31 March 2012

Longleat Part 4 - Monkey business

The final part in my Longleat series!
If you visit this place there is one thing you MUST do, the Monkey Drive-Thru. These little critters are not just cute they're crafty too. As soon as you enter their enclosure they're practically lining up to jump on your car and say hello

But don't let that fool you, these guys only have one thing on their mind - vandalism!
They start with your aerial...

Then they rip up the rubber strips on the roof...

Then they go for the lights like this car had...

What are they up to?

Pulling the wires out to chew!

I thought this little one was just trying to keep a grip on the car...

Turned out he was wrecking the wiper blade!
As I found out later when I looked at my own car they also pinch the caps off the number plate screws! Little rascals!
Some of the cars left with quite a bit of damage, I took my aerial off before I went through and I don't have those rubber strips on my car so apart from the number plate screw caps I escaped relatively unscathed! In spite of all that destruction they are undeniably cute

All together now "Awww!"

Whilst at Longleat we went for a couple of trips on this boat

As soon as it set off we were joined by these fantastic sea lions swimming along both sides of the boat.

After buying a couple of mackerel we held it over the edge and they jumped up to get it

The boat journey takes you around this island

which is home to their impressive gorilla


I couldn't remember his name but Pickle Lily reminded me on a previous post that he's called 'Jock'. I do remember being told he's 51 years old! That's pretty impressive in my book!
We saw a couple of hippos too but they were too far away to get a decent photo.

So that's the end of my Longleat tale, if you haven't done so already please read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. I look forward to visiting this place again soon.
Just as a side note this visit gave me lots of ideas for my crafts so do come back soon to see what i'm making.
Until next time

30 March 2012

Longleat Part 3 - Cats and Dogs

One of the great things about safari is getting so close to such amazing creatures however if you do this on a sunny day MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AIR CON! The air con in my car isn't working properly which wasn't a problem for much of it as we could have the windows and sunroof open but for several of the enclosures (one after the other) we had to keep them shut. 4 people in a clio on a sunny day results in sweaty uncomfortable people! However it's worth the discomfort rather than risk what could happen when this is waiting for you just outside!

Drive-thru meals!

These big cats are so amazing, when you see the young ones playing around with each other it does make you think of kittens playing with each other, they are so cute.

But when you see the grown ups chomping down on a big chunk of meat it reminds you what those little 'kittens' will grow into and a degree of fear and respect creeps into you.

My favourite big cats are tigers, funny really as I've had several nightmares involving these chasing me!

They are so gorgeous up close, beautiful coats, beautiful faces yet such powerful animals.

Still on with the big cats we got to see the cheetahs, they were in quarantine at the time so I didn't get to challenge one to race my clio and see who could get up to 70mph first. This handsome chap kindly posed for a photo through the fence.

When talking about cats its natural to progress onto dogs and thats what we did, well wolves actually.

Unfortunately we didn't get to see any wolf pups but the adults were great to see up close. They are so much like dogs to look at.

My granddad has a beautiful dog which is a German Shepherd crossed with a wolf, he looks quite similar to some of the wolves we saw but is bigger and gentler.

That's about it for part 3, hopefully you've already seen Part 1 and Part 2.
The final part will be out tomorrow - Monkeys!
Until next time

29 March 2012

Longleat Part 2 - All creatures great and small

Welcome to Longleat Part 2, if you missed Part 1 you can see it here.

The great thing about this place is the variety of animals both large and small. Whilst driving around I saw Anne the Elephant

Anne isn't just any elephant, she's famous, sadly not for the right reasons. Anne was a circus elephant who hit the headlines when secret filming showed her being attacked by the groom who was supposed to be looking after her. The story caused outrage and there is a website dedicated to Anne which you can find here. Luckily Anne was rescued and is now living happily at Longleat.

From the very big to the very small...

After the safari drive we went into the Jungle Kingdom where we got to walk through the Meerkat enclosure.

There were warning signs up that these little critters have a fascination with painted toenails so I was glad I was wearing trainers! They have such character and they may be small but they're not afraid to tackle animals bigger and spikier than them,

Who's that creeping up behind?

These guys were cooling in their shelter minding their own business when a group of the little rascals came running in and pushed them out of their bed!

In another enclosure was an anteater, fascinated by her nose it took me quite a while to notice something a bit different about her

Can you see it?

Yep that's a baby anteater clinging to her back! How sweet!

Further around the park we found a bird enclosure we could walk through. We bought a couple of pots of some type of liquid food and these feathery friends descended onto us to drink it.

Here's my sister with her new best friend (at least until it had drunk it all!)

The more I write about Longleat the more I remember! I've had to break it down so part 3 will be out tomorrow.
Until next time

28 March 2012

Longleat Part 1

As I said before I spent the last weekend at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire having an amazing time. Unfortunately it didn't start great.
I woke up Friday morning and after getting all my stuff together I went outside to load the car to travel down South and found this

That was not there when I parked it up! To say I wasn't happy was an understatement, they hadn't even left a note so i'm stuck with the bill to repair it.
Anyway, onto Longleat!
We went on Saturday morning and went around the safari in my dented little car. I love giraffes and was most looking forward to seeing them but they were in a side area with the zebras as their zone (?) is currently having a refurb.

I was a bit upset at this but its part of a new change that Longleat are doing, they're creating a watering hole where you will be able to handfeed the giraffes! I will definately be going back there when this opens.
We carried on around and I couldn't believe how close we got to some of the animals.

There was one part where you could buy deer food and hand-feed the deers from inside your car. Well we had to buy some and the deer were keen to come and eat

Maybe a bit too keen sometimes!

On the Saturday when we went through the rhino and camels paddock they all seemed to be quite far away but on the Sunday they were a lot closer

The camels were chasing each other so much so that a ranger on a tractor was driving between them trying to split them up

This seemed to put the wind up the rhinos who also had a bit of a run around and got quite close to my car

I had visions of a rhino shaped dent in my car ("Hello car insurance? a rhino wrote off my car") although it would have made a better story than the damage I found on Friday morning!
I tried to stay near the longleat landrover hoping that if Mr Rhino chose to charge he'd go for the vehicle that looked most like a zebra!

There was so much to see that I can't fit it all into one post so i'll pause this one here and start working on part 2.
Until next time