more time with Kangaroos than Pandas – amazing creatures though!

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 27/07/2013 at 7:43 am #

      And if i had come all this way, I would do exactly the same thing. We can see kangaroos anytime, but appreciate that for visitors they would be at the top of the list.

      Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: