Dorthy: Do you suppose we’ll meet any wild animals?
Tin Man: We might… mostly lions, tigers, and bears.
Dorthy: Lions, tigers and bears? Oh My!
And we’re back!! After nearly four months of only venturing out of our house to do the basic necessity of grocery shopping and walks in nature, we’re finally allowed out to do things just for fun. Shopping is beginning to open, pubs and restaurants are slowly staring to let people in again, hair salons are back open and so are places to learn and grow like museums and zoos.
If you know me, you know I love animals, so, when we realized that the Woburn Safari Park was open again and only a mere one hour drive from us, we decided to plan a day out. The best part was that for most of the trip, it was all taken in from the comfort of our own car.
Started in 1970, Woburn Safari park celebrates it’s 50th anniversary this year. Sprawling over 360 acres of parkland in the East of England, the park is home to over 1,000 exotic and wild animals. This includes, of course, the traditional, lions, tigers, and bears. They all live in a massive enclosed area known as the Kingdom of the Carnivores.
Due to new regulations after the VWSNBN, you must purchase tickets and a reserved time slot prior to arrival at the park, but it’s not terribly difficult and they accept both printed and digital tickets. When you get there they will scan your tickets from your car and you are off on your own wild road safari. Large signs direct you where to go, but it’s not difficult to figure out as you will basically just follow the cars in front of you. I would suggest being vigilant of signs though, since there are some forks in the road that take you to places like the leisure area where the restaurant and bathrooms are located. Further on, there is also a cut off for soft top cars to avoid both the kingdom of the carnivores and the monkeys. If you’re not in a soft top car, make sure you don’t miss these, they were my two favorite parts of the whole safari.
Their website says the road safari will take you about an hour but I found it took us closer to an hour and a half. There were a few times where people stopped to looks at animals for a long time and if you too want to see them, you’re stuck in traffic for a little while. It wasn’t too bad except near the lions where I felt people got greedy. They basically parked for extended periods of time, not letting others have their chance. This is also dangerous as there is nothing between you and the lions other than the distance they choose to stay from your car. Signs posted will tell you to keep moving slowly with your windows closed and sadly, some people didn’t follow these rules. But other than the frustrating few fellow travelers, I really enjoyed my road safari time.
I feel like animals are meant to be wild, but at the same time, they need our help to conserve different species that are being hunted in the wild by poachers. I love to see parks like Woburn because they do what they can to give these animals the freedom they deserve while still protecting them in a sanctuary type setting. I feel like parks like this also educate the public about the need for conservation efforts of animals.
In addition to the road safari through the park, Woburn also has a foot safari where you can walk through and visit different animals, in a similar way to the road safari, but without the car. When we visited the park last week, only small parts of the foot safari were open, but what we did see was amazing. We were able to take an “Australian walkabout” following a path that led us through a mob of wallabies hanging out and eating their lunch. It was amazing to be mere feet from these fluffy little guys.
This week though, more areas of the foot safari and keeper talks are beginning to reopen, so when you get your chance to visit Woburn, there will be even more to do! Woburn Safari park is definitely a place to add to your list of places to visit in the UK, especially in this time when several other things to do are still closed. If you’re not in the UK and can’t visit Woburn any time soon, check out my photos. Of course, all these photos had to be zoomed and were taken through windows, so, of course, they aren’t high quality but they were still pretty awesome to capture.
Do you like visiting zoos and wildlife parks? What are your favorite animals to see?
(click on the images below to see a larger version)