In addition to the ‘Free Days Out‘ series I am running, I am also putting together a series of posts for Family Days Out. We live in Essex, so our days out will generally be in the South East – London, Essex, Kent, Sussex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire…but we may go further afield – who knows!
We plan to do a lot more days out as a family this year, we’ve spent too long wasting away weekends tidying up the house and shopping, and then before we know it, it’s Monday and we’re all back at work or school and the cycle begins again.
The first Family Day Out that I am sharing is Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire, it’s about an hours drive for us, and we visited last October (it really shouldn’t have taken me this long to blog about it!!) I’m going to share this over two posts – one with the road safari, and the other with the foot safari.
When planning a day out these days, we will more often than not check out the website of the place that we are visiting. So, do go over and check out the Woburn Safari Park website where there is tons of info to look through. I’ll share some of the basic info on my post, but prices, opening times etc will change as this post ages, so do check the website for the most up to date information.
I took quite a lot of photos on our time at the safari park, but won’t share them all here – although, as always, my post will be picture heavy! You can view the whole set on my Flickr.
After paying at the entrance gate you drive straight into the first part of the road safari. The animals that you can see in this section are Ankole Cattle, Dwarf Forest Buffalo, Southern White Rhino, Ostrich, Sable Antelope, Blue Wildebeest, Asian Elephant, Chapman’s Zebra, Bactrian Camel, Gemsbok, North American Bison and Przewalski’s Horse.
You may not see all of the animals, but as you can drive around as many times as you like, you may eventually see them all!
And there’s a reason they tell you to keep your windows up…this ostrich came right up to the window!
The road is nice and wide, and if you pull over to stop and look at the animals for a while, make sure you that you are courteous for other drivers – ensure that there is space for them to drive by you. We’ve been to Woburn Safari Park a couple of times now, and the worst place for car build up is in the wild cat enclosure, and also the monkeys. People, in our experience just are not aware of other cars around them, which can be mildly annoying since all it takes is a quick look in the rear view mirror and pulling over a little bit more sensibly!
Huge gates guard the entrance to the safari with the big, bitey animals – lions and tigers and bears – oh my!
There are several warnings here to keep your windows closed and to not feed the animals as they will bite…duly noted!
The animals here are beautiful, there are American Black Bears, Canadian Timber Wolves, Amur Tigers and African Lions.
The tigers can be hard to spot as they seem to tuck themselves away right at the back, but if you’re patient and keep a watchful eye out you might see them. The male lion was caged off on his own, the lionesses were in a huge pack, just lying down and watching – really fascinating creatures.
You then leave through more gates to view some different, less killer animals, including Rothschild’s Giraffe, Grevy’s Zebra and Scimitar Horned Oryx.
I personally love the giraffes – they’re such pretty and elegant animals. We got up close to the magnificent beasts when we were on holiday in Florida a couple of years ago.
Before you head into another fenced off area full of Patas Monkey and Barbary Macaque. Some of the monkeys are really curious and will come right up to the car, hitching a ride on the roof or bonnet!
The monkeys and macaque will stay out of the way to a degree, but please do be careful driving around in this section. We did see a baby monkey dash out and his parents dash after him. The keepers do check your car before you leave this section, making sure no animals are hiding on your car roof!
You can go around immediately again in this section, which we did – we love seeing the way the animals interact with each other and always hope that one will hop onto the car! When we went to Woburn Safari Park years ago and baby monkey climbed on the bonnet of the car and was playing about and hanging off the wing mirror which was just so cute. Hubs thought he’d got it all on film, but had forgotten to press record – d’oh!!
You can then see Somali Wild Ass and Addax before heading towards the car park where you can then take the foot safari and see the other animal enclosures, enjoy some lunch either in the cafe or bring your own picnic and visit the gift shop.
I’ll be sharing my photographs from that section of Woburn Safari Park in Part 2
Don’t forget, you can see all of the photographs from our family day out on my Flickr.