Sunday, 25 May 2014

Sea Lions And Other Animals At Knowsley Safari Park

We went to Knowsley Safari Park (between Liverpool and Warrington)  a little while ago and took part in one of their Family Workshops - my blog post is here. It makes a fantastic day out, we had a brilliant time, yet we didn't even go on the safari drive.

As well as driving around the park visiting all of the wild animals, and having to make the decision whether or not you drive through the monkey enclosure, Knowsley has lots of other interesting animals to discover.

During our Family Workshop we fed the bats, meercats and giraffes, but we also saw lots more and didn't get a chance to tell you about it, so here are the insects, snakes and reptiles, birds, hogs and sea lions.

 

The Red River Hogs made an appearance early on in our day, because they live between the giraffes and the meercats. Our youngest thought these were far more interesting than the giraffes!


The area of the park which you walk around is really compact and neatly laid out, so it's very easy to cover with little ones, yet it still has plenty of grassy areas, a huge sandpit with toys and a great play area. 


Our first visit was the reptile and insect house, which was fairly busy, so if you can leave prams outside, but it's just a long thin room so you won't be likely to lose little ones. 


A lot of the tanks and enclosures were lower down, so children could see without being lifted all the time.


Afterwards we went and ate lunch. It was fairly priced and tasty - there was a huge choice in the large Oasis Restaurant. Naturally the boys had chips!


I was most impressed that there were absolutely loads of benches and places to sit and eat, and even plenty of places to sit with your own pack up brought from home. 


Then we visited the birds. I can't help feeling that I don't like to see birds enclosed, but Knowsley lets most of their birds of prey out regularly for their Flight Of The Talons display.


There are bees near the birds - we didn't go over to see them.........

Next it was the stars of the show. Knowsley is very well known for it's sea lions, and Biffo, Arthur and Reggie put on a display usually 4 times a day. 


We got there really early to queue up, so that we could get front row middle seats. They're INCREDIBLY STRICT about the first people in the queue getting the best seats - the staff are absolutely lovely to anyone who follows the rules!



 The Sea Lions are amazing - they clearly love what they do, they were incredibly excited and eager to get started. They knew exactly when it was going to be their turn.

 They can balance a ball on their nose.....

Knowsley Park Sea Lions balancing balls
  
They can catch rings thrown towards them....

Knowsley Park Sea Lions catching rings

The star of the show was the biggest and oldest Sea Lion, Biffo. He could leap an amazing distance out of the water to hit a ball with his nose. 

Knowsley Park Sea Lion jumping out of the water

And he can climb stairs far quicker than I can, and then dive into the water from great height. And all the while the other Sea Lions clapped and shouted....

Sea Lion jumping into water after climbing steps

It really was fantastic. I can honestly say I was really impressed with the level of care and respect all of the keepers had with their animals. I've always been a bit dubious about animal shows, but those Sea Lions couldn't wait to go in and perform, and the show was around half an hour which almost warranted the entrance fee on it's own.

We popped in the gift shop before we left, and the boys spent their pocket money....I think a bat and a tarantula are very apt - and my youngest clearly has a future in acting! 


We will go back and drive around the park sometime soon, we had a lovely day at Knowsley and it has a lovely atmosphere. It's really easy to get to from Manchester too.

Knowsley Safari Park opens daily at 10am and the last admittance and drive around the park is at 4pm. Online advance tickets cost £14.85 per adult, £11.25 per child and a family ticket 2+2 is £49.50/2+3 is £60.75. Children under 3 have free entry.

We received free entry to Knowsley Safari Park to review the Family Workshops

What's Happened? What's Happening?

12 comments:

  1. Your shots of the sea lion are brilliant. I haven't been to the zoo for ages.

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    1. Aww thanks Angela! I was very lucky - I just took loads as quick as I could and hoped for the best :)

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  2. I never knew that sea lions could climb stairs! Your youngest does look very cute, with his 'terrified' face. Knowsley looks great - it's good to know that the animals are well-looked after. And to be sure you'll get a table at lunchtime!

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    1. I couldn't believe the stairs! I thought they were going to hoist him up, or he'd appear having climbed a ramp I couldn't see - but he was off like a shot! :

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  3. What a great day out, so much to see and do. Think my 2 would enjoy that sealion show!

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    1. It was brilliant! EVERYONE enjoyed the Sea Lion show - it was so much more than I'd expected :)

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  4. You went to Knowsley Safari Park and didn't drive around the park? Crazy! :D We went last Summer and loved it. I really want to go again soon. Thanks for linking up to #WHWH

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    1. Jane told us we'd have to go back to the entrance to pay, and we didn't fancy losing a windscreen wiper or anything. By the time we'd looked at everything down there where the shops and restaurant were, we'd used up the day anyway! We'll go back :D

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  5. I haven't been since I was in primary school, I went on a trip with Brownies! I didn't realise you could go and not walk round x

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    1. Not drive I think you mean. I didn't realise that either! You still have to pay entry alas :D

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  6. Sounds like a great day. This is definitely on our list of places to visit soon!

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    1. It is cool. Very long way for you though! :)

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