Zoo in Villahermosa

This Tabascan safari park, 17km east of Villahermosa (4km past the airport), is hardly a Kenyan game drive, but the space and greenery do offer a break from the city. Yumká is divided into jungle, savanna and lake zones, representing Tabasco’s three main ecosystems. Visits take the form of guided tours of the three areas (30 minutes each).

In the jungle zone you see regional Mexican species such as howler monkeys, jaguars, scarlet macaws and toucans. The savanna, viewed from a tractor-pulled trolley, has an African section with elephants, giraffes, zebras and hippos, and an Asian section with axis deer, antelope, buffalo and gaur (the largest ox in the world).

Around 2015/16 the park gained a terrible reputation for alleged animal abuse. In the end public pressure meant a new administration team were brought in and budgets increased and the park is now recovering nicely and the animals are much better cared for.