We decided to visit Knowsley Safari park as we were able to purchase a discount voucher through a local deal site. The family ticket allowed entrance for 2 adults and 2 children for a total of £29 instead of the regular family ticket price of £55.
Upon arrival at the park we waited approximately 10 minutes to reach the entrance booths, although there seemed to be a mass of cars waiting the lines were moving steadily and we were processed through efficiently. A cute little detail here was that you are given a map as well as a sheet of stickers with the varying animals to spot on your travels, our son enjoyed peeling these off and sticking them in the correct locations. Even though the park was busy there are 2 lanes for the safari drive. You can take the drive entirely at your own pace and pull over where ever you spot anything interesting. As we entered the lion enclosure we were suprised at how many of the 'big cats' we were able to see. There was a large group of them lounging very close to the through road, we didn't feel unsafe though as there were clearly rangers about. Here is a handy tip-stay out of the baboon enclosure if you value your car. We loved this section of the park, in fact we had a very entertaining half hour as we pulled up outside the baboons and watched them mischievously jumping on unsuspecting cars and pulling at anything they could get hold of.
There is a great little picnic area for those who go prepared. We parked up the car and took the kids to enjoy the rest of the park on foot. There are around 15 small rides that children can go on if they purchase tickets or a wristband. A wristband was £10 which we were happy to pay as we had saved on the entrance price. The rides are only really suitable for children up to the age of 8, any older and I think they would struggle to enjoy what was on offer. Our son aged 5 enjoyed them all although we had to queue for about 15 minutes for the busier ones. also in this section of the park is a cafe, ice cream parlour, gift shop and other kiosks. As a family we enjoyed ice cream before taking in some of the other animal attractions including the bird show, sea lion show, elephant and giraffe enclosures . We found that there was plenty to do to fill the best part of the day, my only slight criticism would be that after paying for entrance fees and ride wristbands it would have been great to see a better playground that children could use without further costs being incurred. overall a good family day out!
The plan had been to take my son and his friend to the South Lakes Wild animal park for his birthday treat but as he had been poorly right up to his birthday I didn't think it was going to be a good idea to travel for around three hours in total to get up to the South Lakes and back. We decided that we would have a trip to Knowsley safari park instead which was around an hour and a half round trip and would obviously mean less walking around for my son. This is my review of the park.
We did have use of sat nav to help us in getting to the safari park but the drive was simple with it and as we got closer to the park it was well sign posted and just off the A58 which is in the North West of England, towards Liverpool.
The website does offer details on how to find them and this is a useful tool we found. You do need to have a car to enjoy the safari experience and so this is something to be mindful of.
The park is open from 10am until 6pm during high season with a last entry to the safari drive at 4pm.
We arrived around 11.30am to the park on the 6th May which was the day before the bank holiday and was actually quite a pleasant day weather wise in the North West and so we did expect the park to be quite busy. We had to queue in the car for around five minutes or so before we made it to the booth to purchase our tickets for the day.
Now I had looked around online to try and find a discount voucher for the day with little luck and so I ended up paying 99p on ebay for a leaflet which offered two free children as long as two adults were paying. One thing that I find quite remarkable with Knowsley is the fact that you need to pay quite a high price for every person in the car and I do think it would be much more reasonable to have a lower "per car" price. Ordinarily the price per adult is £16 and per child £12 or £53 for a family of four. Children up to the age of three do go free. Currently there is a promotion offering 20.12% off admission charges and so it cost £25.50 for us all to get in with our free child vouchers which is a much more acceptable price in my opinion.
We were given a few vouchers for money off meals in the park and a map and stickers for the children to do as they were driven around the park which was a hit with my son and his friend but it would have been nice to have been given one each I think.
We decided to drive straight round the safari and whilst it was busy we were able to get a good luck at the animals just by taking our time really. There are various animals to be seen in the park including different kinds of deer, wild dogs, lions, rhino, baboons, camels, ostriches and there are also giraffes and elephants housed in the park but you need to go in to the main park to see those. The animals are able to just walk around their areas for the most part and it is amazing how you will spot a small deer family set off in the distance and such like. Ostriches get very close to the cars as they have become used to the fact that people seem to throw food to them despite the fact that this is against the rules of the park.
The lion section of the safari was very busy and took the longest amount of time to get around as cars waited patiently for the most part to get a good look at the lions. The lions were busy sun bathing but the male lion got up for a walk around as we were heading in line with him and so we did get a good view of this amazing creature which my son and his friend really loved.
The baboon section is probably by far the most fun section of the park for a child to experience but we learned the hard way that unless you want your car to be wrecked you should probably take the car friendly route and watch them jump all over other peoples cars! My sister made the decision to drive the car through the baboons and whilst it was incredible to see them at such close proximity they did manage to strip one of the rubber sections off the front wiper before a rather large one fell on the rear wiper and snapped it good and proper. No liability is taken for damage caused by the baboons by Knowsley safari park and there are signs saying you enter at your own risk. Despite this we now have a £48 minimum to pay to replace the rear wiper so I would say be really careful before you head in to the baboon enclosure and be mindful of the risks. This said we all loved the experience right up until the end when the damage was caused.
You are able to drive through the safari more than once if you want to but we decided not to revisit it at the end of the day as my sisters legs were aching and we were conscious that she would have to drive home straight afterwards.
==The rest of the park==
When you have driven through the safari you are able to park up to experience the rest of the park where there are various rides and a few shows plus the giraffes, elephants and a few other animals to see there. Parking was relatively easy considering that it was quite a busy day and we weren't too far away from the main entrance at all.
There are lots of amusement type rides in the park and to go on these you need to purchase tickets from the little cabin. The line for the cabin was quite ridiculous in all honesty and as this is the only place to buy tickets it was our only option should we want to go on any rides. As it happened I managed to talk the children out of going on rides as they cost £2 per child per ride or £10 per child for a wristband for the day. For me this is a little expensive considering the entrance price to get in to the safari park and I was glad when the children said they weren't bothered about the rides.
For 2012 there is a birds of prey experience and I would totally recommend making the time to attend one of the showings on this. Basically a keeper talks you through various birds of prey as they fly around. You are warned prior to the birds flying that they do like to fly low but even then I wasn't prepared for just how low they do actually get and you will certainly need to duck out of the way on various occasions! The talk combined with seeing the birds up close was really interesting and both my son and his friend really enjoyed it.
There is also a sea lion show at various points in the day and again I would totally recommend you take the time to go and see this as the sea lions are very clever and it makes an entertaining show for all of the family. I would advise getting down to the doors around fifteen minutes before show time to get a good seat to watch the show as it does get very busy.
There are areas in the park of grass, a woodland walk and places just to rest for a little while so if you go on a sunny day it is great for the children just to run around a little. My son and his friend had a five minute game of tag just whilst my sister and I sat and chilled out for a moment. There are also drinks machines around should you need them as well as a café and toilets too.
==The gift shop==
Of course you cannot take young children to a place such as this without visiting the gift shop! Inside the shop there are notepads, stationary, teddies, sweets, cups and bottles and such like which most are relatively well priced really. There is an awful lot to choose from in the shop so I would allow yourself plenty of time to have a look around.
Knowsley safari park is a nice day out really but if I didn't have the vouchers for the day and the children had wanted to go on various rides it would have proved to be incredibly expensive really. What would be nice would be if they introduced some sort of "all inclusive" package with rides and such like included as I feel I would then be more inclined to return.
I personally don't think it is the kind of place I would go to month in month out but I think every year or two it is a nice day out and I would certainly recommend people having a look.....just be careful of the monkeys!
Thank you for reading my review!
Knowsley Safari Park
During the summer holidays we decided to book a hotel close to the safari park and spend a couple of days having a look at some of the attractions in the area.
We have taken Little Miss to zoos but thought that this would be more interesting and a chance to see animals out of cages.
With the sat nav set, the safari park was easy to find and not far from the motorway. To pay, simply drive the car to one of the boots, pay the entrance fee and receive a rather nice glossy booklet about the park. Once paid, we parked the car in the large and free car park which also features toilets so that the there is no issue on the safari journey.
It's a bit confusing finding the actual safari drive as its not especially well sign posted but find it we did. It is a five mile safari drive along a normal looking road, with animals roaming freely in the large fields. Different areas are enclosed obviously so animals such as the lions don't wander into the fields with the deer etc. There are also signs warning visitors to keep their windows closed in certain areas although to be safe I think its best to keep the windows up at all times. We saw animals such as lions, tigers, hunting dogs, bison, wildebeest, and white rhino. Some of these animals were really close to the road and some were actually walking along the road and having a good look into the cars.
The animal we had gone to see more than any others were the infamous baboons. I remember years ago going to Lambton Lion Park and distinctly remember the baboons jumping on the car- this is what we hoped to re enact! There are plenty of warnings about the baboons, and because they can damage the car, there is a viewing area and also a drive through area. Visitors looking through the fencing at the viewing area were obviously having a look at the baboons jumping on other peoples cars but we decided to brave it. The baboons didn't disappoint and within minutes of going into their area we had them jumping onto the car walking along the roof and terrifying small grandson when one walked right along the side of his window barring its teeth; he soon recovered and still enjoys telling the story! For obvious reasons, soft top cars are not allowed in the lion or baboon sections of the park although in the lion area we saw very little action- they were all basking in the sunshine.
THE WALKAROUND AREA...
After the safari we drove to the walkaround area but before our walkaround, we decided to have our picnic. The place was ideal for a picnic, because we parked the car in a very large grassed area (the designated parking space) and dotted around here were tables in the trees and plenty of run around space. It wasn't like a normal car park as there was so much space that cars weren't parked next to each other, and it was safe for the children to stretch their legs.
This is just large enough to interest children but not so big that they start to get bored. The elephants and giraffe enclosures have viewing spots and we were righ up close and personal for the giraffe feeding- Little Miss was fascinated by the black tongues! There are also meerkats, otters, farm animals in the Lake Farm, the Bug House, and a bird of prey display. Its all nicely set out with plenty of space to move around without being herded along with crowds of people.
THE SEA LION SHOW...
The sea lion shows run daily and is included in the entrance price. Visitors sit on stepped seats and the stage is decorated ready for the entrance of the sea lions.
All three Sea lions, Biffo, Max and Arthur take part in the show where they perform different behaviours such as ball balancing, ring catching, seal and shark impressions and the big high ball jump finale.
At the end of the show, people can meet the presenters and ask them questions about the animals.
After the show, the sea lions can be viewed in their pool via the viewing area.
FOOD AND DRINK...
We had taken a picnic but when the inevitable rain started we took shelter in the Oasis restaurant. This was clean and had tvs showing the antics of the animals, and served a selection of reasonably priced food and drinks.
We didn't try it but there is also Aerial Extreme, which is a high ropes course, and was clearly visible from the sea lion pool; this again didn't look too busy
There is also a shop selling the usual gifts which you never knew you wanted
There are different opening times for summer and winter.
Summer Opening Times (1st March to 31st Oct) 10:00am to 4:00pm daily and in the winter, the attraction is open only at weekends, 10.30am till 3pm
Adults (16 years and over) £15.00
Children (3-15 years) £11
OAP's (60 years and over) £11
Amusement Rides are £2.00 per ticket and £10 per wrist band
Address: Prescot, Merseyside L34 4AN
Telephone: 0151 430 9009
It was quite a long journey for us from Newcastle but easy to find and so there were no arguments! Apart from being unable to find the actual safari once we had entered the park, it was an easy journey.
The actual safari is good fun and the children (and adults) thoroughly enjoyed seeing the animals at close quarters and uncaged. Safety seemed to be paramount and there were plenty of employees willing to talk to visitors and answer any questions.
There is plenty to do for all ages and it really is a full day out.
Recommended- glad we went.
Thanks for reading
Knowsley Safari Park (Merseyside)
Last Sunday myself and my partner were stuck for something to do and on a whim decided that we would go to Knowsley Safari Park. The journey there was quite eventful with my navigating and I recommend anyone who is going there to make sure that they have their Sat Nav's charged as it is not the easiest place to find, the road signs leading to there do not mention the Safari Park until you are virtually on top of it.
Also make sure that you have enough petrol to go around (which my partner also forgot) as you can go around more than once.
We paid 14.00 per adult which when we had finished there, I thought was an absolute bargain. Also there are packs that you can buy for 5.00 consisting of an audio CD and a brochure of the animals, we got ours thrown in for free!?!
A season ticket for adults costs a mere 35.00 and Child/OAP 25.00. If after your visit you wish that you had bought a season ticket instead of a one day pass, that's ok. You can take your day ticket along with the extra money and transfer it to a season pass!!!
Adults (16 and over) - 14.00 Per Visit/35.00 Season Pass
Child (3-15) - 10.00 Per Visit/25.00 Season Pass
OAP (60Yr and Over) - 10.00 Per Visit/25.00 Season Pass
After you have arrived at the park and paid your way in using the Toll Booth there is a 5 mile trail (taking about an hour) to follow through the animals and I really mean this when I say that it is truly amazing to see them all up close.
Fallow Deer, (otherwise known as Dama Dama), not the most interesting of animals to see but still beautiful to look at.
Reah (Reah Americana) a flightless bird much like the emu and ostrich only larger, seems even bigger up close though!!
Pere Davids Deer (Elaphurus Davidianus), lovely little bambi like deer, kept their eyes on the cars passing and if one got too close for their liking then they would take a cautious step back....aaahh!!
African Wild Dogs (otherwise known as African Wild Dogs, Painted Hunting Dog, Spotted Dog, Cape Hunting Dog or Spotted Wolf - WOW!!!). At first I was not too impressed by these as I couldn't see them properly, they were all huddled together (like a big pile on) justwatching the cars go past with one eye open. Just before we got to them one decided to stretch their legs and so all the others followed them. Whenyou see them standing up, up close it the sight of them is amazing, mainly their heads are dark and tip of their tails snow white with multicoloured splashes of fur all over, really a lovely sight, although I would not like to meet one on a dark night (or a whole pack of them seeing how that is how they hunt!!).
According to the Guide Book we should have seen Tigers but we didn't spot any but there is that many sights to see and constant amazement that you don't notice what you miss until later on.
Lions (Panthera Leo). As with the entrance to most of the animals there is a large cattle grid on the floor which you have to travel over and then the most breathtaking sight, groups of Lions everywhere, lounging on hills, roaming around cars, and playfighting with eachother. I really cannot describe just what it feels like to see something so powerful and beautiful up close. They are so placid (in a sense), just watching the cars go past, carrying on what they are doing, and some even "posing" for photographs to be taken!!
Out of the Lions and onto the Axis Deer (Axis Axis), spotted deer's were all so calm, standing in groups and one baby that we seen lying down underneath what I can only assume to be their mothers legs - so cute!
Emu (Dromaiusnovaehollandiae) the second largest bird caused rather a hold up. They all decided to stroll out into the road and park themselves infront of our car, at least we got to see them up close for a while!!
Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus). The smallest of the Kangeroo family were hiding from us, we caught a glimpse of them but they all hotfooted away over the hill. Glad that we got a glimpse though, even managed too see one of them with their baby in the pouch as they turned to go. These weren't just in this area, they were scattered about a bit further on along with the Emu's Blackbuck's and Nilgai's.
Blackbuck Antelope (Antilope Cervicapra), led onto Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) which are the largest of the Antelope family, and then to the Bongo's (Tragelaphus eurycerus isaaci) one of the Largest and the most distinctive of the Antelope. These didn't really amuse me much as to me they all looked the same and didn't do much but nonetheless are still worth seeing.
Oryx otherwise known as Scimitar-Horned Oryx (or scientifically as Oryx Dammah) are absolutely wonderful creatures and as I was told by my partner (who I thought was so intelligent for knowing this, when really he just had the guidebook on his lap!) that all Oryx are related to eachother now as they are all in captivity due to war and other factors that destroyed their natural environments and habitats usually in North Africa!
Wildebeest (Connochaetes Taurinus) were truly wonderful to look at as they seemed to resemble other animals and it was fun to look at them and work out which. With their White Beards, Long Fluffy Tails and Manes and their absolutely HUGE heads they looked like they were standing still because the were too clumsy and huge to move, that was really not the case. One of them was walking around and around the others sniffing their bottoms(!!), when one of them decided that they didn't like that and they took off and they couldn't half move, they streaked past and through the herd onto the next field and promptly took up the position of standing there nonchalantly as if nothing had happened!!!
Cape Buffalo's (Syncerus Caffer) reminded me a lot of the Wildbeast in looks although the Buffalo's were even larger and done even less than the WildBeast!!
Ankole Cattle (Bos Taurus) are easily spotted and distinguished by their absolutley massive Horns!! But again didn't do much else but stand around away from the road, shame really as they were lovely to look at and would have been even better up close!
My absolute favourite part - The Baboons (Papio Anubis)!! We decided to be daring and not to take the car friendly route, which is next to the actual route that would be taken except it is protected by large metal fences. In the Car Friendly Route, you can still see the Baboons but they just cannot get to your car and do what they did to the car behind ours!!
When we entered over the metal cattle grid, there was a car leaving which had a baboon on it, my partner who was transfixed with this stalled the car and nearly ran over one!! (Male drivers.....well no just him really!!). After that it was like Christmas and his birthday rolled into one. The baboon that he nearly ran over obviously forgave him as it jumped onto the bonnet in front of him and refused to move for the whole way around!! They were amazing to see the crowd of over 100 up close and by far the best thing that I seen there, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend taking this route as opposed to the other, if you don't mind the posibility that your car maybe damaged!?!? We left out arieal on and it was not touched, I think that we got the less mischevious ones as the car behind had half a numberplate missing and both rubber gutters on the top hanging down the sides!!! All in good fun!!
Zebras, White Rhino's (Ceratotherium Simum), Red Lechwe (Kobus Leche Kafuensis) and Forest Buffalo (Syncerus Caffer Nanus) are all roaming around near eachother further on just minding their own business, not really doing nothing!
The camels (Camelus Bactrianus) were another must see, one was just ambling along minding its own business when an ostrich came up behind it and decided to chase it, the camel who had decided to stop to have a wee just had to speed up along the road and escape it - mid flow!!!
Guanaco (Lama Guanicoe), Bison (Bison Bison) and Eland (Taurotragus Oryx) were also around the trail, again not really must see for me because again rather boring. (The way I am talking people will think that I expected some kind of all singing, all dancing jungle!!)
More Ostrich's (Struthio Camelus) are further around the park - they seemed to get everywhere (as did the peacocks - more about them later!) quite a few of them were standing around aimlessly when another would run up behind it and start chasing it, so funny to watch!
Sitatunga (Tragelaphus Spekii) were not something that I can say I really noticed, apparantly my partner did - so he kept telling me "Look....Look........Loooooooook"! Like a little kid, apparantly he was fascinated by the fact that they look like deer but when they are alarmed or frightened they hide underwater and leave only their noses showing. They didn't do that when we were there, no matter how hard my partner pressed his nose against the window and willed them to!!
At the end of the trail was the Elephants (Loxodonta Africana), which we decided to just drive past, as they were situated right by the Car Park we could take a walk back once we had got out of the car.
Once the car was parked up we decided to explore the rest of the park on foot, but first a toilet stop!
Easy to locate and also Disabled and Baby Change Facilities, the tiolets were spotless and smelled fresh, also a sign up warning that the toilets had a male janitor as not to alarm any females! Very considerate I think.
Next...The Bug House, Rather Jam Packed and hard to walk round as is only a small corridor (Dead End at both ends) but none the less, still lots of amazing specimins located in there, from geckos to lizards, spiders and all other forms of creepy crawly.
Tea Time, 45 mins until the next Sea Lion show so plenty of time. BeefBurger and Chips for me and Fish and Chips for the Partner. Mine was only lukewarm and wasn't that nice (I am a very fussy eater anyway though). No chance of his being accused of being cold though as it wasn't ready until well after I had finished mine!! Considering this was a fast food restaraunt - it wasn't very fast!!
Overall the Meals and 2 Medium Pepsi cost us around 13.00 (if you buy in meal deals).
Time for the Sea Lion show. There is a pool by the side of the entrance where Sea Lions were happily swimming around ready to be let in through the underwater door into the main "arena". The Pool also has an underwater viewing window which I think everyone should take full advantage of. We got seats on the front row as we were there about 15 mins before it started (which incidentally were around 12.30pm, 2.00pm, 3.00pm, 4.00pm and 5.00pm).
Looking around, everywhere was England Mad, there was a pool with a scene around it. Wooden shops lined the back of the stage with fake signs selling bait and suchlike (my partner - an avid fisher himself said that if the bait there was really that cheap he would be visiting everyweek- MEN!!). There werre two platforms for the SeaLions to stand upon (the type people use when they are making a speech) and a set of stairs leading upto a diving platform.
During the show we were entertained by the funniest Sea Lions I have ever seen - Max and Biffo. They are absolutely hilarious!
I will not tell you what happened in the show as if someone had told me beforehand I would not have enjoyed it as much as I did. All I can say is that it was spectacular and Sea Lions are truly amazingly brilliant and intelligent creatures!
After the show we decided to take a walk up to see the Elephants from the Elephant Viewing Platform. On the way up there we passed the Merekats which are so much smaller than I expected them to be, most of them were just scampering around but there was one that was just standing up straight as can be on a rock just like on the advertisement. So adorable!
After the Merekats were the Marmasetes I only seen them on the fence for a fleeting second, they were away like the wind, if I had of blinked I would have missed them!!!
Next along, The Red River Hogs, one was outside trying to eat its food bowl ?! Another inside shying away from everybody.
Opposite was a viewing platform for the Giraffes, this consisted of a staircase leading upto what will make you level with the head height of the Giraffes! I never actually realised how tall they are before, or how big their heads are. But they have beautiful eyes and long eyelashes, absolutely stunning!!
To get to the elephant viewing platform you have to walk through the other side of the giraffe house (hold your nose!) and up a small hill to get to what reminds me of a round hut, except with no sides. Up there is signs with all of the Elephants names and species and so on and a viewer that you can pay to look over at the Elephants which are quite far away. The viewer says it is a talking viewer but alas the price had been scratched off so I didn't know how much to put in so we didn't use it. Bit of a wasted journey up there so.......back down again!
After passing back through the Giraffe House and round the Peacocks are standing one with its beautiful feathers all fanned out. If you take a look aound the park when you are passing through you will spot Peacocks absolutely everywhere, theer was many just ambling along without a care in the world, some on the roof next to the giraffes, in with the red river hogs.....they just didn't care and settled wherever they wanted to!!
Further round the Peacock field was the Elephant Enclosure which housed five or six Elephants from what I could see (not that they are hard to miss but some were hiding around the back before coming out front!). We stood and watched the Elephants for ages. Dispite their size, they are so delicate, instead of forcing their way through the gates when one was in the way, they gave a gentle nudge and waited patiently until the path was clear!! Absolutely enchanting animals to watch!
On the way back around towards the bug house we also passed the pool where the Otters were but sadly we didn't see any!!
On the otherside of this there is a fair, with various rides some for children and adults alike.
Large Pirate Ship
Mini Pirate Ship
Safari Train and Star Dancer.
Also a Lakeside Railway which travels around some of the park.
The rides cost 1.50 per ticket or 9.00 for a day wristband. I woul definately get the wristband when going with children, especially if they want one ride on everything!! Well worth it! (Also check Height Restrictions - only some rides carry them though)
There were also other places in the park that we didn't visit because we were both just too tired (shame really!). Ther was a Woodland Walk, is seven acres of bliss situated inside the Safari Park and comes highly recommended by the staff.
Also Mizzy Lake Farm is another place that we failed to visit. It is a childrens farm jam packed with all types of animals and birds and sounds like a real treat to visit.
The Woodland Walk and Mizzy Lake Farm are included in the price of you day ticket (the ride wristbands and tickets are not and have to be purchaced separately).
There is a picnic area in the Park also for if you bring your own food, there are vending machines situated around with drinks, crisps and chocolate in and also an ice cream vending machine!
There is also a Safari Gift shop, personally I didn't visit but looked in the windows and there were lots of ornate gifts like jewelled elephants and hand crafted bookmarks, some of them were spectacular!
Also from the Car Park I seen two other attractions but didn't go up close. There was something called Ariel Extreme which just looked like a huge airbourne obstacale course with ropes and ladders - not for those afraid of heights and also something called Safari School, where schools can pay and book to go and learn about various animals and species.
Overall an absolute wonderous day and I can not wait to go again, I am planning again for next week and will be arriving as soon as they open WITH a full tank of petrol!!!
(Knowsley Safari Park,
Phone: 0151 430 9909
(Just a little update to this review. This review is based on a day when the weather was quite cloudy and started to rain slightly. Today 20/06/10 we revisited when it was very sunny and hot and to inform people, the park was packed but this did not spoi the day, there was still plenty of parking and the queues werent that long but just make sure you have air con and that it is working as for parts of the journey round the windows have to be closed and as our air-con was not working and it was stifling. Thank You for reviewing)
My girlfriend and I decided to have a random day out, and chose Knowsley Safari Park. The main attraction of these safari parks, is that you can see all the animals from the comfort of your car!
Costing £11 pet adult it seems fairly expensive, but you soon realise this is not the case, its worth every penny.
When arriving at the park, you drive up the toll booth, there is a five mile trail through the park, now I'm not the most organized of people, and looking at my trip computer, saw the car was showing only seven miles left before running out of fuel!! We had to fill with diesel before we could enter the park, I'm sure most of you will have the sense to do this anyway, unlike me!
The drive takes around an hour to complete the trail, and once you are in the park you can drive the trail as many times as you like.
You start your journey driving through the lion enclosure, once over the cattle grid, they are roaming freely, and you come within a few ft of them, its so tempting to open your windows and stroke them! there were plenty to see and also cubs were running around, the animals all seem very happy and have so much space to roam around compared to those that are in a zoo. One lion walked right in-front of our car! I have never felt so glad to be in the car!
You continue the journey passing other animals such as Buffalo's, rhino's & emu's, and then you reach the exciting part, the baboons! There is a car friendly route, or you can drive through them, now i love my car, but my girlfriend insisted we drove through them!
We took banana's with us ( which is not allowed ) i threw a few onto the bonnet of the car, and within seconds the car was covered in baboons! Sat on the mirrors, roof, windscreen, literally covered, the park rangers didn't seem to mind, and nor did the baboons! Its amazing seeing them so close up, and i would love to peel a banana as easily as they can. One thing you don't realise with baboons is how intelligent they are, they could see more bananas on the dashboard and waited until we passed them out.
Again the baboons seem very well looked after, with piles of fruit scattered around tress within the enclosure. They had a good chew on my windscreen wipers, and broke my rear wiper, but no major damage done, all in all well worth the risk!
After the baboons, you are met by some camels, this was another interesting bit, the baboons had left all the banana skins on the roof and bonnet of the car, so within seconds we were surrounded by camels licking up any leftovers we had on the car, a park ranger had to come along and clear the road of them, we had caused some tail backs!
After the baboon enclosure you continue the trial, seeing a white rhino, and some buffalo, nothing really compared to the baboons!
At the end of the trail is a large car park, where you can see the damage caused to your car, and also look into the elephant enclosure. There is a small childrens area with some rides and arcade games, a resteraunt, although we didn't use this.
There is also a woodland walk, which was nice. There is a sea lion show which was also well put together and great for kids.
All in all the park is a fantastic day out for all ages, take the risk and enter the baboons, its worth the repair bill! I couldn't recommend this place more!
Knowsley Safari Park
Tel: 0151 430 9009
Knowsley Safari Park is an outstanding visitor attraction in Merseyside, which is perfect for families. We took our two young daughters in August and they were enthralled from start to finish. I would highly recommend getting to the park 10 or 15 minutes before it is due to open, which is what we did and even on a Saturday morning in peak season we were at the front of the gates and had prime position at the lion enclosure as well as many others.
Knowsley covers over 550 acres and has over 15 miles of fencing. It has won several awards for tourism including Tourism Attraction of the Year in 1994.
One thing you need not worry about in Knowsley is the welfare of the animals. It is clear to see that although they are a visitor attraction, the animals come first. The space the animals have to roam is fantastic and even the paddocks and shelters which house the animals are large. Knowsley are also well known for their breeding programmes often adding endangered species to the park to ensure that these species survive.
Knowsley have also built an education centre and safari school, meaning that children can learn more about the natural world and help them to understand how important it is to look after our environment. The Safari School sessions include animal artefacts and teaching props and are aimed at local schools, while the Education department educates general visitors which includes talks and animal feeds.
The historic house at Knowsley dates back to the 12th century and as various Earls of Derby sought to make their mark on the building there have been many structural additions including a Georgian façade, Jacobean, Baroque and Victorian interiors. A little known fact about the hall is that part of it was actually rented out to Merseyside Police for 30 years until the mid 90s! The current Lord and Lady Derby have completed many restoration works on the hall and have made it available for hire for weddings, dinners, etc.
Many species can be found at Knowsley, I won't list them all but I will detail a few and give a little information about them.
Fallow Deer: Native to Europe the deer shed their antlers in May, growing soft new velvet ones.
Cape Buffalo: a fierce and aggressive animal, expect to see these behind a fence!
Lions: This was the highlight of our visit, and as we were the first to drive through the lion section we literally pulled up next to them, perhaps four feet away from us, there was 10-15 lions. On closer inspection of the pride, it was soon clear that some of the lions were feeding on large clumps of meat and we had actually arrived during mid breakfast! Although the lions were not in the wild, this was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, and some of the lions started getting up and stretching their legs, 2 of them actually brushed past our car! We later found out that lions can sleep for up 20 hours per day and if you see them playing (which some of them were!) you are very lucky!
Wallaby's: It was actually my 3 year old daughter who noticed these hopping about. A sight to see!
Baboons!!!!: Famous at Knowsley as there are two ways to see the baboons at this park. One is the safer route where you drive around the fenced enclosure, or the second more dangerous route of driving through it! We drove through it, and I have never laughed so much in all my life! While we don't drive the most expensive car in the world, we do have an 05 plate Renault Megane and although we had heard horror stories of cars limping out of this enclosure we decided to drive through the baboon enclosure but not actually stop. This made absolutely no difference and as soon as we entered the gates 3 or 4 baboons jumped on our car! Some sat on the roof the whole way through, some on the front windscreen and one cheeky little one actually tried to open our doors! Please make sure your doors are locked!! There are over 100 baboons here and they evenly seemed to distribute themselves around the cars, we could see the more sensible visitors laughing at all the 'idiots' who had dared drive through!! Luckily our car was intact when we left but others had not been so fortunate!
White Rhino: This was the part of the park we drove through where I actually started to feel nervous - even more so than the lion section!! Although we were aware that their eyesight is quite poor, this was little comfort knowing an adult weighs over 3 tonnes and they are able to run at spends of around 30mph! One of them started to fool around and actually started running at the cars! I nearly cried!! Once they had calmed down, we wound our windows down and could hear one of the younger rhino's squeaking like a mouse!
Elephants and Giraffes: These are in a section kept separate from the rest of the park, right at the end on your way out, and you are given the opportunity to get out of your car to view these magnificent animals.
From a leaflet we picked up at Knowsley, I have found a few interesting statistics which I thought I would share with you.
Quantity of feed used at Knowsley for Herbivores are:
15,000 bales of hay
8,000 bales of straw
122 tonnes of specialist feed
508 tonnes of fruit and vegetables
40.6 tonnes of meat a year which equates to approximately 200 zebra in the wild each year!
What a perfect way to finish your day off than a selection of rides aimed at the younger children, perhaps ten and under. There are dodgems, carousels, swing chairs, pirate ships and little teapots to name but a few. Tickets are £1.50 a ride or £9 for an unlimited wrist band. It's worth remembering that if you have a young child as we did (aged 3 or 4), adults are free to go on the ride with the child.
Sea Lion Show:
This show was brilliant and our children loved it. The presenters are happy to answer questions at the end of the show if you have particularly inquisitive children. The three sealions perform ball balancing tricks, ring catching and pretend to be seals and sharks which is quite amusing. All of this is in an indoor arena, so perfect to get away from the weather for a bit!
This can be found at the end of the Safari, and there is plenty of car parking. Food available includes fish and chips, burgers, pizza and sandwiches, but if I'm honest not of it looked the best. I would bring a picnic like we did if I were you! Prices are around £4 for a meal.
2010 - £14 per adult, £10 per child
Children under 3 years old are free
Full time students over 16 years
£9.00 on production of an NUS card
Disabled £9.00 with one carer free,
additional carers £9.00
Knowsley Safari Park is open all year round (except Christmas Day).
Summer Opening Times:
1st March to 31st Oct. 10.00am
Last entry to Safari Drive 4.00pm
Winter Opening Times:
1st November to 28th February 10.30am
Last entry to Safari Drive 3.00pm (2.00pm on Christmas Eve)
Knowsley Safari Park
Tel: 0151 430 9009
An outstanding day out. I couldn't recommend it more highly.
Knowsley Safari Park is probably the closest thing you're going to get to a genuine safari park in the UK. It's by no means an accurate representation of the natural habitats of the animals there (for a start it rains more here than in Africa!), but it makes for a fun and educational day out and is better presented than a traditional zoo.
*Where Is It?*
Knowsley is located just outside Liverpool and is easily accessible from the M62, you just need to follow the brown safari signs (which, incidentally, makes a fun game for restless children!). When you get there, follow the entry signs for cars and you'll arrive at a drive-thru ticket desk.
*How Much Is It?*
It's £12 for adults and £9 for children, or you can get a family ticket for two adults and two children for £37. Also, it is possible to buy park maps and guides which include many colour photographs of the parks residents and details of the conservation efforts of the park.
The park itself is very straight forward to drive around and it is impossible to get lost, so you don't actually need a map, however they are useful to show you what you are looking for in the various areas and they do make a nice souvenir.
*When Is It Open?*
There are two timetables for opening hours:
Winter (1st November until 28th February) - Open daily from 10.30 and last entry into the park is 15.00 (or 14.00 on Christmas Eve)
Summer (1st March until 31st October) - Open daily from 10.00 and last entry into the park is 16.00
*What Animals Will You See?*
The park is actually split into two parts; the first is the safari that you drive around and the second is the area that you walk around once you've parked your car.
In the safari bit, you'll see all the favourites - lions, tigers, rhinos, baboons. There are also many others that you'll enjoy seeing including camels, ostrich, water buffalo, and many others. All of these animals (with the exception of the tigers) are free to roam around the park and will approach your car if you look interesting.
In the bit that you walk around, there are enclosures for giraffes, elephants, otters and meerkats. You'll also find plenty of birds, including peacocks, wandering around freely. In this area you'll also find the Bug House, which is home to many creepy crawlies and snakes and the sea lion enclosure and performance house.
*What else is there?*
There is an amusement park with plenty of rides and amusements suitable for children of all ages. There is also a gift shop, cafe and plenty of areas for picnics and so on.
*What's good about it?*
Knowsley Safari Park does make a great day out - you can do as much or as little as you want and there is plenty to keep you entertained. Every visitor is sure to have favourite parts and these are mine:
The Baboon Enclosure: Before you get to this area, there are plenty of signs warning you that the cheeky chappies here will no doubt destroy your car and that, if you wish, there is an alternate route which goes around the outside of the enclosure. We decided that we had very little on the car that could be pulled off, so we'd risk it.
Somehow they managed to find things to pull off - dust caps, washer jets and even wiper blades! But it is worth it, as soon as you get in the area, they charge at your car and plonk themselves on top of it. Some of the baboons are huge and it feels like they're making huge dents in the roof. A couple left little treats about the car. You're advised to keep driving around the area, which is easier said than done when you have baboons lead spread-eagled across your front and rear windows! When you get to the end there is a big pile of food which is designed to entice them off your car and works pretty well.
We managed to escape pretty much unscathed - a few scratches here and there, but be warned, they can do serious damage; another car behind us came out with dents on the side and roof and the window seal hanging off!
The Lion Enclosure: the lions are free to roam around this enclosure and will approach your car at will. It's a great place to get pictures of the animals without bars as well. When we were there, there were a few mischievous cubs rolling around playing and it was lovely to watch. You're advised not to open windows and doors in this area for obvious reasons.
The Meerkats - I love these little creatures and I spent ages watching them in the hope that one of them would fall asleep whilst stood up - no luck though! There is plenty of information about the meerkats and it's a great place to learn about the animals.
The Sea Lion Show - this is a fantastic show and really demonstrates how clever and playful these creatures are, it's definitely worth a visit.
*What's Not So Good About It?*
There isn't really anything I didn't like about the safari park. I thought that the entry prices were reasonable for a full day's entertainment that you get. I thought that the park was well presented and that the keepers clearly were passionate about their work.
The only thing I could see being a problem is the amount of money you could end up spending on the amusement park - at £1.50 per ride, you would rapidly find your pocket emptying with the amount of rides there are on offer.
So, I would definitely recommend Knowsley Safari Park as a day out for those who live in the area, there is plenty to see and do, it's reasonably priced and the animals are clearly well looked after.
Living just five minutes from Knowsley Safari Park it is somewhere we tend to visit at least once a year, usually when there is a two for one offer in the local paper so I thought it would be a good place to do a review on and share our experiences with anyone that's thinking of visiting.
PARK INFORMATION AND FACTS
The 550 acre park is situated Earl of Derby's estate which has a long history of housing animals and in the 19th Century the Earl of Derby kept one of the largest private menageries in the world keeping over 90 species of mammal and 300 species of birds. Nowadays the park has a 5 mile long safari drive and is the only one of its king in the north west and only 1 of 5 in the UK and is home to over 500 mammals including Baboons, lions, tigers, emus, rhinos and wildebeest. In 2007 the park introduced a pack of 12 rare African hunting dogs and a pair of red river hogs.
At the end of the safari drive there are amusement rides these include, a bouncy castle, carousel, swing chairs and a small and large pirate ship. The rides are not included in the admission price and to go on them you must purchase either ride tickets (priced at £1.50 each or £1 each if purchasing more than 50) or a wristband (priced at £9). Other facilities in this area include a restaurant , gift shop and arcade. This area also includes a sea lion show and a bug house which are included in the park entry fee (show times advertised around the park|). Entry to the Mizzy Lake farm is also included in the entry fee and here you can see cattle, mules, llama, goats, rabbits guinea pigs, and donkeys. Situated next to the amusement area this a walk around area where you can see elephants, giraffe's and meercats at a very close proximity and also a woodland walk in the neighbouring Fishbrook wood.
There are toilets situated just inside the entrance to the park which is good as once you begin the safari drive there is nowhere to stop till you reach the end so I always make sure all the children go before we enter. Gaining admission to the park is extremely efficient you don't even have to leave your car, there is row of booths which you drive up to to pay your entry fee and also get a health and safety leaflets with your do's and don'ts for around the park, these are all mainly common sense and self explanatory (i.e. don't feed the animals, stay inside your vehicle if you break down and sound you horn to attract a rangers attention etc). We never go on extremely busy days like bank holidays but we have been on a summer weekend and admission has still been really quick as there are about 6 admission booths both operating from both sides so we have never been waiting more than 5 minutes to gain entry.
The safari drive is a great experience for all the family there are so many animals along the way free to come as close to the cars as they please and unless its really busy you can stop the car and spend as much time as you like watching them, some of the animals are in enclosures that you drive into to stop certain animals mixing with others.
The first enclosure is the lions and tigers but before this you see at least 3 or 4 different species of animals including deer and hunting dogs. Once crossing over the safety grills we saw the tigers straight away, although these are caged so it is really just like seeing them in a zoo, the lions however are a totally different experience apart from a few in cages for various reasons (i.e. illness or pregnancy) they are free to roam about as they please. We were all thrilled and maybe a little nervous when the biggest male lion approached and stood right next to our car for a least 5 minutes, it was exciting to see him so close up and to even be able to look him in the eye. There were a few cubs playing and its amazing to see them interact with each other like this and the kids especially were fascinated by watching them, the rest of the lions were basking in the sun and didn't really move much but still great to experience them so close up.
After exiting the first enclosure we saw a mixture of different animals including buffalo, wildebeest and Bongo's the funniest being the emus and ostriches who made us all jump the first time they pecked the window, they approach the cars and stare in with their huge eyes and then if you put your hand to the glass or they see something that they think is food they snap at the glass so quickly its hard not to jump, my youngest actually found these pretty scary and would cover her eyes whenever they came near.
The baboons and monkeys have to be the best part of the drive although in the time we have being going we have lost half a number plate, a wing mirror and several windscreen wiper blades to them. You do have a choice here and can choose to drive around the monkey friendly route which goes around the edge of the enclosure and I believe you still have a good view although we have never taken this route. As soon as you approach the moneys they start jumping from car to car, climbing onto the boot or bonnet then onto the roof. Its great to see them playing and to see the mothers with a tiny baby clinging to their chest and also quite amusing to see a big hairy baboon's genital dangling in front of your windscreen, although not as funny when they wee or poo on the car and you have to clean it off. The signs tell you in this part you must keep your windows closed, although I also recommend you keep your doors locked as we once saw one open the back door of a transit van and the rangers had to come and get it out.
Along the rest of the drive we saw many other animals really close up some even lying in the road so you do need to drive carefully, the rhinos in particular a a spectacular site all walking together alongside the car. The signs do say in really busy times you have to keep moving but when we have been we have been able to stop and look at things for as long as we wanted however as the lions in particular seem to stick together in one group you do sometimes have to queue till cars in front have moved on before you can get close enough to have a good look.
At the amusement area of the park we find the wristbands good value at £9 if you are staying for a few hours so we try to get there early to do the drive and take a picnic to eat at one of the tables close to the amusement area so the kids can go on the rides as many times as they want , there are plenty of rides for smaller children but only 2 or 3 that interest my 10 or 12 year old although if we are there for a while they will go on these 4 or 5 times each so still get moneys worth out of a wrist band. The sea lion show is good although fairly standard with them jumping through hoops and catching balls, you can go into as many shows as you want. To get into the show there is a lot of steps although there is ground floor access for wheelchair users and there is a shelter outside for leaving pushchairs. I have never eaten at the restaurant as we always take our own food and drinks but from looking at the menu it is basically like any café style food; chips, burgers, chicken nuggets, pasta, sandwiches etc at, in my opinion unreasonably, high prices, you can also buy snacks like ice cream and donuts.
You can easily spend a full day out here, we have always run out of time before we have done the woodland walk so cannot include that as part of my review as the children have been preoccupied with the other stuff, like the children's farm, whichr is lovely and you can even pet some of the animals like the goats and the donkeys and I like the fact that there are outside hand washing facilities here so you don't need to rush straight to the toilets while trying to stop a toddler from putting their hands near their mouth .
All in all a fantastic family day out that is in my opinion great value for money although I noticed it is £7 just to enter the amusement area as a pedestrian and as then you would still have to purchase wristbands for the rides in my opinion you would not be getting much for you money.
PRICES AND OPENING TIMES
Adults - £12
Children (age 3-15)/OAP/Student with NUS card - £9 (Under 3's enter free)
Family ticket (2 adults&2 children) - £37
Pedestrians (does not include safari drive) -£7
Disabled - £9 (One to one carer enters free, additional carers £9)
Concession rates available for 10 or more in one vehicle and for schools)
Season tickets - Adults - £27 Children - £21 (valid 12 months from date of purchase)
Knowsley safari park operates an animal adoption scheme with prices ranging from £25 for a Bronze package to £60 for a gold (as well as more expensive cooperate packages), the full list of what the packages entail can be found on the website but one particular thing I thought was good was that adoptee's can enter the park free on Saturdays during September and their guests can get in for a reduced fee.
Dogs aren't allowed along the safari drive but are welcome in the pedestrian areas and kennels and locks are provided for a £5 refundable deposit.
Knowsley Safari is a brilliant day out for the kids on a lovely summers day. As soon as you arrive at the park you know you will have a great time. You couldn't believe from outside that grounds what lies beyond the walls.
There are lots and lots of different WILD animals for you to see up close and sometimes too personal if you take a ride through the baboon section. Believe me, if your sunroof isn't that strong then its scary and you could very well be going home with a new addition.
You can drive your car through the park and see animals such as lions and elephants, giraffes and buffalo. Its really surreal to think that you are so close to such animals.
Once you have had enough of the animals outside there is the seals show which is definately not one to be missed. The once you have had enough entirely of the animals there is the funfair for the kids - do beware this is not included in the price of the entrance to the park and can work out quite expensive if you have a few kids as its wristbands.
Then to end the day there is loads of grass areas where you can get out your butties - or go into the restaurant thats in the park. The restaurant is quite expensive so I would recommend the butty option.
Great day out for the family.
Knowsley Safari park located in the borough of Knowsley just outside of Liverpool boasts a 550 acre safari park with 5 miles of safari drive and an influx of over 500,000 visitors each year. It is the only Safari park in the North West and one of only 5 in the UK.
The park was first opened to the public by the then 18th Earl of Derby in 1971. The estate was the first safari park to be built close to a city. Knowsley is only 8 miles from Liverpool City Centre. The original route was a 3 ½ mile drive through enclosures of lions , cheetah, monkeys, zebra , giraffes, elephants and antelope however the popularity of the park was such, that in 1973, two years after opening the route was extended to the 5 mile route that is featured in today's park. Since 1971 the park has become one of Merseyside's major attractions and has won a host of tourism and animal husbandry awards.
I first became aware of Knowsley Safari park whilst at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. I saw a billboard poster for the park and it stuck in my mind. I have previously visited Chester zoo and Blue Planet Aquarium in the region and enjoyed both of them. A few days later I began to make some enquiries. I first checked out the Safari park website.
The website is incredibly informative and well lay out. It provides all the information you could need. The website outlines the opening times and pricings of the park, what you can expect to see at the park, how to find the park, the history of the park, other attractions at the Knowsley estate and so much more. I ended up spending a good hour researching the park from this website. I then visited Doo yoo and read the reviews of the park there and I was sold.
That weekend I packed my car with some snacks (my girlfriend) and set off from Manchester to the park. A great thing about the park is it is really accessible. I was there in no trouble, taking the M62 and then following the signs for the park along the M70.
You arrive and drive towards the ticket booth. It cost £12.00 for myself and £9.00 for my girlfriend who is a student. Compare this to blue planet (£14.50 and £12.50) and Chester zoo (£11.95 and £9.95) and you see that it is very comparatively priced and in my opinion good value. You can buy season tickets and family tickets however I was only intending on the one trip. They also offer an audio guide for £5 that tells you the history of the park and information as you drive around however I was not interested in this.
The first port of call was the toilet. The drive is 5 miles and takes over an hour to do (according to the park, though of course this depends on how fast or slow you drive) so I did not want to be needing a wee whilst Lions stalked my car. Luckily there are toilets placed not too far from the safari drive entrance.
As you drive through the safari park you go through one area to an other of different animals. Some roam free and some are in enclosures. The park claims to have over 400 mammals around the park so there was plenty to see and do. As you approach the first enclosure you drive through some open space that was populated by a few emus. These did not provide too much excitement but their inquisitive nature and lack of natural shyness to humans brought them very close to the car to provide some nice photos.
After this you reach the first enclosure. Located here are wild dogs of Africa. Though at the time we saw them they were anything but wild. The dogs lay lazing around while birds pecked at the joint of meat that had been left for them. I didn't dwell here for too long and took off along the road.
The next enclosure featured a solitude Tiger. There is a reason for the tiger being solitude however this is in the £5 audio guide I chose not to buy. The Tiger was hiding away asleep at the back of the enclosure so I could not really see him. We moved on to the next enclosure.
The lion pen was more interesting. As you approach there are lots of signs saying "DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR CAR" "DO NOT OPEN YOUR WINDOWS" as well as signs saying to drive carefully as there are cubs. This got us all excited and we finally saw some action... quite literally. The first thing we saw as we entered the lion pen was the King of the Jungle mounting a lioness and planting his seed. As we drove slowly around this pen a few of the lion cubs began to playfully fight just yards from our car. This is what we came to see, Africa in the North West. The cubs were so playful and cute. A few lionesses came right up to the car actually touching the body work, completely at ease with the mounting traffic. As the lions were so lively the cars started to pile up, everyone wanting to watch and take photos. The park warden came over telling us to keep moving however after paying £12 to watch dogs and tigers sleep no one was going to move whilst this spectacle was going on.
Eventually after a good half an hour of lion watching we snaked our way out and around open enclosures with deer and buffalo and more emus roaming free. It was good to see these animals but they aren't as exciting as the lions or the fast approaching baboon enclosure.
There are two routes through the baboon enclosure. One that takes you around the enclosure and one that takes you through the enclosure. The one that takes you around the enclosure lets you see the devastation wrought to peoples cars from safety. The route through the enclosure lets you experience it. As it was my car we were in I was sceptical about taking it through the enclosure. Cars were exiting without windscreen wipers or radio aerials however I got talked into it. About 20 meters into the enclosure I spotted a big baboon come running across the grass and with a THUD he landed on my bonnet and climbed on my windscreen. I know he was a he because these baboons are not afraid to show of their private parts... or rub them all over your car!
I drove slowly through the enclosure fast gathering a collection of baboons on my car, watching them anticipating the imminent carnage. Monkeys leaped from my car to other cars and visa versa. Soon I had a baby and mother sat on my bonnet enjoying the ride, whilst a young male paid special attention to my wing mirrors. A Fiesta drove past us, three baboons sat on its roof, the read windscreen wiper hanging loose like a tail on the car...
We wound through the enclosure losing our monkeys as we went through, as we approached the exit there was one monkey blocking my car from freedom. The warden stepped out of his shed, a large stick in his hand ready to chase the monkey off if it got on my car so close to the exit. Luckily the monkey targeted the BMW M3 behind me instead.
The rest of the drive is much like the start. Vast open fields will all sorts of beasts of Africa you would expect to see roaming free. The only animals of interest I saw were the White Rhino. There were plenty types of buffalo and antelope that approached the car but these don't have the same appeal as a monkey or lion. Still I was grateful they were here and grateful of the opportunity of seeing them.
At the end of the drive is the Elephants located in a large enclosure however they were all cooped up in their shed. After these are the Giraffes, but these like the elephants had chosen to stay in their shed. Maybe it was feeding time. I would have liked to have seen these roaming free in the open like the buffalo however for obvious safety reasons they are in their own enclosures.
The drive took us about an hour and twenty minutes to complete and was well worth the modest entry fee. However that is not all the park has to offer. There is a large selection of amusement rides, a woodland walk, sea lion show, bug house, model railway, gift shop and restaurant to explore.
The amusement rides were geared towards the younger members of the parks visitors and so weren't really the sort of thing two young adults were interested in. However it is a good idea to have them here to give the children something extra to do (at an extra cost to the parent) and make the visit a truly spectacular family day out.
Hungry, we ventured to the restaurant. The restaurant, like a lot of tourist place restaurants is not of the highest quality and is quite high priced. A Burger chips and drinks meal set me back over £5 and the burger seemed to contain very little meat. It was very large but very disappointing in taste, I've ate much better at a Mc Donald's which I hate. The chips were all right but they aren't exactly the hardest food to get right.
It was cold and I didn't feel up to the woodland walk or the model railway so I cannot comment on them. Instead we wandered around the smaller pens of otters, peacocks, marmosets, wild boars and meerkats. We then ventured into the bug house which is well stocked with all forms of creepy crawlies and reptiles and then went to check out the sea lion show. Unfortunately the next show was not for another hour and a half so we went around the safari drive again. The brilliant thing about the attractions being living is that every drive is different. This time the dogs were more active and we saw more of the "boring" animals. Second time round took less time (45 minutes) but was still enjoyable.
The sea lion show was spectacular. The staffs really know their stuff and the sea lions put on a great show. We saw Max the only Sea Lion in the UK to be able to balance a rugby ball on his nose (apparently very hard to do) whilst rolling over. The auditorium was very loud however with screaming children; however this is to be expected at a tourist place geared towards family adventure. As I was watching though I couldn't help but think how unnatural the show was and indeed how unnatural the whole park is.
The day was ended with a visit to the shop which contains all sorts of overpriced Knowsley branded merchandise and teddies. I bought a lion teddy for my girlfriend and an "I survived the Baboons" sticker for my car and got little change from £20. Still I guess it's my fault for buying the stuff.
As we drove away we both felt very happy with the day. The park really is terrific value for money and I wish I bought a season ticket ( £27) as I can see myself going back in the summer. There is so much to see and do and the park is very family friendly and orientated towards all ages. Every time you visit there will be a new and different experience. Yes it's unnatural but the awareness of these amazing beasts that the park is giving to young eyes, and the exposure to the need for conservation and protection can only be a good thing.
Knowsley Safari Park is situated about 8 miles away from Liverpool City Centre and was opened in 1971. It is open all the year around. Knowsley Safari Park is open all year round (except Christmas Day). If the weather is very icy or snowy they are closed for safety reasons.
Their opening times are seasonal:
Summer Opening Times:
1st March to 31st Oct. 10.00am
Last entry to Safari Drive 4.00pm
Winter Opening Times:
1st November to 28th February 10.30am
Last entry to Safari Drive 3.00pm (2.00pm on Christmas Eve)
I have been to the Safari Park on many occasions. In fact at one time I actually had a season ticket. Living fairly close by it was a great way of getting the children out of the house. For those of you travelling from further afield and if you are using a SatNav enter L34 4AN.
When you first enter the park you will see a large Rhino outside. You then need to travel up a long windy road until you come to the entrance. There are about 6 drive throughs all with their own lane. Prices vary and it is a good idea to check the internet first as there are often vouchers aaavailable, which allow you to get in cheaper. You will also get given the opportunity at this stage to buy a map/booklet which gives you a free audio cd.
During your journey you will see many different species of animals. I would say the most popular are the lions and monkeys. When you enter the lions den, you actually drive through it. You get within a few feet of the lions. There is also a ranger in there in his jeep, in case anything was to go wrong! As for the monkeys. This also is very popular as they jump on your cars and ride along. It is like a numberplate and wiper graveyard as bits of cars are scattered everywhere. They will damage your cars, so for those who don't want their car damaged please make sure you go through the car friendly route.
At the end of the Safari Park there is a small fair (which is chargeable) along with a small animal farm and cafe. You can also go on some walks through the woods. There are so many other things you can see and do. This includes a sea lion show along with an aquarium.
This park comes highly recommended, I have always found the staff friendly as well as knowledgeable.
Me and my mates went for a day out here, a group of 20-odd year olds so not the usual family! But we loved it.
Its really easy to find, just near the motorway, and prices are reasonable for what you get. You pay per person - not per car!
There is a road miles long you can drive round. We went in the winter and it was still fantastic. You see all sorts of animals, tigers lions emus rhinos, and things we've never seen before and still dont know what they are!!
In the lions den we saw a broken down car being mawled by lions, we watched for ages while the rangers tried to rescue them, it was hilarious. The monkey bit is good too, they climb all over your car, and there is a safe route you can take if you want to avoid your car being wrecked!
When youv finished there is a sea lion show which is good, probably better for kids than us. Theres some kids rides there too that are only open in the summer.
This is a fantastic day out for the family. We have visited Knowsley Safari Park every summer for the last three or four years, and still enjoy it! Ticket prices are reasonable for the amount of time we spend there, and when compared with similar venues. It costs £12.00 per adult ticket and £9.00 per child ticket, or you can get a family ticket for £37.00, and children under 3 years old are allowed in for free. This year, I had collected some of those vouchers from the Kelloggs cereal packets, so we used them and got four tickets for the price of two, which was brilliant!
When you buy your ticket you can also buy a glossy booklet with pictures of the animals and information about them. You can also buy a CD to play in the car as you drive round. This costs £5.00, and is basically the Safari Park manager talking and explaining about the animals you see on your drive round the park. It's really good, actually, telling (for example) why the two older tigers are in a separate pen on their own and why one of them may seem to have a limp but is ok really.
Once you have bought your tickets and passed through the gate you will come to a parking area, a sort of last chance to stock up on drinks before the Safari proper. There are machines which sell drinks and even hot chips. There is also a kennel where you can leave your (poor) doggie, as dogs are not allowed round the safari trail (you have to get a key for the kennel at the entrance, and the kennel appeared to be unmanned).
Then back into the car to commence your safari! The traffic moves very slowly as everyone stops to admire the animals and take photographs! However, the road is plenty wide enough for two or sometimes three cars, so you can easily overtake if you want to move on to the next attraction a bit faster than the guy in front. There are wardens stationed all over the place so believe me you WILL be reprimanded if you dare open your window an inch to get a better shot in the lion enclosure! There are some gorgeous animals including, lions, tigers, rhinos, buffalo, camels, etc. Also there are quite a few emus (or possibly ostriches?) wandering around, and they are very curious and perfectly prepared to stick their head in your open window to see if you have any food!
You have a choice whether or not to brave the baboon enclosure. Basically you can drive through it or take the safer route alongside it, where you can enjoy, in perfect safety, the sight of all those reckless fools who DID decide to brave it, having their windscreen wipers ripped off! The baboons are not shy, they climb all over the cars, and run out in front of them. I even saw one going under a car - it terrified me that they would get hurt, but I suspect the cars came off worst! This year they had some baby baboons, which were really cute. What I thought was especially nice (in an evil, car-wrecking sort of a way) was the sight of a mother baboon helping her baby to climb up onto someone's car!
Next you come to the picnic area, where you can park and walk over to see the elephants, giraffes, meerkats, otters, etc. This is a nice place to stop for a rest - but my kids are always desperate to move on to the fair ground, so we never stay too long in the picnic area.
The fairground is really good. I would say the rides are mostly suited to younger children. My son is 12 now and only bothered with one ride (although he was on it for about 4 hours!), but I'm not sure he'll be entertained by that next year. My daughter is 9 and I would say she was the perfect age to enjoy most of the rides. Some are suited to much younger children, but at 9 I think there were more rides to interest her. The prices are not too bad either. The rides cost £1.50 each, or you can buy an all-day wristband for the kids, which costs £9.00 and allows them as many rides as they want. This is excellent value. Very often they let one of the parents onto the ride for free to accompany the child. I was allowed two rides on the carousel, even though my 9 year old daughter didn't really need me there (but it IS my favourite ride!!!).
There are plenty of stands selling ice creams and lollies, and there's a cafe selling food and drink (mainly stuff like chips and coke). Can't say I'm all that impressed with the cafe, it was crowded and a little over-priced, but I suppose most cafes are these days. It cost me £1.50 for a cup of tea in a cardboard cup, which wasn't too bad as it was a big cup.
They have extra attractions within Knowsley, too. Quite a few times a day they have special displays - there was a bird of prey display, and (my favourite) the sea lions. Part of me thinks it's exploitation, but I have to admit they are spectacular to watch. You go into this large building with seats arranged up high like in a theatre - and you look down on a pool where the sea lions are shown to you (the difference between seals and sea lions is explained) and then the sea lions show their amazing abilities at balancing balls on their noses and leaping high into the air to punch a football. They really are fantastic to watch.
There is a gorgeous gift shop on site. It's full of really cute and fluffy cuddly toys, also ornaments, money boxes, special souvenir pens and pencils and notebooks. They also have little toys, jewellery, shortbread, etc. etc. etc. They do have some lovely items but they are very expensive for what they are. They have a notice up declaring that all breakages must be paid for, and believe me they hold you to that, even if you ARE just a highly embarrassed child whose parents are buying nearly £100 worth of goods in addition to the little £5 breakage! Personally I think that was churlish and petty, and it would have made for better customer relations if they had just written off the breakage).
There is a block of toilets at the back of the shop. Early in the day they were acceptable but as the day wore on they got worse and worse and were quite disgusting by closing time. It seemed that no-one bothered to check the condition of the toilets throughout the day.
All in all, a pretty good way to spend a family day out. There is certainly plenty to keep the kids occupied and a few things to interest the parents.
Please don't rely on these times and prices as they may change, but are correct at the time of writing (August 2008):-
Summer opening times (1st March - 31st October) open daily at 10am, last entry 4pm
Winter opening times (1st November - 28th February) open daily 10.30am, last entry 3pm, closed xmas day.
Knowsley Safari Park
Tel: 0151 430 9009
Knowlsey Safari Park is situated in Merseyside and we visited here a few years sgo and had a fantastic day out.
It was very reasonably priced for entry and you basically are given a map and drive round the entire park which is massive.
The map shows you the location of each group of animals, some areas you can get out of your car to have a look but others you are advised to stay in your car for very obvious reasons!
I think these safari pasrks are best known for their chimp pens and Knowlsey is no different, although you can bypass this part if you don't want to get your car damaged!
We did decide to go through the chimp pen and it was fantastic fun! they were all over the car and seeing a chimps bottom through the sunroof was an eyeopener let me tell you!
There were lots of cars having their wing mirrors and aerials brokwn off and we were fortunate in that the only thing they took was a washer jet!!!!
all in all a great day out and can't wait to take the kids back
Knowsley safari park has been a great family attraction for over 35 years, it was first opened to the public in July 1971 by the earl of derby.
The safari park is only 8 miles from Liverpool city centre, Knowsley was the first safari park to be built close to a large city. When the park was built there was extreme apprehension about the possible problems associated with large numbers of animals (including lions) roaming about close to the city, but the park has gone to extreme lengths and succeeded to trade for the past 37years.
When the park opened in 1971 it was unique, as it had the concept or cars being allowed in while the animals were foaming wild, this concept was based on a drive through game reserve in east Africa, at the time this seemed extreme as the large amount of dangerous animals roaming wild so close to a city was un thought of, now it has just become a way of life.
Within the first two years the park become very popular with the public, so in 1973 the park was extended so there would be 5miles of road for visitors to drive along and experience animals like, lions, cheetahs, monkeys, giraffes, zebra, elephants and various other animals.
Once the extension was complete more animals were added these included buffalos, white rhinos, groups of tigers and herds of camels.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Knowsley are very concerned with the welfare of our animals and try to display them in near-natural surroundings, this will enable the animals are happy and the visitors can experience the animals in their natural habitat.
Tigers and lions are displayed in enclosures with the game reserves and the elephants are controlled by electric fences.
KNOWSLEY RIDE ATTRACTIONS
Knowsley is not only known for its African animals, but also its other attractions, for example:
Jungle Dodgems, These are bumper cars designed for adults and children.
Bumble Bees, This is a new attraction ride with bumble bee carts the spin through the air.
Ranger petrol, this is also new to knowsley drive your own mini car around an African safari.
Rattle snake, is a roller coaster with a snake theme.
Other attractions include a pirate ship, carousel roundabout, lake side railway rides, jungle safari ride and the honey pot bears ride.
These ride attractions will cost you, 1.50 per ride or you can buy a wrist band for 9.00.
SEA LION SHOW
This show is particularly popular with younger children, it is both Educational and entertaining, and the show demonstrates each animal's amazing abilities. Be astounded as Biffo and Max, the park's resident Californian sea lions jump, run, do impressions of seals and leap from the water in a spectacular finale.
The sea lion show is free once the entrance fee has been paid.
Knowsleys Fish brook Wood is a seven acre area of mixed woodland situated next to the Lake Farm and Mizzy Lake.
It was opened to our visitors in the spring of 2007 as a quiet area where Knowsley Safari Park can encourage British native wildlife to flourish.
Knowsley are trying to develop and manage this area, to increase the amount of natural plants and wildlife. To give nature a chance they created two wildlife ponds, grew British woodland flower seeds and installed 50 bird boxes and put in a pathway.
This was done to increase the wildlife, and the pathway was put in so we could walk the woodlands and experience these wild animals in their own surroundings.
MIZZY LAKE FARM
Lake Farm is home to a wide and ever changing selection of farm yard animals with a novel species or two added for good measure.
Although the variety of species changes throughout the season some or all of these animals may be found in the farm:
Highland Cattle, Mules, Llama, Goats, Pigs, Rabbits, Donkeys and Guinea Pigs.
Free roaming turkeys and a diverse range of bird species including black swans, mute swans and pea fowl may also be seen on occasions.
At the far end of the farm, you are able to see the swans in our swan sanctuary and many other birds from the Mizzy Lake Hide.
Entrance to the farm is included in the admission price to the safari park.
The restaurant located with the safari park, is a no frills restaurant it is clean and tidy and the food is good.
The food is very basic and very reasonable, here are some of the food prices, so you can see what I mean by, cheap and no frills.
Fish & chips £4.50, Sausage & chips £3.75, Beef burgers £2.90, Vegetable Burger £2.85, Chicken Burgers £2.85, Pizza slice from £1.95, 6 Chicken nuggets £1.55, Chips £1.40, Sandwiches from £2.65, Salads from £2.95, Pasta & sauce £3.55, Jacket potato and filling from £3.35, Tea £1.50, Coffee £1.50 and Cold drinks from £0.99.
It is very well priced so you can feed yourself and the kids very cheaply, the food is basic but tastes fine.
ADOPT AND ANIMAL SCHEME
Knowsley also allow visitors to adopt an animal, it is the ideal gift for all animal lovers.
It is so easy do, just choose the animal that you want to adopt for example, lions, ostriches, tigers, otters, elephants,zebras, rhinos, giraffes, meercats and baboons.
And now decide whether you want to adopt at the gold, silver or bronze level.
£20 - Bronze
You will get an,A4 certificate - ready for framing * Species fact pack * Special 'adopters day' at the park * A Knowsley Safari Park 'goody' bag for junior adopters * 2 raffle tickets for the 'Behind the Scenes Tour' grand draw * Christmas Card from your adopted species * FREE park guide book
£35 - Silver
You will get an,A4 certificate - ready for framing * Species fact pack * 2 FREE entry tickets to visit the park * A Knowsley Safari Park 'goody' bag for junior adopters * A half price voucher for the Safari video * 4 raffle tickets for the 'Behind the Scenes Tour' grand draw * Special 'adopters day' at the park * Christmas Card from your adopted species * FREE park guide book
£50 - Gold
You will get an,A4 certificate - ready for framing * Species fact pack * 4 FREE entry tickets to visit the park * A Knowsley Safari Park 'goody' bag for junior adopters * 8 raffle tickets for the 'Behind the Scenes Tour' grand draw * Special 'adopters day' at the park * A FREE 'Safari' video * Christmas Card from your adopted species * FREE park guide book
The adoption is for the whole group of each species rather than an individual animal. This is because individual animals may die or be exchanged with other safari parks and zoos for breeding purposes.
As a way of showing their gratitude, adopters are allowed FREE entry into the park. And that's not all; any guests accompanying the adopter will pay just £5 each.
LOCATION OF KNOWSLEY
The safari park is located at:
Knowsley Safari Park
To get to the park follow the following directions. From M62 exit at junction 6, then take M57 exit at junction 2. At the roundabout follow the brown Knowsley safari park signs.
The entrance fees are:
12.00 for adults, 9.00 for children and OAP's.
Family ticket (2 adults & 2 children/O.A.P.s) £37.00
Pedestrians £7.00 per person
Students over 16 years £9.00 (on production of an NUS card)
Knowsley Safari Park is open all year round (except Christmas Day).
Summer Opening Times:
1st March to 31st Oct. 10.00am
Last entry to Safari drive 4.00pm
Winter Opening Times:
1st November to 28th February 10.30am
Last entry to Safari drive 3.00pm
For further information, party bookings, offers ect contact knowsley on Tel: 0151 430 9009,
Fax: 0151 426 3677