On Monday we headed over the the South Lakes Safari Zoo near Ulverston. It’s a long drive from where we live but a beautiful one and well worth the effort.
Entrance was £16.50 per adult and that gets you 4 children in for free (under 3’s are free regardless) which I thought was really good value. One thing I was a little disappointed about was the lack of maps. Last time we went you were handed an A4 sheet with a map of the zoo but this has since changed and now the only way to get a map is to buy a guidebook for £4. That being said, there are plenty of sign posts so you can get round without one, but the layout can be a little confusing if you’ve never been before.
You are no longer allowed to take food with you through the zoo but you can use the picnic area just after admissions, so we arrived just after 11:30am and ate our lunch straight away. There is a great park there for the kids to run around and M and L loved the carved crocodile benches.
All fed and raring to go we headed to Africa. The rhino’s, giraffes and zebras were stunning, although I think we need to brush up on L’s animal knowledge as she got very excited pointing at this rhino and shouting ‘dog!’
Next up we had to leave the pushchair and headed into a large enclosure where the kangaroos, wallabies, emus, lemurs and lots of other animals we couldn’t identify roamed freely. For me, this is the best part of the whole zoo and the kids loved it too, getting so close to all the animals.
The lemurs are the best (although they do warn you not to touch as they have a very nasty bite), and a lot of them were laid out relaxing and enjoying the rare sunshine. The lemur above looked like he was meditating and was a particular favourite with M who decided to name him Chiller.
The parrot aviary was very noisy, but how stunning is this guy? A word of caution, if they are all lined up on one the beams over the walkway I wouldn’t attempt to walk underneath, they seem to enjoy pooing on whoever tries!
How adorable is this family, the baby was fast asleep.
This lion was walking around with a cub in her mouth. The cub can’t have been more than a day or two old as the cord stump was still clearly visible. If I’m honest, although it was great to see I did feel that the mother really didn’t know what to do with herself and was pacing a lot and should maybe have been kept somewhere quieter with her newborn. But then maybe being indoors would have been worse for her, I don’t know.
L loved the Jaguars and got really excited when this one walked right past her. He actually settled down on the grass just round the corner with another one we watched as they gave each other a wash and had a little play. Unfortunately the angle and the glare of the glass meant I couldn’t get a very clear picture but it was lovely to watch.
How cheeky is that grin?!
We sat and waited by the Jaguars until it was close to the feeding time for the penguins as M wanted to have a go at feeding them but when we got there (20min early) the queue was already huge and after waiting around for half an hour and the masses of people getting more and more crowded M decided he’d give it a miss.
To finish off the day we went back to the park for an ice-cream and let the kids run off whatever energy they had left before the long journey home.
It was a very long and tiring day (the zoo is all on a hill so pack light if you are going to need to push a pushchair round) but overall we had a great time and will definitely be going back again.
You can find out more information about the zoo here.