All my posts are, obviously, Asia related right now so I thought I’d interrupt the flow briefly with some fun I had last week on a day trip with my boyfriend and his friends. I’ve been living in the North West for about four years now (still nothing on my 18-odd years in the South) and there is still so much I haven’t explored, including a bunch of things I’ve had on my ‘must-do’ list for ages. Knowsley Safari Park just outside of Liverpool is one of those things. Was one of those things, since we put Alex’s poor little Peugeot through the trauma of a drive through safari last week.
The grounds at Knowsley which you can actually drive through are pretty extensive and lovely, although this means the animals can hide if they want to. Let me just babble for a minute about the animals I love. So I found a new favourite deer-type animal, by which I mean four-legged grazing herd creature, called the Blesbok – it has a bizarre white strip down its face which makes it look odd and I found it kind of regal and alien looking at the same time. Besides that I did really enjoy the lions, and I would have enjoyed the tiger had it wanted to get up and come anywhere near us, and I even enjoyed Ostriches. Beware though, they stalk by the side of your vehicle with their beady eyes peeled for open car windows; they actually looking pretty terrifying when they peer in, and apparently they’re on the prowl for food. Then there are the Bongos and these amazing cattle with the biggest horns I’ve ever seen; they can’t even lie on their sides properly because their horns get in the way, it’s quite amusing. Then the zebras, which I love and rhinos, which I love even more. Rhinos are definitively the cutest of the big animals if you ask me. The only thing missing from that particular part of the drive through for me was flamingos.
Now a word about the ‘monkey’ cage – just don’t do it to yourself or your car. It’s optional … opt out. These guys are more aggressively into destroying cars than even the apes at Longleat. I think they might be baboons, I’m not sure, but they’re definitely on the hunt for your wing mirrors, your aerial, your windscreen wipers and even, in our case, the nozzles which spray your windscreen washer. After jumping on the bonnet, having a nosey around and briefly having sex even, said apes set to removing the windscreen washer nozzles from the car. When they were done chewing and swallowing those they even pulled out the tubing and gave that a chew too for good measure. Normally if you can keep your car moving, though no faster than 15 mph, they will just ride you round until they feel like hopping off, usually right by the pile of fruit. But sadly for us, we were in gridlock, three lanes of stationary traffic; it was the M25 in the ape cage and we couldn’t work out why people had stopped. Basically, if you skip this cage you still get a pretty good view from the other side of the fence, you just don’t have the amusement of the little terrors attaching themselves to your vehicle and causing havoc.
So, mourning the loss of the windscreen washer, we parked up and headed for the walk around bit. There are elephants, which are beautiful, and even more beautiful giraffes, whose heads come right up to the platform you’re stood on as they munch on their leaves; there are meerkats, bats and capybaras. There’s also a sea lion display, which we soon discovered was aimed at a slightly younger audience but was good fun nonetheless. There is also an up close and very personal bird display, run by the falconry centre from Knutsford, which was honestly one of the best I’d seen. Showing off not only owls, kites, an adorable vulture and kestrels as usual but also a beautiful Bateleur eagle, which I’d never seen or heard of before, who was beautiful purple-black and looked stunning in flight.
It’s definitely a fabulous day out. Not as many animals as most full zoos but well worth the price, and if you get the sunshine it’s a cracking place for a picnic.
Entry: £13 adults (currently)
Attractions: Drive through safari, including lions, monkeys (optional), rhinos, zebra, plenty of four legged beasties. A walk around zoo with funfair for kids, sea lion shows, bat room, giraffes and elephants, boating lake and bird show. It’s a pretty good deal!
For: EVERYBODY… although I guess it’s designed for families with children, oops.