“We’re goin’ to the zoo, zoo, zoo. How about you, you, you? You can come too, too, too, we’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo!” Ahh, what a great song…one of the earliest songs I learnt when I started school, with my teacher singing it to us all while playing her guitar…so cool! It’s really stuck after all these years, and I love it, just as much as I love going to the actual zoo. We all do!
Wild Place Project isn’t just any ordinary zoo though, it is, as it states in the title a ‘project’ where “Our vision is to create a sustainable future for wildlife & people through our conservation and education work.” It was opened by Bristol Zoological society, and puts emphasis on protecting threatened habitats, here and around the world.
We couldn’t wait to visit, and as it was close to our campsite on a recent camping trip we went on, it was the perfect opportunity to go.
Unfortunately it was a very drizzly day, but in this country I’m afraid you just have to go with it, otherwise we’d spend most of our time indoors. Upon arrival we loved how uncrowded the zoo was, we entered without queuing and were given a stamp booklet for the trail which led us around the park, and Finley absolutely loved this added touch. We started our adventure at the butterfly maze, which was really fun and had signs to spot along the way, then we headed on for the good stuff.
We saw so many animals here, including Lemurs in ‘Madagascar’, wolves in the ‘wolf wood’, Okapi (we didn’t know what these were either, in fact I’m still not really sure!) in the ‘secret Congo’, and Cheetahs, Zebras and our personal fav, Giraffes in the ‘National Park’. We actually got really close to the giraffes, which Finley was delighted with as these are his absolute favourite animal, and here there’s even an inside area that brings you up to their level, as well as a bridge outside to watch them roaming freely.
We enjoyed a talk about the Lemurs, given by one of the zoo keepers in their enclosure, and had to stay really quiet when we were trying to catch a glimpse of the wolves.
One thing we didn’t do, that looked lots of fun was the ‘Barefoot Trail’ and this is exactly what it says, yep you take your socks and shoes off and walk through the many areas of the trail experiencing all the different textures with your feet! I think I’m actually quite glad it was too soggy to do this, although it looked a lot of fun for kids, and I’m sure even many adults.
The zoo is very rustic, and we really liked the wildness of it all, from woodland nature walks, to the giant teepee in the middle of the field. We also enjoyed the walled garden where we got to see meerkats, and of course the play areas.
There is so much to see and do, we spent many hours here, and recommend it for a full day out. We’d packed a picnic to take with us, but there is food available in the cafe, and a kiosk in the park, that was actually closed due to low season, but would be open during the summer months for lots more variety.
For something extra special there’s a Leap of faith , which is a giant climbing wall that you jump from, while attached to a harness, and also a giant swing. These are payable extras.
And for the ultimate experience there is Camp Baboon, an overnight adventure where you sleep in a luxurious cabin and enjoy breakfast with the giraffes! This is definitely on our bucket list, but for now we are so happy with the day we got to experience, and highly recommend you Book Now! Oh and don’t forget to visit the gorgeous gift shop at the end.
“Until one has loved an animal a part of ones soul remains unawakened” ~ Anatole France
2 Birds 1 Love