Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wild Water Rafting

Wild water rafting in Davao City along the mighty Davao River

Wild Water Rafting is one of the widely popular eco-tourism and outdoor adventures in Davao City. The site for this extreme water sport is the Davao River. The 3 1/2 hour wild water rafting starts from Barrio Tamugan in Calinan, and then ends at the lowlands. The water course features some 30 rapids of varying degrees of difficulty in the 15 kilometers of rough water portion of the Davao River. Snaking in and around the several mighty rapids of twists, bends, and turns along the river makes it more challenging and exciting to wild water rafting enthusiasts. Aside from the thrill of the rapids, one can also feast on the lush greenery of trees and undergrowth along the river banks. There are also occasional sightings of rare animals, such as the Philippine water dragon, predatory birds such as hawks, crows, and smaller ones such as the balinsasayaw - the swiftlet that makes a nest out of its saliva, a prized delicacy in many Asian countries.

There are also crocodiles in the area, and a few were taken from the Davao River. These big reptiles come in different sizes, the largest one aptly named Pangil, or "Fangs" in English, is about 18 feet long, and is the second largest crocodile in the country. Pangil is under the care of Davao Crocodile Park in Ma-a, Davao City.

Aerial view of Davao River

Wild or white (to some) water rafting is a recreational outdoor activity using an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on white water of varying degrees of rough water. The development of this activity as a leisure sport has become popular since the mid-1970s, and is considered an extreme water sport.

Wild Water Rafting
is one of the popular eco-tourism adventures in Davao City

3 1/2 hour of wild water rafting starts from Tamugan in Calinan
and ends at the lowlands

There are 30 rapids of varying degrees of difficulty
in the rough water portion of Davao River

The site for rafting is the 15 kilometer
of rough water portion of the Davao River

Lush greenery of trees and undergrowth
along the river banks

Hanging bridge in the calmer water portion
of the Davao River

The raft that is usually used in wild water rafting is an inflatable boat, consisting of very durable, multi-layered rubberized or vinyl fabrics with several independent air chambers. The length varies between 11 feet and 20 feet, the width is between 6 feet and 8 feet. There is also the packraft, which is designed as a portable single-person raft and may be as small as 4.9 feet long and weighs as little as 4 pounds.

The raft

The paddles

Rafts come in a few different forms. The most common is the symmetrical raft steered with a paddle at the stern. Other types are the asymmetrical, rudder-controlled raft, and the symmetrical raft with central helm or oars. Rafts are usually propelled with ordinary paddles and typically hold 4 to 12 persons.

Davao Wild Water Adventures

Davao Wildwater Adventure, Inc. manages wild water rafting activities in Davao City. For a fee, they offer shuttle service from the Davao Crocodile Park in Ma-a to the rafting area in Barrio Tamugan in Calinan, and back; provide packed lunches and bottled drinking water; safety gears and other necessary equipments; a river guide; a souvenir shirt, and 2 photo CDs for a group of 6 persons.

Itinerary includes:

8:30 AM - Assembly at Davao Crocodile Park
9:30 AM - Departure
10:30 AM - Arrival at Tamugan. Calinan
11:00 AM - Start of Rafting
12:00 PM - Lunch
3:00 PM - Arrival at Take-Out area, Purok 8, Lacson
3:30 PM - Departure for Crocodile Park
4:30 PM - Arrival at Crocodile Park

White Water Rafting Checklist 

- Rash guard, or light weight and comfortable clothes
- Sun block lotion
- Sunglasses or prescription glasses with string or strap (optional)
- Old Sneakers, neoprene booties, or river shoes, or any footwear that is not easy to come off
- Waterproof camera (optional)
- Energy Bar for the river
- Drinking water or energy drink
- Towels
- Plastic Bags for wet items such as sneakers
- Extra clothes
- Snack and drink

Davao Wildwater Adventure, Inc. 
manages wild water rafting activities in Davao City


The counter

The rafts and packrafts

Safety vests and helmets

Shuttle service to the water rafting site

Print on the shuttle service

"Not a Souvenir" shirt, but a proof of having joined the fun!

Wild water rafting in Davao City was featured
in the May/June 2008 issue of Action Asia

Action Asia magazine

Contact Information

Davao Wildwater Adventure, Inc.
Crocodile Park Compound
Riverfront Corporate City, Diversion Highway
Ma-a, Davao City, Philippines 8000
Tel. Nos.: (+6382) 301-2020 and (+6382) 286-1055

Monday, June 27, 2011

Davao Crocodile Park

The Davao Crocodile Park is a major tourist destination located at the Riverfront, Corporate City Diversion Highway, Ma-a, Davao City, and is about 15 to 30 minutes from downtown of the City. 

Not only does the Park provide entertainment to visitors as its share in the City's tourism effort, but also serve as a venue for educational tours, lectures for  public awareness, field laboratory for students in Biology, Zoology, Animal Science, Veterinary Medicine, as well as for wildlife animal enthusiasts, and conservation of crocodiles and other wildlife animals.

The Park is equipped with state-of-the-art
crocodile farming system

While the Park is not a full-pledged zoo for crocodiles, it however features other exotic animal species such as raptors, monkeys, bearcats, snakes, birds, and various reptiles, and is equipped with state-of-the-art crocodile farming system. It is also one of the few places in the City where one can learn and enjoy the rich flora and fauna of Davao City.

One of the Crocodiles in the Park

The Davao Crocodile Park is owned and operated by a group of businessmen headed by Mr. Sonny Dizon, a resident of Davao City. Mr. Dizon's fascination with saltwater and freshwater crocodiles gave birth to the first and only of its kind in Davao City, the Davao Crocodile Park on August 18, 2006.

There are several attractions in the Park, one of the major ones is "Pangil", the country’s second largest crocodile at 18 feet long. The word "Pangil" literally means "fangs". The Park features a show in the afternoon (4:00 to 4:30 PM) called "The Pangil Encounter", where caretakers enter the caged pond with a stick and probe Pangil, which prompts the giant reptile to move towards the stick, and kick its tail, splashing water to the viewing spectators.

Crocodile named "Pangil"
The country's second largest at 18 feet long

Pangil consumes five kilos of meat twice a week

Cage of Pangil

Davao Crocodile Park Show Schedule

Monday to Sunday 

9:00 AM -11:00 AM - Animal Petting (Reptiles and Raptors)
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM - Animal Petting (Reptiles and Mammals)

Friday to Sunday : Animal Shows (PM)

3:15 - 3:30 - Crocodile Dancing
3:30 - 4:00 - Tightrope Walker and Stunts
4:00 - 4:30 - Pangil Encounter
4:30 - 4:45 - Crocodile Frenzy
4:45 - 5:00 - Crocodile Feeding

Signage welcoming visitors to the Park

Ticket Booth and Cashier


Dance welcoming visitors near the entrance of the Park

Davao Crocodile Park is one of the many places where one can
enjoy the rich flora and fauna of Davao City

One of the signage at the Park

Signage rendered in native design

Reminder signage

Another reminder signage

Reminder Signage

The Facilities

The facilities of the Park are made up of concrete pens and welded wire screen with double security doors particularly in breeding ponds. An open and covered walk pathways with comfortable benches, and other amenities which include toilets and lavatories are provided to visitors of the Park.

Open pathway

Food and Souvenir Shop

The Souvenir Shop of the Davao Crocodile Park is located at the exit area of the Park, and sells a variety of crocodile leather products, such as leather wallets, bags, key chains, belts, etc, and assorted local handicrafts. It also serves snacks, refreshments, ice cream,  and durian products including the Altura Mountain Arabica Coffee from the hinterlands of Mount Apo, and the local Civet Cat Coffee.

At the Food and Souvenir Shop

Crocodile leather products and other mementos

The Park makes good business supplying crocodiles to another crocodile farm in Palawan, and selling crocodile hide. The crocodiles, when farmed commercially, their meat can fetch as much as US$900, while the hide, when tanned and made into leather  bags, shoes and belt products, can command a much higher price. For this purpose, the Park maintains an off-site breeding center to compliment its production.

Skeleton of a 14 feet male Indopacific Crocodile called "Boktot"
which died in 2005 at the age of over 40 years old


Placard of Boktot

Skeleton of a Dugong

One of the major attractions in the Davao Crocodile Park is the assembled bones of a Dugong, or also known as a Dugong-Dugon. It is a large marine mammal which, together with the manatees, is one of the four living species in the order of Sirenia. This Dugong is a 6 foot, 2 year old, male, which died in a fish net in 2009. 

The Davao Crocodile Park has the following major facilities:

Incubation Room

The incubation room is where crocodile eggs are hatched. It has three incubators, and is restricted to the public. It is equipped with foot bath and a lavatory for disinfection.

Nursery Room

The nursery room is about 200 square meters where newly born crocodiles are cared for in fiberglass tubs under a controlled temperature at 32 degrees Celsius through the use of  immersion heaters.

Yearling Pen

There are two yearling pens which are made of concrete smooth-finished floors, a portion of which slopes to about 12 inches. Each Pen is about 120 square meters with large hide boards, and basking which are partially covered with nets. Here, about 50 to 60 smaller crocodiles between the ages of one to three years old are contained.

Grow-Out Pen

The Pen is about 200 square meters with floors similar to the yearling pens, but with approximately two feet deep in the sloping area. Double security doors are provided in each grow-out pens.

Feeding of a full-grown crocodile is one of the many features in the Park

"The Pangil Encounter"

The Pangil Encounter is one of the featured shows where caretakers enter the caged pond with a stick and provoke Pangil, which prompts the giant reptile to move towards the stick, and kick its tail, splashing water to the viewing spectators.

This giant reptile moves towards the stick, kicks its tail, splashing
water to the viewing spectators

Breeding Pond and viewing bridge

There are three breeding ponds in the Park with a total area of 600 square meters. The breeding ponds is approximately 70% dry and 30% wet. The dry area is sandy while the wet area is made up of concrete floor with drainage facility. One of the breeding ponds is shaped to provide some privacy to the crocodiles. Moreover, a viewing bridge at the center islet is provided for a clear and safe view of the crocodiles.

A fly proof feed house is about 30 square meters, containing a working table, weighing scale, meat grinder, cabinets for feed supplements and vitamins, knives and other instruments needed for feeding. Potable water is readily accessible for use.

Reptile Area and Snake's Den

The pens are constructed following a standard requirement for the different breeds and species of snakes. The pens are provided with incandescent bulbs for heat, a water bowl, and driftwood.

An Albino Burmese Phyton
considered as one of the six biggest snakes in the world
can be found inside the Davao Crocodile Park

Animal Clinic

The Animal Clinic and Recovery Area is equipped with an examination table, medicine cabinets, laboratory, surgical instruments, and recovery pens. This is where sick and new animals are confined for medication.

The Change Room is intended for caretakers to change their clothes before and after work to prevent possible contamination and spread of diseases.

The Area for Dog Training is equipped with different obstacles, and other facilities designed for training dogs, particularly for agility.

The Davao Crocodile Park is also home to other exotic animals. There are small information and description board found in most cages of the animals which give visitors some knowledge on the animals that they are viewing. The Park also warns the general public about buying, selling and hunting of these endangered animals, such as the Leopard Cat, Blue Naped Parrot, Red Vented Cockatoo, etc.

Leopard Cat

Horn Bill

Other animals such as Monitor Lizards, Ostriches, Turkeys, Philippine Warty Pig, Oriental Civet, Goats, Owls, Eagles, Orangutan, and a wide variety of bird species can also be seen in the Park. Some of the smaller animals such as snakes, boas, lizard and turtles are in a small cage with a wall made of glass for viewing. There’s also the Philippine Sail-fin Water Dragon, a large semi-aquatic lizard, housed together with the Fishes and Turtles.

Monitor Lizard locally called "Bayawak"


Philippine Warty Pig

Oriental Civet


Philippine Owl


Brahminy Kite
(Haliastur Indus)


Siberian Tiger

Orangutan named "Carlo"


Philippine Sail-Fin Water Dragon

Over the years, the Davao Crocodile Park has developed an educational awareness program in enduring relationships between people and wildlife with a view of creating a balance ecosystem. And, because of the popularity the program, the Davao Crocodile Park has extended it reach to include Manila as its second base outside of Davao City. The Manila based Park which is located at the Boom na Boom Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, features a "Minds-On & Hands-On" interactive science exhibit, showcasing the Butterfly House, Insectariums, an Ostrich mini-Farm, and a mini-Petting Zoo, including Marine World and the Mini Natural History Museum.

For more information, please contact

Riverfront, Corporate City, Diversion Highway
Ma-a, Davao City 8000 Philippines
Phone: (082) 286-8883 or (082) 286-1054 
Telefax: +

Boom na Boom Complex
Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City
Mobile: +63 923.707.6083 and +63 929.296.4497
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