We recently went on holiday to Center Parcs and while we were there wanted to go down the road and visit Longleat Safari Park. We booked our tickets online the day before and couldn’t wait to see the animals and potentially get our car attacked by the monkeys.
The first stop was Jungle Kingdom. I would probably have to say of the smaller animals the meerkats are my favourite. They seem to have tonnes of character and I could watch them all day. Longleat Safari Park have a fantastic meerkat walk through enclosure where the path goes right through their patch and they can even run straight out in front of you. On this visit there were some watching for predators (none around), some digging for food (plenty to go around) and some burrowing (throwing sand around). They were all adorable and I would go again just for that experience.
Next up and in the same area was the Binturong, I didn’t know what this animal was at first and had to do some reading up on it. The family simply stood and watched as it ate snacks, which looked like sweet potato, sniffed at the air and occasionally walked up and down the tree branches. We then made it in time to watch the parrot show where they performed tricks and skills and it was great to hear that the birds themselves had been rescued showing just a small part of the work that Longleat do into helping animal welfare. The parrots were located in the Animal Adventure section which also included an indoor petting area. On one side of this you could stroke a guinea pig and on the other was a tarantula. My mum, who hates anything like that, actually held the tarantula so a big well done there. The keeper behind the table was very friendly and was happy to answer our questions even though she likely gets asked the same thing five times a day. Power to her.
Monkey Temple was up next and due to the cold weather in the morning they weren’t big fans of coming out to play. I also want to say just here that walking around isn’t just location to location as there are themes and decoration everywhere linking to the area you are in which makes it that little more thoughtful. Monkey Temple was no different with their giant statues and carving detail. It was also another area where the animals could come right out of their enclosure and run around on ropes and trees over head and after a little coaxing with some food one of the little marmosets did in fact come out.
The last immersive experience was the bat cave. I loved it and even though it is a slightly weird feeling when a fruit bat flies so close to you they are actually cute creatures with their fluffy bodies and big eyes.
It wasn’t long before we were hungry so stopped at The Chameleon Tree Restaurant and Coffee House. The food was good at a fair price and I would definitely eat there again next time.
Koala Creek was an interesting visit as I had never seen a koala other than those on tv. They were quiet and enjoying a nap on a tree each. After a long wander round seeing more animals and just generally seeing the sights of Longleat we decided to go on the Jungle Cruise. The animals that we saw here were hippos, or more precisely the tops of hippos, who were clearly having a quiet day between themselves; Monkeys on the centre island and Gorillas in Gorilla Colony. My favourite part of the cruise was without doubt the sealions (and the sassy, quick witted keeper on the mic) which became very excited at the prospect of food. Passengers could purchase fish and feed the sealions who would shout, splash and wave to get our attention. They were individually great characters and I would love to learn more about them and do the Jungle Cruise again next time.
There is a lot more to come from our day at Longleat Safari Park as I haven’t even got to the Safari aspect yet! Keep checking back for more animal adventures and our look around Longleat House. If you want to see more photos and videos check out my Instagram or Pinterest.
Until next time,