Nature and Wildlife Drive in Sir Bani Yas Island | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Nov 25, 2018

Nature and Wildlife Drive in Sir Bani Yas Island

Probably the highlight of every visit to Sir Bani Yas Island, the Nature and Wildlife Drive kept me on my toes throughout the long journey from Dubai. The activity is included in the hotel stay package that we booked but is also open to day trippers.

We heard that early morning is the best time to visit the wildlife sanctuary in Sir Bani Yas island as it is when the animals are out and about. Hence, we signed up for the sunrise trip a couple of days before our stay and confirmed it when we arrived at Desert Islands Resort and Spa by Anantara

Sir Bani Yas island activity

Ed and I woke up super early for the drive. We were ready 30 minutes before the actual call time! Donning neutral-colored clothing and woven hats, we also dressed the part! We're obviously too excited for this. Hahaha!  

Our safari guide picked us up in a 4x4 at 6AM. We were grouped together with a couple with two kids. The enthusiasm in their eyes mirrored mine. And from what I saw, I could say that this activity is fit for all ages!

As the sun slowly rises, we drove to the protected sanctuary. On our way, our guide gave us an overview of the island, how nature is conserved and how wildlife is sustained.

Ed in Sir Bani Yas Island

vehicles for nature and wildlife drive
our ride for the Nature and Wildlife drive

And so off we went into the wild! Our first stop? The grasslands! To see the cheetahs!

We spotted them resting on top of a hill. Just as curious as we are, they were also observing us until they spotted another 4x4 from afar. I know nothing about animal behavior, but it seemed like they were just chilling after a delightful breakfast or still waiting for prey.

Lady in sir bani yas island
Cheetahs spotted!

wildlife drive in sir bani yas
King of Sir Bani Yas' grassland

They are often seen on this hill in the morning. In the afternoon, they rest in shaded areas. 

Our safari guide, then, took us to the other side of the sanctuary where gazelles and different species of antelopes freely roam. We even saw an Oryx - the national animal of the UAE - but sadly failed to take a good photo of it!

Arabian Sand Gazelles in Sir Bani Yas
Arabian Sand Gazelles

spotted deer in Sir Bani Yas
a herd of spotted deer in the background

barbary sheep in Sir Bani Yas
Barbary Sheep

animals in Sir Bani Yas
Some of them don't really care about us...

wildlife photography in Sir Bani Yas
...some does! This pretty gazelle stopped and stared while we click on our cameras! 

As we drove down to a cluster of trees in the middle of the island, we saw Reticulated Giraffes! One even tried to camouflage with tree trucks. They are such gentle yet majestic creatures. Definitely the highlight of the drive for me.

giraffe in Sir Bani Yas
First time to see a giraffe in the wild!

giraffes and trees in Sir Bani Yas
They feed on twigs and leaves of the trees.

giraffe in Sir Bani Yas island
They move in super slow-mo, but I didn't get bored watching!

giraffe in the wild in UAE
This one tried to hide behind the tree. :) 

majestic giraffe in Sir Bani Yas island

Sir Bani Yas Island is a home to more than 10,000 animals. During the drive, we have also seen different kinds of birds in different sizes; from the tallest and the heaviest (ostrich) to peacocks and turkeys! Our guide also said that there hyenas somewhere in the mountains.

We made our way up to the salt dome, passing by the Majlis of the Late Sheikh, and got a superb view of the lush sanctuary. That served as an epic finish to the amazing nature drive!

Needless to say, Sir Bani Yas Island is a dream turned into reality!

terrain in Sir Bani Yas island
Rocky terrain in the island

highest point of Sir Bani Yas
At the highest point of Sir Bani Yas

Ed and Lady in Sir Bani Yas
I was serious when I said we dressed the part! Hahah! 

lush greens in Sir Bani Yas island
Sir Bani Yas is a one lush and fertile island!

Back to base! See that fortress-like building? That's Desert Islands Resort and Spa.
Read about our stay here: Into the Wild: A Unique Staycation Experience in Sir Bani Yas

Here is our Nature and Wildlife Drive experience in motion. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel! :)

Nature and Wildlife Drive prices: 
250 AED/adult, 100 AED/child for in-house hotel guests

Day visit trip with boat transfer and lunch:
500 ++ AED/adult, 300 ++ AED/child

These are the rates during our visit last August 2018. 
 Kindly contact for current rates and reservation.

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