Longleat Safari and Adventure Park is a great day out for all ages. For me this is one of the best animal attractions where you can get REALLY close to the animals almost all of the time.
- Getting close to the animals
- All ages
- Most weather conditions
- Take some £1 coins, to take advantage of animal feeding opportunities.
We decided to take advantage of a hot sunny weekend to head to Longleat Safari & Adventure Park. I had heard that there were a couple of new additions to the park; Stingray Bay and Walk with Penguins, that we hadn’t seen before, so wanted to check them out.
There are so many opportunities to touch, or stand next to, or feed the animals. The Park is split into two sections. The Adventure Park and The Safari Park (Accessed by Car or Tour bus).
I visited with a 5 and 8 year old and we started the day in the Jungle Kingdom area where we saw all sorts of animals including Meerkats, porcupines and a ant eater.
We then went on the amazing jungle cruise open sided boat trip, which lasts about 15 minutes. This give you a great view of Gorilla Island, the hippo mud baths and a Gorilla Colony. What you see depends on the weather because on cooler days or earlier in the day the animals stay in bed! However you are guaranteed to see the sealions! They follow the host from the middle of the lake , calling and splashing their fins in hope you will feed them some fish. The cruise is free but if you want to actually feed the sealions (which is well worth it) you have to pay £1 per pot of 3 or 4 fish.
The Walk with Penguins area is fab and the penguins are so cute….and remarkably well behaved. There is an outside section where you can actually walk through a small area of the enclosure to watch the penguins and get REALLY close. Inside there are amazing glass sided tank areas and rocks , again you get very close to them so it grabs the children’s interest immediately. At the end of the indoor enclosure is stingray bay, again you get very close and the rays are friendly and come up to say hello!
Another favourite with the kids was the bird enclosure where you feed the parakeets, nectar (again £1 per pot). Watch out though they will land on you!! The 5 year old was very interested and though initially nervous handled them landing on him well, even when he had a bird on his hand and shoulder.
The animal adventure area gives children a chance to handle and stroke animals and reptiles. There are different animals to pet depending on the day. Today it was a snake, in the past they have held a tarantula and stroked an armadillo. There is also a butterfly area where butterflies fly free around you in a tropical atmosphere. This area is very warm and handy to warm up on a cold day!
We had lunch in the tropical storm cafe, which is a canteen style self service restaurant serving simple but wholesome food such as lasagne, sausage and chips, fish and chips, jacket potatoes and burgers. A child’s meal (we had sausage and chips) costs £5.25 and an adults is only slightly more. The portions were generous! I noticed there is a microwave to use for heating baby food.
There are other options such as ‘Costa Coffee’, ‘Pizza Piazza’ and cakes are served in the truly BEAUTIFUL Orangery. There are lots of benches and open spaces so you could always take a picnic.
After lunch we headed for the Safari Park. On entry you are given a CD which talks you through the animals you see. It takes about 45mins-1hr but I think it could take longer during busy periods. There are a few places where you can stop and get out to get a closer view of the animals, however mainly this is an ‘in car’ area where you drive through the enclosures and the animals wander around you, while your little watch through the glass in awe!
A great day. We definitely reccomend!