Don’t you just hate it when best laid plans are out of the window when you look out and see it raining? We’d planned to meet up with friends at the weekend and go to Blenheim Palace – our plans were to spend time outside in the Pleasure Gardens, on the playground and seeing what children’s activities were on. Not really rain suitable though. So we decided on meeting that we’d head down the road to Crocodiles of the World near Brize Norton.
Crocodiles of the World is a crocodile conservation and education centre based in the middle of nowhere on a farm. It’s been at this site for less than a year so there’s still a slight unfinished feel in some areas, but as something a bit different, it’s a lovely place to visit. Be prepared to be warm in the crocodile house and area though. Layers are the way to go if you get hot easily.
The boys just wanted to go from tank to tank, looking in at the reptiles then off to see the next one. I can’t say that N is very good at sticking with one thing for long, so he got quite impatient, although he did stop and watch for a bit if there was something more interesting going on in the tank…a crocodile swimming, or the green iguana moving from one tree branch to the next.
The tanks are such that you can see in standing up, but the windows also go to the ground so you can watch them under the water as well. They stay so still it’s hard to believe they’re alive.
Throughout the day there are various talks and demonstrations. We stopped to watch one of the keepers holding one of the baby crocodiles and talk about them which was interesting.
Then headed past the obligatory toys in the gift shop, out to the crocodile area. This housed the saltwater crocs and the largest enclosure where we were hoping to see the feeding. Some of the tanks had nesting females so we were advised to stay clear of those and quiet to give them a bit of privacy and avoid them getting uptight. The feeding demonstration must rotate round depending on which crocs need feeding on which day.
We watched Missile and Tornado who weren’t really playing ball. The keepers name train them to ensure they’re in the water for feeding (for safety reasons to avoid them jumping up at the trainers), and so they move around to get the food thrown in. I was expecting more thrashing around like in the movies, but I suppose they weren’t fighting their prey!
The boys loved the play area. For such a small place it was a good offer. Lots of picnic benches (there is a small café/refreshments area although we brought our own food), a climbing frame and slide. Enough to keep all the children there entertained. Although several children (younger ones who didn’t put their feet down at the bottom of the slide) did hurt their bottoms by sitting on a stone under the tree bark that was becoming exposed. I think they need to sort that out before a child becomes really hurt.
We spent a long time sitting chatting, while the boys played.
There’s also small lizard and tortoise enclosures, but we didn’t check those out. There was too much playing to be done!
All in all, it was a nice, spontaneous day out. The toilets were clean, it’s something a little bit different, and has a good play and picnic area. I do think it’s a little pricy though for the amount of time you could really spend there. We had a family ticket – 2 adults, 2 children and it was £27. Not that pricy compared to some places, but we probably only spent 1.5 hours looking at the animals, the rest was eating and playing which we could do anywhere.
Have you ever been somewhere similar like this? Are you a crocodile fan?