Monday, July 12, 2010

African Lion Safari

... in Canada.

I would call the African Lion Safari a special kind of zoo, where animals roam around freely within designated areas. It's the people who come to see them who are caged. Caged in their cars that is. This is a man made safari park, not the natural ones like Yala or the ones we find in Africa, but this does not downgrade it's important mission of education and conservation.

The park is situated in Cambridge Ontario, about 120 km West of Toronto. It's about 1.5 to 2 hour drive, and the journey itself is quite scenic. It takes you through the farmlands of Canada, with green pastures and fields of Corn everywhere you look, homely farmhouses with their manicured lawns and rustic barns. It's quite the opposite from Toronto, and if I were to describe it in one word, i'd say peaceful. Personally, I'm not a fan of big cities, although born and raised in one. Rural farmlands are more to my taste.

Once entering the park, you have two options, either drive in your own vehicle, or take the tour in the buses they have. it's advised that if you take your own vehicle to avoid the Baboon area, because the Baboons think that the cars are for them to play with. The added advantage of the bus is that the guide gives a good explanation on the animals. There are big cats and grazers, and the Lions and the Cheetah's are separated from each other, as well as the herbivores.

In addition to the tour there are four shows. An Elephant bath and a round up, a Parrot show and a birds of prey show. The Elephant shows are nothing new to us. Once you seen Pinnawela, nothing can match that. However for the Canadians, it's a great show. The Parrot and the Birds of Prey shows were great, educational as well as entertaining.

Following are some pics from the animals.


Look Ma, a new toy

C'mon mon, let's go for a ride

This is the Big Boss, the leader of the pack

Vroom, Vroom, Beep, Beep

American Bison

Little Bison calf

Chase the ball, Chase the ball, Chase the ball...

Cheetah on the prowl

African Grey Crowned Crane

Spotted Fallow Deer

Sleepy Fawn



Rothschild Giraffe

Rothschild Giraffe

Lion (had to process the image coz there was a glare which made it unclear)


When's lunch?

Slurp, Slurp, Slurp...

Mouflan Mountain Sheep

Mouflan Mountain Sheep

Mouflan Mountain Sheep

Scimitar-horned Oryx

Scimitar-horned Oryx

Scimitar-horned Oryx


Me pretty?


White Rhinoceros
White Rhinoceros

White Rhinoceros

White Rhinoceros

White Rhinoceros

Watusi Cattle



Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Pride Toronto

As I've mentioned before Toronto is a pretty tolerant place. This is evident in the LGBT rights that they have here, considered one of the most powerful in the Americas, perhaps the world. Last week was Pride week, a week long collection of events by the LGBT community, ending with a huge parade, which was held last Sunday, the 4th of July.

This parade is one of the biggest parties in Toronto, and 2010 is the 30th year that it's being held. It's not just the people that participate, but businesses, big companies and even political parties join in. Currently the mayoral race is going on, and this parade is a good campaign ground for all the candidates. For businesses, it's great marketing platform. Gay, straight, it doesn't matter, everybody is welcome to join in.

The parade route is jam packed with people. We couldn't even get close. if you want a good place, you need to get there early and camp out. Managed to get some pic over the heads of the crowd.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

FĂȘte du Canada

The First of July is Canada Day, Canada's 143rd birthday. It celebrates the enactment of the Constitutional Act on July 1, 1867, which united two British Colonies and a province of the British Empire into a single country, still within the empire, called Canada.

Simplified, it means H.O.L.I.D.A.Y!

Me and the other guys went to the Toronto Islands to spend the day, well technically a half-a-day, since sleeping in is part of the holiday ritual. Took the ferry from the mainland to the Center Island, walked east to Ward's Island and then back to Center island, about a 10K. Legs were sore the next day.

At night, made our way to Coronation Park for the fireworks show. They had rigged the fireworks on a ship just off the coast, so that everyone can get a good show.

On a separate note, what a shocking upset that the Brazilian team got kicked out. I guess this time is for the underdogs. I was really hoping that Ghana would pull through. And what a match between Argentina and Germany? The way things are going, there is a very big chance that we'll see Germany raising the cup.

Toronto Skyline from the ferry

A little sail boat with a multi-colored sail

Quaint little firehouse on the island

Flowers... No, i don't know what they are :P

Sail ships that had come for the Tall Ships event