We can’t resist visitng a zoo if we’re on holiday and there’s one nearby, so we had to make a stop at Manor Wildlife Park when we were visiting Tenby.
It’s about a 5 minute drive out of the town, so easy to drive to, and there’s plenty of parking. You can also get a bus from Tenby (there’s 2 a day Monday to Saturday). The park is just along from Heatherton World of Activities as well, so you could do both in one day. If you’re
The morning we visited, we did Pembroke Castle first, then came back to Manor Wildlife Park, booking for 11.30. There was a short queue at the entrance which was a bit frustrating given we’d already booked our tickets. There didn’t seem to be a different queuing system to get through faster. Luckily the queue moved quite fast – if it had been busier I’d not have been happy to have to wait for ages. You don’t have to book in advance, but I preferred to so I knew we’d be ok to get in when we wanted.
It’s not the biggest of places, but is good for a couple of hours if you see everything. If your children like play areas there’s a Hay Play barn, a bouncy castle on the lawn by the cafe, and an indoor softplay in these amazing huge dome structures.
When we were there, there was some development of a play area, and the howler monkey enclosure was being worked on. I presume by later in the summer these will be in place.
Our first stop was an early lunch as we wanted to miss the lunch rush. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best experience. There’s a snack shack, but this really was just snacks, so not suitable for a meal. We headed to the main cafe. It wasn’t busy inside for ordering – we’d ordered N a cheese toastie, were given a buzzer which would mean we could go to the collection point.
We headed outside to a table – there’s plenty of picnic tables, many with parasols, and a large grass area to sit and eat. It was busy with families and people walking around the park, but everyone seemed to find somewhere to sit. Unfortunately our buzzer just didn’t go off. After 15 minutes, N went to the collection point to see if it had been left there. No.
I went back in – I’d already finished my food, to ask if it had been forgotten. Evidently it had been ready ages before. So they said they’d check it and bring it out to us as our table was just by the door. 10 minutes later we were still waiting. When I went in again they made out I was hassling them. It still wasn’t that busy, there wasn’t a queue, so really what was the issue. Noone seemed to be ordering the pizzas that were on offer, so the other options were fairly limited to sandwiches and jacket potatoes. Nothing too complex. Eventually his toastie arrived. Evidently it wasn’t that great after all that anyway. Disappointing.
Animals at Manor Wildlife Park
Around the main walk through areas it was a one way system. This worked really well meaning you got to see everything. Then for the larger animals you could go where you wanted. The map they provide is really helpful as it tells how easy and accessible different walkways are – whether it’s steep etc for wheelchairs.
One of the best things about Manor Wildlife Park is the walk through areas. These can get a bit busy, but you can buy wallaby food for that walkthrough. Unfortunately N wasn’t that fussed about going in with the wallabies – it was quite busy, although we did see one with its joey poking its head out of the pouch. Very cute.
We started in the giant rabbit walk through. N loved these, wanting to stroke them all, and trying to work out which of Peter Rabbit’s family they looked like. We liked the way some were staying asleep in peace in the ‘animals only’ area.
Next it was into the lemurs enclosure in the African Village. The lemurs were all out sunbathing, or watching the goats annoying people in their area. Around the enclosure there were information signs about the animals.
Some of the goats had their kids with them kept in one area away from visitors but they were still keen to nibble and have a stroke at the fence. In the walkthrough area there were pygmy goats wandering round and chasing food. I don’t mind them, but N wasn’t interested. ‘Goats smell’ was his excuse.
Meerkats are always on our visit list, and they were as cute as all meerkats are. One just seemed to be on watch, while the others lazed.
We did stick our heads in the hay and play barn – there was only one family playing and staying cool in there out of the sun. I loved the soft play structure, and it looked popular when we had a nosy.
The 2 Siberian tigers were beautiful. They were just sitting in the sun, although we did see one walking up and down the next time we went past. I needed my good camera to get better shots, but they are spectacular creatures.
I always love the zebras and got to check out the llama, tapirs (who came out for a walk around much to the excitement of another little boy who’d been asking the keeper where they were) and emus.
It’s a bit of a walk up to the gibbons. I love watching them, although N seemed more interested in reading about them on the walk around. One was out showing off moving around the ropes, while another was inside – we could still watch them balancing and hanging around.
N was moaning his legs ached by that stage, so we didn’t walk all the route around towards the white rhinos. Instead we returned the way we came, able to see the rhinos from a different longer angle, and past the camels.
We were probably only at Manor Wildlife Park for 1 ½ hours, but it was plenty to see what we wanted. It’s a fairly compact site, with plenty of different walkways, although it did feel like there was quite a bit still under construction and ;lots of empty space around the snack shack.
I’d have liked more signs pointing different directions to see different animals. You can generally see them from different areas because of the size, but in some places we weren’t sure which way we could go, or what was in different directions.
The toilets near the cafe were really clean and tidy which is always good.
Otherwise, it was a nice hour or so seeing animals and have some more time outside being in the sunshine.
What would you want to see if you went to Manor Wildlife Park?
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