Situated at Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite, Island Cove Hotel and Leisure Park boasts a 36-hectare property that includes two restaurants, a water park, a 1.4 km jogging path, a wildlife sanctuary, a recreational spa and gym, a game room, 10 air conditioned function and meeting rooms, 2 ballroom halls, and 86 hotel rooms. Talk about finding everything that you need in one place!
I used to think that Island Cove is just another nearby resort, offering you a quick chlorine fix, a getaway from all the city hustle and bustle, and a place where you can take a breather from all the stress of life. I honestly thought that it was more of a generic resort, where you can find a variety of pools, lots of bedrooms, and videoke machines all over the cottages. To my surprise, the Island Cove that I have pictured in my head was way different from what I saw during a day tour a couple of weeks back.
Our first stop for the tour was Island Cove’s Wildlife Sanctuary that homes different species such as crocodiles, snakes, ostriches, and tigers. This place is perfect for kids, especially because they actually let you touch some of the animals and even feed them. What I like the most about the Wildlife Sanctuary is their friendly staff who assists you well and continuously assures you that the animals are friendly and safe to interact.
Before we proceed to the meet and greet session with their huge reptiles, we were offered a quick visit to their butterfly sanctuary, where we’re toured to their green house. They breed different butterflies and have a lush garden filled with flowers and also includes a small pond.
Aside from their garden, they also have a small exhibit where they show off the different types of butterflies and their life cycles. They also have a space for the kids where they can conduct small classes or discussions before proceeding to the Wildlife Sanctuary. Island Cove makes it a point that the place is kid friendly, and that families would have the chance to bond during their visit.
My tour mates going up close with the animals 🙂
After the very harmless tour with the beautiful butterflies, we proceeded to the more adventurous Animal Island where we had the chance to touch and feed animals. Before going through the tour, you’ll be greeted with crocodiles and friendly kuyas who’d offer you to interact with their albino python, baby crocodiles, and their lawin.
During the tour, we were introduced to Island Cove’s Bengal tigers, Jasmine and Gerald, and was given the chance to feed them chicken heads. I know that they are supposed to be scary, especially with their powerful fangs, but I can’t help but imagine them as a pet, cuddling me through the night. Ha ha! I kid! Anyway, I have always been a fan of tigers, and it never cease to amaze me whenever I see them. They’re actually one of my favorite animals (to watch on videos, that is!) along with panda bears and penguins.
Aside from feeding tigers, we also had the chance to feed ostriches with cabbage leaves. These massive birds has a very soft beak, and one of the kuyas even demonstrated it by putting his fingers on the ostrich’s mouth. According to him, their beak resembles those of soft plastic so it doesn’t hurt a bit. Since ostriches are runners, they were given a huge space where they can move freely.
We did a lot of feeding that day, really. We also fed their monkeys, which was situated in a small island, and we threw bananas on their way. It’s kind of entertaining seeing them chase the bananas, but what’s funnier is when we saw them trying to look for lice on their fellow monkeys. Kutuhan galore!
Our last stop was a visit to their crocodile farm, where they house around 6 big crocodiles. Since it’s hard for us to feed these creatures ourselves (duh), the caretakers took the task of throwing chickens in their cage. These made them aggressive and made them move (they were just lazily lying around, really) to our delight.
Although unknown to many, Island Cove is an environment friendly place, and pushes forward the conservation of animals. They are actually a partner of DENR and they house unwanted animals, like their huge python that was donated by its pet owner because it started to pose as a threat to their neighbors, since it’s already grown way too big to be considered as a “house pet”. In fact, this Burmese python is extremely heavy, it takes 10 people to carry it! Imagine that!
If you plan to visit their Wildlife Sanctuary, their operating hours is from 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Here are their rates for your reference:
Entrance Fee (Animal Island):
Php 150.00 per head (Adults and Kids)
Rate 1 (Oceania Swim & Splash Park, Wildlife Sanctuary, Maze Access, Php 50 Meal Voucher):
Php 400.00 – Adult
Php 350.00 – Child
Rate 2 (OSSP, Wildlife Sanctuary, Maze Access):
Php 370.00 – Adult
Php 300.00 – Child
More about my Island Cove adventure — their delicious food, their recreational attractions, and their accommodations — coming up soon! 🙂