Tuesday 7 August 2018

South Lakes Safari Zoo

Based in Cumbria, South Lakes Safari Zoo offers an experience different to many other zoos! Walk around many areas of the zoo and the animals will walk alongside you! Without fences!!

When we planned our visit to the zoo I wasn't really sure how I'd feel with the animals walking around, especially some of the larger birds and kangaroos, but our 4 year old was really excited about our latest adventure so I just had to be brave! 

Mum and son standing in front of giraffes

On entry we were warmly greeted by staff, who explained the different areas where the animals roamed freely and which we could feed, along with feeding times for the larger animals. We decided on a bag of food to feed the kangaroos, wallabies and some of the birds, and also booked to feed the giraffes, which was £3 each. I thought this was really well priced compared to some animal experiences you see. 

We made our way over to the rhinos and then on to the secure safari area, where you could feed and walk among the animals. None of them were overly interested in the food though, I think they'd been well fed by other visitors. 

Kangaroos laying and sitting on the grass

Next, we headed over to feed the giraffes! Our plan was for Daddy and JJ to feed them but Daddy wasn't too keen so I stepped in. At only £3 each I wondered how good the experience would be but I was quite impressed!

Giraffe eating from a tree

The keeper asked for everyone to line up and told us about the giraffes and gave us instructions on how to feed them. We were then each given a couple of handfuls of carrots and waited our turn. 

Mum and son feeding giraffes

There was no rushing and JJ and I really enjoyed the experience. He's still talking about it weeks later!

Mum and son standing next to a giraffe

We then had lunch and the meals were well sized and reasonably priced but we were a little disappointed that around 15 minutes after ordering we were told JJ's meal wasn't available and he had to pick again. Not ideal with a 4 year old!

Next, we headed over to see the big cats fed. The keeper also did a talk and was very informative and explained the current breeding program.

Then we went to see the penguins, where another keeper gave a talk and there was the opportunity to feed them, which was also priced at £3. 

Mum and son feeding penguins with a zookeeper handing them fish

We were able to just pay for JJ but all of us were able to go in so I could help and Daddy could take photos. 

Mum and son feeding penguins with zookeeper  watching

Again, this was very good value and he was given plenty of fish to feed to the penguins.

Mum and son feeding penguins with keep watching

We saw so many animals at South Lakes Safari Zoo. Lions, tigers, bears, lemurs, leopards, rhinos, hippos, meerkats, otters, we saw them all. 

Brown bears

We enjoyed our time at the zoo but I'm aware a few years ago it was a very different place for visitors but sadly also for the animals. There was certainly no sign of that when we visited and the animals seemed well cared for.

Small hippo with his mouth wide open showing his teeth

As with all my day out posts I'll share important info and top tips!
  • Areas of the zoo are very open with little shade, so ensure you have plenty of suncream on! We were there on one of the hottest days of summer and we struggled!
  • The toilets weren't very nice, so wash your hands well and carry sanitizer! 
  • The car park is HUGE so unlike some places in the Lake District you don't need to worry about parking!
  • There's a big gift shop at the end so be prepared for 'please can I have' if you're going with kids.
  • Feed the animals if your budget allows, as it's a real memory maker and the cheapest I've ever seen the experience offered.
Little boy sitting in a kids ride on jeep

Even though it was a ridiculously hot day we really enjoyed our time at South Lakes Safari Zoo and it's ideal for a family day out. It's not everyday you get to feed giraffes and penguins!

Mummy Snowy Owl

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