“ The Croft / Drumsmittal / North Kessock / Ross-shire / IV1 1XF / Tel: 01463 731656. „
in a few words...don't go!!! Was there today and the place is a mess!! I would have thought that over the winter months they might have tidied the park up and sorted out the fencing or at least even cleaned the habitats of the animals out...evidentally not..the place is a disgusting mess. Those poor animals. Whoever owns this place is a disgrace to themselves and the area. Charging £15 for one adult and child is disgusting for what we saw today. Even the childs play area looks like it's been reclaimed, my 8 year old sat on what looked like newish swing sets....eh..fix them into the ground properly!!! Saw a fair few animals that were limping around or just looked miserable....as I say DON'T GO, give your £15 to the RSPCA who might actually shut this horrid place down.
THE WILDLIFE AND FARM PARK!
Black Isle Wildlife And Farm park is located North East of Inverness, and unfortunately you need a car to get there, as it is off the beaten track, (please see below for directions).
Once you get there however, you will certainly not be disappointed. The park is completely independently run, and relies heavily on tourists and bodies through the gates, for all of its running costs.
The park has approximately 20 acres of land, and houses animals of all shapes and sizes including, Ilamas, Rhea,Alpaca, and wallabies. It also has a good sized reptile and hatchery building.
It is open all year round, although during the winter months some of the animals have to be housed and you may not see everything, so my suggestion is to go during the summer season, from March to October, after the summer season the cafe is closed from October to the Following March.
Having been directed to our parking area by a car park attendant, we proceeded to the Reception/Coffee house/Gift house, to purchase our entrance tickets, and buy bags of food to feed the animals we were allowed to feed.
They clearly tell you that you can't feed the Zebras, Pigs or Monkeys as it can be dangerous. You are also given a map of the park so you know where to find the animals.
These beautiful creatures are amongst the first things you see when entering through the gates to the enclosures.They had Twany, Barn, Snowy and Eagle owls, all with their own separate very large cages that were very clean.
They were quite spectacular to see, in all their glory!
The goats were just adorable! and Cameron thought it was just hilarious when they were butting each other out of the way to get some of the food we had brought for them.
They were very friendly, and followed you around the fencing in the hope that you may have forgotten that you had indeed already fed them.
There were two adults and one baby, who had for whatever reason decided they wanted to stay inside their shelter, although it was a nice day. We did get a good look at them however, and again they were beautiful majestic animals.
The Rhea could be confused with the Emu as they look very similar. At the time we were there, the female was sitting on a nest of eggs, and the male was running up and down the fence trying to protect his family. A word of caution! please do not try and fed them as my husband found out when they pecked nearly all the skin from his palms, there is a feeding bucket, on the fence if you wish to leave some extra food for them.
I have just found out that unfortunately the eggs did not hatch and had to be removed from the parents.
These little fellows had the ultimate cute factor! and had a reasonable sized pen to themselves. We were astounded when out of around twenty of them, one little brave one came over and ate out of the children's hands, and even let me feed him to.
He was very gentle when eating out of our hands ,and we even got to stroke his coat, which in itself is very rare as they don't tend go near the visitors.
THE SWANS,DUCKS AND GEESE!
The next section you come to is where the fowl are kept, including four Black swans, who decided to show off for us, by puffing up his feathers. These fowl are allowed to roam the park freely so they usually follow you around, in the hope of another free meal.
The Alpaca can be confused with its close relative the llama! as they are just as tall and look very alike, only they are a chocolate brown in colour. They are just as beautiful to look at as the llama.
These beautiful creatures had a large paddock all to themselves along with a Stag, who would run away any time any humans came near the fence. We were blessed that one of the females decided she wanted a closer look, and came right up to us and let us feed her from our hands, it was the most exciting thing as they are known to be very shy and do not come near humans at all.
These cheeky chappies were so funny!
They have an enclosure which is linked to a secure one via a tunnel that ran under the pathway. They ran back and forth, and would stand on their back legs to have a good look around, if they heard anything out of the ordinary.
This snoozy little fellow, looked just like any domestic cat, but do not let that fool you as they would happily tear you to bits if they felt threatened. The one they had was just a baby and was already bigger than my own cat.
THE REPTILE HOUSE AND HATCHERY!
This is a building all on its own, which houses snakes of all shapes and sizes including, Boas and Pythons, and they all have their own human names.
Any of the staff are more than happy to take one out and let you get a good look at it, and if you wish you can hold one. Of course the boys couldn't wait, i however decided not to, and gave them a wide berth!
The hatchery had little chicks and small bunnies that could be picked up and stroked if you were extremely careful, and true to form the kids done this too.
They also have a minor bird who will tell you "I love you!", "Your cute!" or wolf whistle at you. The hatchery is almost at the end of your tour of the park and have hand washing facility that they recommend you use before leaving.
The facilities they have within the park are adequate enough for the parks uses these include. The male and female toilets and also a disabled one, which are very, very clean.
THE CAFE / GIFT HOUSE / RECEPTION!
This is where as i have already said to you, you report to, to buy your tickets and bags of food.
This is also where after trailing around all these beautiful animals you can sit down and have a well deserved coffee/tea and a bite to eat.
You can also buy a wide range of gifts here from tea-towels to cuddly toys, of the animals you have just seen. All the proceeds go towards the running of the park, but we felt the prices a bit expensive and bought just little gifts to remind us of what a super time we had.
CHILDRENS PLAY AREA!
There is a play area located behind the coffee shop, with benches and tables. When the weather is good you can take your coffee and eats outside and sit and watch the children play.If you so desire you can see the play area inside so you don`t need to go out. It has a large multi-play and slide and the children though it was very good.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS PARK?
In a nutshell YES!
This is a good little park with plenty to see, and in my opinion is worth the entrance fees.
Adults and children alike will love it, and get to see animals that maybe they would not normally get to see. They also have various other aviaries with a wonderful variety of exotic birds, that are so wonderful.
The best thing is that once you have paid your entrance fee, you may go around the park as many times as you desire. Just remember to buy more food every time you go around.
This park is also good for the disabled and infirm as the way around the park is level, and also accessible for pushchairs.
ADULTS ------- £5.50
FAMILY TICKET £20.00 ( 2adults and up to three children)
10% Given to group bookings at the parks discretion
Please note! that these prices are for this year only ,and may rise every year.
HOW TO GET THERE!
Take the North road A9 From Inverness,go across the Kessock bridge. Take the first turning on the right to Drumsmittal and the park is approx 1.5 miles on the left and is clearly signposted.
FOR MORE INFORMATION!
WEB- www.activitypoint.co.uk then click on attractions ,then click on animal parks.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR READING THIS REVIEW
Open March to November. 10am - 6pm seven days a week. Concession for all children and senior citizens. Children under 3 go free. Family tickets available. Facilities for coach parties - please ring in advance. Visitors are welcome during the winter months but please understand facilities will be reduced. Train rides at small charge. Timetable may vary.