Molokai Ranch Shuts Down Wildlife Safari Park

Reed Travel Features

MAUNALOA, Hawaii -- Molokai Ranch closed its wildlife safari park, which served as one of Molokai's major attractions for the past 20 years. A spokesman said that the safari park did not fit "into the ranch's overall plans" and that it "was not appropriate to Molokai's heritage or culture."

The 800-acre park, called the Molokai Ranch Wildlife Conservation Park in recent years, contained 100 African and Asian animals, including giraffe, zebra, barbary sheep, eland and oryx. A two-hour van tour was held three times a day, five days a week. The ranch will continue to care for the animals but has yet to decide on their future.

Brierley Investments Ltd., a New Zealand-based, publicly held international corporation, inherited the safari park when it acquired the ranch in 1991. Some years ago, it reduced the size of the safari park and the number of animals, which originally totaled approximately 350. Safari park tours remained open to the public when the ranch diversified into ecotourism with the opening of its Great Molokai Ranch Trail last year.

The commissionable adventure vacation product includes campground accommodations in luxury tents it calls "tentalows" and three meals a day. The product also includes one activity a day, with the choice ranging from kayaking, sailing excursions and beach activities to horseback trail riding, hikes, mountain biking and Hawaiian cultural activities.

The safari park was one of the options for guests as well as the public.

The ranch opened its first campground, Paniolo Camp, near its Maunaloa headquarters, with 40 one- and two-tent units, last November. Its second, Kolo Camp, with 20 single-tent units, opened on the south shore on Sept. 1.

Rack rates, which are per person, double occupancy, are $185 at Paniolo and $215 at Kolo.

For further information or to make reservations, agents can call the ranch at (800) 254-8871.

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