On Saturday we were invited for a family day out to Knowsley Safari park and the kids were just going crazy over it all week…they are both great animal lovers and Megs couldn’t believe that real monkey’s would be climbing on her car and E that we would be Sooooo close to a scary lion!
Whilst we have been together most weekends as a family it has been absolutely nuts with wedding after wedding and parties, so it was SO refreshing and much needed for us to have a gorgeous family day out on a great adventure… how we love our adventures.
I remember being…ermmm… probably like 5/6 and going to Knowsley with my aunt and uncle who were newly wed at the time (and probably thought it good practice to take us all) and I still remember it vividly and how fun it was, this memory has given me fuel to get them all excited. Knowsley Safari is the UK’s number one safari (as voted by visitors on TripAdvisor 2014) and first opened in 1971. I always knew how mint it was, but never how old. Whilst I was excited to take the kids for the 1st time, I was also excited for myself to see how much it had changed in 24 years (hello feeling old).
It took a lot longer than I remembered, to drive through it all, but that would be because the safari drive now covers 550-acres! Its huge! We enjoyed, as many visitors do, a wild family adventure. Face-to-face, up and personal, with more than 700 animals. We saw numerous breeds of deer and antelope (who’d have thought) and zebras, lions, emus, Rhino’s and baboons to name but a few.
We started out by driving through the park on their “Baboon bus” (you pay extra for this at reception) and honestly I wondered if it would really make much difference to our visit, you know me tight as anything! But it totally did and we all absolutely loved it. Of course the animals are familiar with seeing these buses drive through their pens every couple of hours and so were not shy, whilst on the bus we were side by side with the camels, saw a lion climb a tree (sorry about the quality of that, I was going a little mental whilst trying to capture it) and of course had the baboons scramble up the side.
These were great bonuses, and the atmosphere was one of excitement and awe for nature (animals are mint), but for me I enjoyed the things the driver told us. Fun facts about the animals, their age, natural habitat, personalities – it was all so fascinating and informative, and something we probably wouldn’t have ever known had we not been on that bus. Unless of course we read an encyclopaedia beforehand, but who has time for that?? SO if you want to go, get the bus, you can drive through later on your own, but the bus gives you a new view and fascinating information on all of these beautiful animals.
We arrived back at lunch time and so had our picnic and then legged it over to the sea lions for the hourly show they have on. This was most impressive and Ethan and Megs absolutely loved seeing them perform and little jaws dropped as the watched that the were clapping and laughing – “I didn’t know they do that mummy, that is very funny”, and Ethan has told most people he’s met that he saw a whale climb some stairs and catch a ball (I mouth sea lion as to not take from the excitement of his story).
After all of the action there, the kids wanted to have a couple of rides on the fun fair…gutted for Megsie she was too short for the “roller coaster” and so made do on a tacky safari adventure (it was wild).
I was laughing my head off at them going round on it, but they thought it was fab.
By this point of our visit the sun was shining and it was a beautiful afternoon, so we decided to step back into the car and drive through again. I must say, having recently watch Jurassic park you can’t help feeling a little vulnerable when you drive through the big gates in your own car. We both joked about that for a bit and our vulnerability!
I think the most exciting point of this journey was the baboons. I loved seeing them all over our car (be warned they may trash it) as it brought back so many memories and I loved the giddiness and high pitched squeals of 2 content children in the back. Again another story everyone has heard, and they will correct “they not monkey’s grandma…baboons” hahahahaha.
Well the baboons gave us a lot of fun and our favourite story to tell has been when one of the small ones spotted Megans orange on the back seat and kept looking at her and banging on the window for it…we were all in hysterics! “oh that naughty baboon, its my awwinge”!!!
We also enjoyed seeing the elephants again, but getting out here for a closer look and not forgetting Megsies fave – The giraffes. She wouldn’t look at me for the picture because she wanted to look at the giraffes, because of course they were talking to her and are her friends!
It must have been almost 4 when we came to leave (arrived at 10.30) and we didn’t even spend a lot of time seeing the birds or playing in the park really. It was such a wonderful family adventure and we all loved it. I hope that we get to go again soon.
NB: We received a family pass and baboon bus experience for FREE, but if you would like to visit with your family, they currently have 20% off until 4th September when you book on line at http://www.knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk/… go for it and check out the New for 2015 ‘Wild Trail’ attraction in the walk around area as well as all of the other fun – its so worth it!