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Safari Resort Plans for Monarto Zoo
Monarto Zoo, east of Adelaide, is seeking private investors to develop a wildlife experience similar to those provided by large African game parks.
The 1,000-hectare zoo, located 70 kilometres from Adelaide, has acquired an additional 500 hectares of land and, working with Zoos SA and the South Australian Tourism Commission, plans to develop a world standard eco-tourism resort boasting both African and Australian wildlife, 4x4 tours, fine dining and overnight stays.
Professor Chris West, Chief Executive of Zoos SA explains, "this presents a huge and exciting opportunity to do something totally new and authentic.
"It will combine eco-tourism and have a direct conservation benefit by featuring African animals in a natural setting and providing space and resources to help save native Australian species from extinction.
"We expect significant interest in this development as it unfolds over the next two to three years."
Luxury accommodation will allow overnight stays in a new 'Wild Africa' area with a fine dining restaurant and a swimming pool.
Peter Clark, Associate Director of Zoos SA and project manager for the development imagines "staying in comfortable safari accommodation; enjoying a barbecue and night walk; listening to lions roaring and hyenas laughing ... and the next day and night become immersed in the wonders and challenges of saving iconic Australian species like the Tassie devil.
"(This will be) a truly remarkable experience,"
The plans have been welcomed by the South Australian Government, which has said there is growing demand for this type of tourism development, SA Tourism Minister Dr Jane Lomax-Smith stating that "we want to make sure that the development and operation is of the highest quality and fills a market niche that has been previously untapped in Australia.
"We've identified further development of upmarket accommodation and attractions as essential to help us lure more high-yielding visitors from our target interstate and overseas markets."
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