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  • Writer's pictureKelly

"Exploring the Wonders of Knowsley Safari Park: A Family-Friendly Adventure"

As a family of five, days out can become expensive, so when I spotted Knowsley Safari Park had a special offer running we decided to take advantage. The offer of one child under 16 goes free for every full paying adult runs until 29th February.

We paid for our own tickets

We visited Knowsley Safari on Tuesday, during school term so it wasn't busy.

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We booked online and kids under 16 go free with a paying adult (it's one child per adult) so yesterday's visit was only around £53 this was with a guide book which you can choose at the checkout.

I have to say I was really impressed with this Zoo. The animals look like they are all well looked after, the enclosures are absolutely huge and the place is spotless. However this was comparing it to a recent trip to an awful zoo that we had in January. Don't get me wrong there was a few issues with our visit to Knowsley which you can read about further down, but there's also lots of good.

We arrived around 10.30 to find only one kiosk was open which was causing a nightmare, after 10 minutes they opened up a second kiosk.

You follow the road round and you can either go straight onto the safari drive or you can park up and go on the foot safari, either way there are toilet options for both.

We headed round the safari drive first which took us around 40 mins, however this could have been longer if the Africa section was open. We were told that this would be open for 11.30 However we headed back for 1.30 and it was still closed! Other than the staff manning the lion section there was no staff to be seen to ask.

We also decided not to do the baboon drive because your car will get damaged and it's just a headache I don't want, we would have taken the bus if that had been running but it wasn't.

Baboons are very naughty so really think about it before you decide to go in, in your own vehicle because you will have damage to your car. Note I said WILL not Might.

The car friendly route takes in lots of lovely animals including various types of deer, bison, Iberian Wolves, lions, camels and lots more. The space they have is a lot and at times we went without seeing anything which I thought was a bit boring to be honest. However what we did see we really enjoyed especially the lions. Please make sure you read the rules and you stick to them. Do not get out of your car no matter what.

We then headed into the foot safari which was fantastic. It has so many things to read and hands on displays to get involved with. Lots of educational material and Elliot really enjoyed learning about the animals.

We did the tiger trail first which was great. Lots of info boards and the tigers came right up to us, one even tried to attack us so we walked away from it because we didn't want to wind it up and stress it out. Something must have been happening because they were pacing and were very angry. The enclosures are pretty big with lots of enrichment which was fantastic to see and we were fascinated watching one of the tigers scent mark and just generally having a wander exploring. They looked like they were in great condition and they are probably the best Tigers we have encountered in a zoo. The experience was definitely one we wont forget in a hurry

From here we just followed the path, you can't get lost as you have a map that you are given when you enter and there's plenty of signage about. There are info boards for every animal and you can also find some interactive and hands on activities dotted around the zoo to get involved in.

We also had food whilst we were here, which was reasonably priced and the staff were great, going above and beyond. We went for 3 Chicken Burgers which were huge and 2 Pulled pork ciabattas both with fries. The only thing that let it down were the drinks which were limited to tea, coffee or standard fizzy drinks. The portions were large ( I have seen people moan that portion sizes were small, but honestly they are not.)

On our visit the shop, amusement rides and the nature trail were closed for maintenance ready to open for half term but from what I could see the rides looked great. Again no mention of anything other than the amusement rides being closed which were on the website. I love getting a fridge magnet and other trinkets from the places we visit so I was a bit disappointed that the shop was closed.

Would we visit again? Yes we would visit again, we had a great day and can see how you can easily spend a full day here.

Good to know

🦒The park is around 2 and a half hours from Sunderland

🦒Adults - £17.50 with a child under 16 going free until 29th February

🦒You can do the safari drive as many times as you want with an hour before closing as the last entry.

🦒You get a set of rules upon entry for the safari drive which you must stick to.

🦒Dogs are not permitted in the safari drive but I did read on the website they have a doggy area, you may want to check this though because I have seen reviews saying its literally a small box.

🦒Café and coffee bar

🦒Keeper talks

🦒Sea lion show

🦒Bird of prey show

🦒You get maps and stickers when you enter

🦒It is accessible to most people

🦒Lots of photo opportunities

🦒Hands on displays

🦒Face painting

🦒Amusement rides are extra on top of entry but you can purchase a ride all day ticket

🦒Plenty of toilets

🦒Plenty of seating if you need a rest

🦒Safari drive can take around an hour or more depending on the route

🦒Foot safari can take over an hour

🦒Disabled toilets, changing areas and baby changing all on site

🦒I highly recommend downloading the app and purchasing the guidebook. You need to book online.

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