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A Fantastic Day out
Banham Zoo (Norfolk)
Member Name: rhubarb22
Banham Zoo (Norfolk)
Advantages: Enough to do to last all day
Disadvantages: Exit through the shop
I have been to Banham Zoo in Norfolk several times over the last few years with my daughter aged five, and thought I would share my experiences with you.
Banham Zoo is situated in Banham, which is a small village in Norfolk a few miles away from Attleborough. It is a bit off the beaten track!, and not where you might expect to find a large zoo, but it isn't too difficult to find as it is well signposted off the main A11 road from Norwich.
I last took my daughter during the Easter Holidays and the admission fee was £11.95 for me and £7.95 for her. (There are special rates for seniors and children with special needs) and the admission prices vary according to the season. Under 3 are free.
There is ample free parking.
Upon entrance to the zoo, you are given a map which is easy to use and shows clearly where to find all the animals, and gives you feeding and demonstration times for that day.
There is a little road train (yellow and black striped like a tiger) which runs around the zoo and is worth jumping on first to give you a quick tour of the zoo with a spoken commentary which gives you a good idea where to go to see what you want first.
There is an abundance of animals at the zoo and as always, my favourites are the tigers. They have a male and a female who have successfully bred, and are now proud parents to two cubs (now about 8 months old) but still quite cute and fluffy. Tiger feeding time is a must to watch - they feed the tigers a 'snack' through the wire fence using a pair of tongs and make the tigers stretch up to reach - quite a sight to see!
Another favourite are the giraffes, they have recently built an new enclosure for these which is very good, and there are at present a couple of young ones in their as well.
There are also, camels, wolves, cheetahs, snow leopards, red panda, penguins, seals, zebra, any many more, plus a hands on farm animal centre.
In the education centre they are opportunities to handle small creepy crawlies, on a previous visit my daughter held a cockroach and a snake.
The bird of prey display is definately worth seeing if you like these but I try to avoid this, as I'm a bit scared of birds with long claws!!
Season tickets are available at a cost of £45 for adults and £30 for children, and the admission cost of the day will be deducted from the cost. The ticket will also give you 50% discount to two other local attractions (Dinosaur Park and Africa Alive) so this is definately a good offer if you are local.
We always take a picnic with us, so cannot comment on the quality of the food, but I noticed that a coffee & cake or a hot dog and drink were £4.50, which I think may be a little overpriced.
The toilets that we have used whilst there have been clean and tidy.
There is a large play area for children that we always spend a good while on, so the adults can have a rest!
On the downside the only exit is through the shop, but there is a wide selection of gifts from under a pound for pens and pencils etc, up to very pricey things!
I think, however that the Zoo itself is an excellent value day out and I never mind paying a reasonable admission price for a Zoo, as I appreciate that they have high running costs and these have to be reflected in the price.
I will certainly keep visiting the zoo, as we have spent many an enjoyable day there in the last few years.
Summary: A lovely zoo - well worth a visit