on December 10, 2006
On Safari At The Honolulu Zoo.The Waikiki Marriott where we stayed is two blocks from the Honolulu Zoo. Mid morning, we walked over to the zoo. I was hoping to see a rhino. My wife was hoping to see monkeys.Childhood memories are like collages. They are patchworks of different events. Mixing childhood and recent memories makes visiting the zoo a real joy.In 1962, John Wayne starred in Hatari!, a movie about a team of hunters selling animals to zoos. In the movie opening, a rhinoceros charges their car and gores a hunter. The soundtrack cover romanticizes this scene.I would study the Hatari soundtrack album cover. I still can picture a rhinoceros ramming the hunter's car as the hunters are perched on the car roof lassoing the beast. Hatari's soundtrack was composed by Henry Mancini during his most productive years. The sheet music for Baby Elephant Walk pictured the same scene as the album cover. In one Junior High orchestra concert, we performed Baby Elephant Walk reinforcing rhino memory.Recently, I met a missionary who travels in Africa. He fears encountering a rhino. Rhinos are fiercely territorial and don't tolerate intruders. They charge and roll vehicles over seriously injuring the occupants. Hearing this, I immediately thought of the album cover. In my mind, I saw the missionary's Range Rover charged by a raging rhino.As we paid at the zoo entrance, we were given a zoo map. Instead of first studying the map, we immediately set out to explore. Parts of the zoo are typical of zoos I visited as a child. Thick steel mesh cages or deep grottos with moats. Other parts of the zoo are more modern and open like the Savanna area. The zoo is small. It only took us a few hours to walk through and see everything (except the Herptetarium). All of the major animals were represented including monkeys and rhinos.Unfortunately, I didn't get to see a rhino. They were hiding. However, the hippos and monkeys were quite engaging and satisfied my need for adventure. Watching the other zoo patrons, I saw small groups moving from exhibit to exhibit while talking, smiling, and pointing. Some visitors were telling their children zoo stories about themselves and other family members. Travelers with children under ten will enjoy the zoo. The pace inside the zoo is much slower and calmer than the pace of Waikiki. Watching children gaze wide-eyed at the animals enhanced our experience. The zoo Snack Bar where we ate lunch was crowded with families. The children were jabbering excitedly about what they had seen and what they still wanted to see.The zoo is easy to find. Take Kalakaua Avenue toward Diamond Head. The zoo entrance is at the corner of Kalakaua, Monsarrat, and Kapahulu Avenues. Buses running along Kuhio Avenue stop at the zoo. Specifically, buses 2, 4, 8, 19, 20, 22, 42, and 58. Or, if you plan to drive, ample zoo parking is accessible off Kapahulu Avenue.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009