We kicked off our Autumn Term with a visit to Longleat Safari Park and what an amazing day it was. The children had been counting down the sleeps until our visit and were all very excited. On the morning I was up super early (for me!) showered, dressed and downstairs sorting the picnic and doing washing before the children even woke up. The guinea pigs were even woken up early to have a run around before we left.
We arrived just after 10:00am, collected our tickets and went off to see what we could find. We saw the Otters, a Giant Anteater that was carrying her baby on her back, and Meercats having their breakfast of juicy live Meal worms.
We rushed round to see what animals we could hold, on the way seeing parrots, goats, rabbits and tortoises. The first animal we held was a gorgeous Royal Python. She was only a small one, but we all fell in love. R loved holding her and Little S was smitten. Granma fell in love with a very large lizard.
Next we did the Deadly 60 Challenge. As big Deadly 60 and Steve Backshall fans we thought this would be great. It was a little trickier than we expected and probably best suited for children 7 plus. We did have fun running around though and liked getting a certificate at the end. We then had a little look around the Postman Pat toy town.
We had a ride on the train seeing Dinosaurs, Pelicans, Sea Lions and Nico the Gorilla on the way. Then we went for lunch at The Tropical Storm Cafe, the children all enjoyed a big piece of fish with chips and beans and Granma and I had a Jacket potato each. It was really good food and gave us plenty of energy to carry on our adventure.
After lunch we headed to back to hold more animals, this time there was a Corn Snake. S decided that of all the animals there she wanted hold it would be the one that she could hold everyday at home. That’s right, she wanted to hold a Guinea Pig! A very lovely member of staff got out a blond Guinea Pig called Elsa for the girls to hold, later this same member of staff would help us again.
The children wanted to go and play in the castle, on the slide and in the soft play area. The older children absolutely loved the giant slides and could be heard giggling from the soft play. The soft play are has been redone since our last visit and the children loved the new balloon area.
Little S started getting quite grouchy and tired so we decided to get an ice cream and head back to the car to do the Safari. Our favourite bit, as ever, was the Monkey enclosure. The children all thought it was very funny when the monkey jumped on the car, Little S was laughing hysterically. One female Lion walked right behind our car which was amazing and the wolves seemed to be playing chase.
After the Safari we went back one last time to see what animals we could hold. R really wanted to hold a Tarantula, when we saw there wasn’t one out that lovely member of staff came to help again. She bought out a female Tarantula called Georgina. R held her first while we all looked on. Then, determined to overcome my fear of spiders, I had a hold! I couldn’t look as she was placed on my hands, she was heavier and softer than I had expected but sat still. I looked at her but not too closely. My heart was pounding but I am so glad and proud of myself for being able to do it. Even Granma had a quick hold.
With less than an hour left before the park closed we headed off to see the bats. They are so cute, with beautiful little faces. Then last but not least we went on the Jungle Cruise. For the first time ever I saw the Hippos, who at first looked like two big grey rocks at the waters edge. The Sealions were very talkative and the Gorillas were all active. It was a fantastic way to end our day.
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