My first week off during the summer holidays and we’ve made it out and about. One day a visit to the park in town for scooting. And another day out to West Midlands Safari Park. It was N’s first trip out off the farm (apart from for tennis), since March. I think we both needed to get out and do something like life pre-lockdown.
I’d booked a few days beforehand. Strangely, they just let you book day tickets, without specific slots. So when we arrived just after opening, the queues were insane to get in. It felt like there were just way too many people going in for limited numbers, but maybe just everyone turned up in the first 2 hours.
We headed for the safari first and it was queueing all the way round. I think they should probably have stopped selling animal feed, because it always gets held up with people stopping. But the rangers in their vehicles were moving animals off the roads and trying to keep cars moving.
We saw all the animals this time, although some from a distance – giraffes, elephants, a lot more rhinos than last time we visited. The African white lions were posing for photos, and another lioness walked across the road right in front of the cars. The camels were loving holding up the cars and one stuck its head right in someone’s car.
At West Midlands there’s no worry about monkeys on the car, because there are none. I do like a safari park and with social distancing it’s a great way to get out and about. As a photography fan, I do have to rely on N to take photos as I’m driving. And just grabbing my phone when we’re stopped.
Once we’d finished the safari it was a quick loo break then picnic lunch. We used the portaloos in the car park – no queue as they were a bit out of the way. And they were immaculately clean.
We’d decided we weren’t going on any rides today but wanted to wander through the walkways to see some of the other animals. Social distancing wasn’t too hard. The entrance and exit was via different ways, and the narrower walkways were split one way. Most people were social distancing with no problems, although we did get stuck behind some who kept stopping on the one way paths and blocking it.
We stuck with outdoor animals, looking at the penguins first. We love watching them, and there was plenty of space to get close. There was a feeling that you couldn’t just stand there for ages so everyone could get a turn to watch them though. They’re always popular.
Then it was through the rides area to the meerkats. I was sad that the lemur woods wasn’t open, but the meerkats were posing well and enjoying the sun. They always seem to have such personalities, although some were just fighting with each other.
A brief stop for an ice cream from a kiosk – first ice cream of the season, and an amusing encounter with a family of Canadian Geese, mum and dad out walking their goslings. Most just walked past, but ‘dad’ at the back wanted to get a bit aggressive as he walked past.
It was getting a bit busier by that stage so we decided we’d seen enough and were ready to head home. There were still cars queuing around the safari as we drove out of the park. It was a lovely day to spend out, and nice to get a change of scene from home.
Visiting places with N is always good fun (he might moan, but generally likes a day out), and it’s nice to chatter away in the car and while we’re there. Seeing things through the eyes of a 9 year old is always interesting too.
Where have you been out and about recently?