Day Out At... Knowsley Safari Park

24 August 2012

Hubby and I had a few days off work last week so we decided to take the Darlings on a special day out. It was a bit of a last minute decision though, as we were waiting to see what the weather was like. Thursday was forecast to be fine so I took the executive decision to go to Knowsley Safari Park. It's one of the items on our Summer Adventure Wish List and I knew the Darlings would love it.

Knowsley Safari Park is located in Prescott in Merseyside which is about an hours drive away from us. We packed up our picnic {and the kitchen sink!} and set off early so we would be there for opening time. After we had paid our entry {tip - you have to pay per person not per car} we went straight to the safari drive.

Driving through the gates feels a bit like driving into Jurassic Park! You drive round the safari route which takes you through different enclosures and large open fields. The animals are kept in conditions as close to their natural habitat as possible so it doesn't feel like a 'zoo' at all as the animals are left to roam in wide open spaces. However they are separated by large fenced off enclosures... so they don't all get eaten by the Lions! I found it funny driving into the Lion enclosure as there were lots of signs telling you to keep your windows closed and to keep driving if a lion approached your car!

Without a doubt the highlight of the safari drive was the baboons! As soon as we drove into their area, two baboons jumped onto the bonnet of our car. They were all over all the cars, it was hilarious. At one point we thought they had jumped off but I looked out of the window and saw the shadow of our car with a baboon sitting on the roof! The floor was littered with broken windscreen wipers and little pieces of plastic that they had broken off of cars. So if you don't want to risk getting anything ripped off your car, you can take the car-friendly route.

The safari drive takes about 1 hour but you can go round as many times as you want. When you get to the end of the drive there there are the Elephant and Giraffe enclosures. You can get out of your cars here to see them and they are also right next to the lovely picnic field. It was lovely here... lots of cars parked round the edge of the field, with families having picnics and children running round in the middle of the field. I make a mean picnic lunch and it was lovely and warm and sunny so it was perfect.

After lunch, we parked up and went to see the Sea Lion show. The presenter introduced the two Sea Lions who were called Reggie and Biffo. It was really interesting with lots of Sea Lion facts. They did a lots of tricks including balancing balls, catching rings and a funny impression of a shark! It ended with the grand finale of Biffo jumping off a platform into the water then jumping out high into the air to reach a ball with his nose! Oliver loved it and even Lydia who is only 20 months old was entranced by it.

We then had a look round the amusement rides. We were a bit shocked that you had to pay for them {naively perhaps, but the entrance fee wasn't cheap} It's £10 for an unlimited wristband or £2 per ride but adults can go on for free when accompanying a child. Because Hubby and I are tight we only let the Darlings have one ride each! Oliver and Hubby went on the Rattlesnake which was a mini rollercoaster and Lydia and I went on a little Safari Car ride.

We had another drive round the safari drive before heading home. It was a brilliant day and we'll definitely go again.

Have you been to a Safari Park? Have you had a great day out this summer?

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