"Arriving in Africa" Calauit Island by Rastarigo
Calauit Island Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 53 photos
the side trip to Calauit was one of the best moments in our Coron adventure. as soon as we spotted our first giraffe, we went crazy like mad cows. we leaped out of the jeepney to chase the giraffe. it's funny how eager we were to take photos of ourselves beside the clueless giraffe. don't get too close! it's dangerous! is all the guide could say to appease the overly excited fans. poor giraffe, he's got wound around his neck, at the base of his yard long neck. guide said they usually get it from tree branches when they reach for the leaves or when they fight with each other. guide cut off leaves from maluandit tree (in a restricted area where giraffe cannot enter) and handed them to us. the snooty giraffe suddenly changed attitude at the sight of the delectable leaves in our hands, he's like our big fan now haha. even the baby giraffe was tempted to come close but she was too scared at strangers. even the patients (injured giraffe confined in the wood fence) were lured and craned over the high fence to have a bite. before we knew it, they have chomped away to its last leaf, leaving us only the battered twigs hahaha.
good news for animal lovers out there who feel sorry for animals agonizing in captivity. calauit is for you because this is the only place in the country where the animals are not deprived of their right to freedom. how educational it is to observe them in their natural habitat. what makes it different from your usual zoo visits is the uncertainty of seeing all of them because they too have private moments in the safe of the bush. we saw mouse deers in herd. we spotted a family of zebras (with a cute baby beside the mother) caught resting under a tree shade a hundred meters away from main road. we watched some of the couples grazing in the open grass. you would think we're done with our giraffe encounter? nah it's even spellbinding this time. when we got in the last station, we found ourselves surrounded by tall towers above our head in the heat of 11 o'clock sun. inch by inch they moved forward like they were expecting our arrival. they looked starstruck at the unfamiliar faces of the day. they took the time out of their normal lives to stop and check out on us. oh no where's the maluandit leaves? we really felt sorry because we came unprepared, with nothing to offer except our cameras. well despite that, they didn't treat us like mere distractions to their peaceful territory, they hanged around with us. sensing our uselessness they finally decided to abandon us because we're nothing but scums invading their privacy hahaha. it's so fascinating to look at them as they slowly dispersed to march back to the wild. this is the reason why i detest going into manmade structures that keep animals in captivity for human viewing. after the amazing calauit safari experience, this is all i can say, BOO TO ZOO! FREE OUR FRIENDS!
you would think paying 8,000 for a boat is a total ripoff but think twice. calauit is the main destination, yes, but on our way home, we stopped by at a few islands of our dreams, in this particular order.
the primary motivation why i would pick a boat trip over an overland trip to calauit is the chance to visit black island. oh my god. it's unbelievable i'm finally here after all these years of longing. a typical castaway island, a perfect paradise- pure white sand, crystal-clear waters, palm trees.... oh my god this cliche is overused by me. it doesn't matter as long as i'm using it to describe an island that is beyond compare. we went deeper into the shrub to check out the cave. i'm not gonna tell what to see or to expect. you better come down here and be amazed. by the cave. by the beach. by the vertical wall of black marble cliff, a stark contrast to the flawless white sand beneath.
everyone onboard hailed how blue the water is but when the boatman broached the unhappy news, that the island charges 100 pesos per head for entrance, a resounding what? was all could be heard from our mouth. a simple unexpected price quotation could easily turn fans into foes. let's go leave, this place is not so pretty why bother?, the disgruntled potential customers commented. but honestly we all admitted to ourselves that the island is beautiful. perhaps we just came to a point in our trip when we had enough of these ridiculous island entrance fees every friggin site around coron charges to tourists.
North Cay and South Cay
we were all psyched out looking at the sparkling white beach but the uncooperative boatman resisted to the idea that we drop by there. all these alibis, about huge swells and high entrance fee are words of discouragement so that he can fulfill the contract immediately and be home early. next time don't pick a married boatman because unlike the singles, they can't wait to get home and boink boink the wife hahaha. i don't know if it speaks of the whole boatmen circle but that was a tip from a local. i hope there will be next time.
the island is known to be a shipwreck zone. non-divers can still catch a glimpse of one of the wrecks in the safe of the shallow by snorkeling around gunboat. i slowly climbed down to the water and shrieked in reaction, not to the cold water, but in terror of the dark world down there which i'm certain is hiding a lifeless cache of skulls and weapons hahaha.
By boat: travel time- 3 hours one way
departure- 5AM (engine conked out so we've wasted 30 minutes in limbo)
register and pay- 250/head entrance, 1,000/jeepney
actual safari tour- 2 to 3 hrs
boat hired- 8,000 pesos (named Judy Ann it can accommodate up to more than 10pax, the more the cheaper the individual boat share is, contact Ate Gay of L&M lodge at 09192391922. crew on board 2, bring your own lunch. regular trips to calauit cost 7,500 to 9,000 pesos, you better be in a big group to resort to this mode of access to the island.
By land: according to interviews i made with the local residents, a yellow jeep leaves every 10 to 11 in the morning for quezon or a jump-off town to calauit, from there you will ride a 5-minute boat for calauit, this mode is not advisable if you are chasing time, you will be forced to stay one night in calauit or in quezon town in mainland, the jeep returns to coron town very early in the morning like 2am, there's only one jeep plying this route, the ride could take as long as 3 hours, fare is 80 pesos one way. calauit has got some rooms too (150-200 pesos).
- In a nutshell:africa's never been this close
Rastarigo's Related Pages
Calauit Island Travel Guide
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- "Safari in PH"
- "Arriving in Africa"
- "More Support Needed for the Calauit Island Park"
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