When we posted about the Nofa Wildlife Park, it broke our Facebook page. Haha! It’s one of those impulsive trips we did to celebrate the dawn of winter in Riyadh. There was no special treatment, no “first to go there” privilege or whatsoever. When Nofa Resort announced that their safari was opened to the public, I signed up our group immediately because I’ve heard about Nofa Resort quite a while from friends. They said there’s an “African safari” in the middle of Saudi Arabia’s desert. I guess that’s pretty amazing in itself already. Just the thought of that is simply #MINDBLOWING! We know how different the weather here in Saudi Arabia versus that of Africa so we’re curious how the animals are faring in this side of the world. Anyway, we emailed the resort to register and received an immediate reply. The rest is history! The rest became an FB viral story! Haha!
Since we went in November, there were a lot of changes in the resort, especially in their schedule. The details in our Facebook were no longer applicable and so we decided to write about our experience and also update you guys of the recent changes that the wildlife resort made. The Nofa Wildlife Resort is around 45 minutes to 1 hour land trip from Riyadh’s city center. It’s quite far but it’s definitely worth the trip. When we went, we had a schedule for 10:00 AM. We started our journey from Al-Maather around 9:00 AM and we even made a drive thru at McDonald’s because we were afraid to go hungry, haha. The guy who emailed us back said they will only serve biscuits and coffee. No real food. No food that will make us full. So, we ate on the way (outside food is not allowed in the resort).
When we arrived, we paid for the fee (SR 100 per person) near the gates. We left our car in the parking area and rode a coaster to the main tent. The main tent was elegant and it gives a full view of the safari. Of course, the safari is so huge, we can barely see anything, it’s red orange undulating sand dunes for miles! The animals were dots from the tent. Haha! The staff were all friendly. We were ushered to the safari vehicles. They were tall trucks fitted with chairs. They have 2-3 of these open vehicles that can sit more than 10 persons at a time. These vehicles allowed us to get up close and personal with the sights and sounds… but not close enough to touch the animals. Since winter was just starting during the time we went, the weather was conducive for a safari tour. It got a bit warm come noon time but it wasn’t that big of an issue. We actually loved the sunshine in our faces. Woohoooo Riyadh outdoors!!! Don’t forget to put sunscreen though. We opt to remove our abayas during the tour.
You know what I wished they included in the tour? A tour guide who knows a lot about the animals in the place. I mean, of course, we know all about the ostriches, giraffes and zebras but some of the animals are not that familiar to us and so we ended up asking one another what’s that? What’s this? Haha. It would have been nice to have someone explain to us each kind and type and how they were able to come up with this wildlife park. I’m pretty sure everyone’s curious on how they were able to bring these animals here and where they came from. These knowledge and information will also be very beneficial to the kids in the tour groups.
Anyway, here are some sights from the Nofa Wildlife Park:
That was an amazing one-hour safari trip! There are areas wherein the smell became really funky but what can you expect right? When we first posted the price of the safari, some commented that it wasn’t worth it. We can honestly say that it is worth SR 100. Going to Africa will cost you more and a friend said that going on an African safari trip is not even a guarantee that you can see animals in the wild. At least in this Arabian safari, you are guaranteed to see them. So, yeah! I ean I wish we can go to an African safari also but for now, we’re quite contented with the Nofa Wildlife Safari.
After the safari adventure, we were transferred to the Wildlife Center where there were live interactions with animals. We were ushered through cages and cages and it was quite fun because there was an order to these things. The cages were like a maze; they were connected and featured different animals in each.
The last cage was the home of a cheetah. The cheetah is considered to be the fastest land animal, reaching speeds of 112 km/h in short bursts. Cheetahs mainly prey on antelopes and gazelles. They kill by tripping the animals during the chase and then biting its throat to suffocate them to death. Whew, why did I even write that?!? Haha! Because well, we were super up close and personal with the cheetah in the center! We fed it with raw meat and touched its spotted coat. Of course, this cheetah is tamed. Cheetahs are said to show less aggression to humans. We don’t look too appetizing to them. Hahaha! It’s one of the memorable moments we had in the center.
Okay, enough of all these babbling and on to the information you need if you want to visit the Nofa Wildlife Resort. Here you go:
- Reservations should be made by sending an email to SAFARIS@NOFARESORT.COM.
- Send the following details:
How many persons in your group:
Date of visit:
- Safari tours operate on SATURDAYS ONLY.
- There are 8 trips done per Saturday. Choose from these trip timings:
Trip 1 08:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Trip 2 09:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Trip 3 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Trip 4 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Trip 5 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Trip 6 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Trip 7 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Trip 8 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM
- Access to Nofa Resort is by confirmed reservation only.
- Price is SR 100 (plus VAT) per person regardless of age. Payment is by cash only. Infants below two years have no charge provided they do not have a reserved sit and will travel in their parents’ lap (during the safari tour). So parents, please do not reserve a seat for your infant babies (meaning don’t count them when you make the reservation).
- Only family (mixed groups) are allowed. No groups of single males are allowed.
- Arrive 30 minutes before your reservation time. Entry will be refused to guests arriving later than 20 minutes before their appointed safari time. Safari trips depart on schedule and if you’re late, you maybe refused entry or may be put on stand by for a later trip that is available (availability though is not guaranteed).
- Food and drinks from the outside are not allowed. Complimentary tea, coffee, water and biscuits will be provided in the lounge.
- The actual safari trips takes approximately one hour. Another hour will be spent on the Wildlife Visitors Centre.
- There are no lions, tigers, elephants or monkeys in the Nofa Resort. Wag hanapin ang wala. Lol.
If you’re not into reading, then the video in our Youtube Channel might help you see the place in a better view:
Nofa Wildlife Resort