Sunday, November 07, 2010

London: Part V- The Safari Park

Tuesday, we were due to go to Woburn Safari Park.  It is a  beautiful piece of land, not to distant from my parents house, and the kids were raring to go.
I personally, was glad it was a safari park- for at least we could go there in the rain.  Which we did.  It was absolutely BUCKETING down with rain.  Nasty, cold rain at that.
My parents had declared it a day to take all of their grandchildren to the safari park- and we had originally planned to do the adventure playground, but the weather put a damper on those plans.
I thought I would add here some pictures of the kids playing with their baby cousin the day before- I forgot to add them to the last post ;)

DS and nephew play together... both in constant motion!
And even when nephew's interest waned, apparently baby toys are still fascinating to 11 year olds ;)
Add a 6 year old to the mix and suddenly the baby is interested again LOL
Although he still finds his big cousin fascinating.
All the photos at the park were taken through the windows.  Partly because of the rain, and partly because of the fact that they were not always allowed to be open, so please excuse any blurriness or the missing animals who absolutely HAD to walk while I tried to photograph them!
Being as there were so many family members, we went in two cars.  The first held my sister, brother-in-law, dad, nephew and my littlest sister.  Ours had mum, DH, the two kids, and me.
As we went into the park, the first animals we saw were the ostriches.  Some of them were just sitting and trying to stay dry.  Others were pecking at the raindrops on the cars as they went by.  They pecked at my sister's car as they went past, but mum quickly drove past them so they couldn't get us!  At least on the first go round.  Second time around, we got to see it up close... and no, my camera couldn't get it- it was on the other side of the car from me!

These were two wet ostriches ;)

I don't know what these things are, but they came after the ostriches!  BIL didn't slow as we passed them either, so this is the only picture I got!

This long horned thing (an Eland maybe? I forget) was determined to intimidate the traffic- it passed right in front of my sister's car (BIL was driving).  It was heading into a shelter where all the other long-horned things were.

Instantly recognisable- an Asian Elephant.  There were African elephants behind it, but we didn't slow when we eventually passed them so I didn't get a shot.  And we didn't slow because there was a huge, deep puddle there!  My sister's favourite animals are elephants, so we got a good long look at them ;)

The rhinoceroses were up next.  Our first pass around the safari park showed all the rhinos in their shelter.

Second pass was a little nicer- they had all come out and let me get some nice photos of them :)

I always think of rhinos as being so ugly they are cute!  Following the rhinos, we went into carnivore country.  ALL of your windows have to be up here, so everything was done through the window.

The first creature in the area, was the tiger.  Beautiful, majestic- prowling.  It did not slow enough for a good photo at ALL.  I have two photos, both very blurry- so nothing to see :/

First time around, the wolves were in their compound, eating.  Second time around, they were roaming.  One wolf decided to roam right around where the cars were- crossing the road in front of us.  He was quite beautiful, and posed a little for me...

Here I think he looks kinds of like a dog that has been naughty!

Here he (or she, I didn't really notice which) is crossing the road.  Right at us.  Lovely!

The bears, however, were very co-operative.  One was hiding in a log- but this one was in the brush and sat quite still!

"Can you see me now?"

"How about now?"
It was kind of odd seeing the bears.  They were North American Black Bears- so the ones that are wild around here!

I loved the lions.  One lioness was prowling around, very restlessly.

She came down, crossed the road, stood in front of cars... crossed the road...  This is a lovely photo for all it is so misty.  And it is entirely possible the mist is the rain too LOL

The other lions, including the male, were comfortably ensconced in their shelter- warm and dry.  Although they did decide to yawn at us ;)

This is one of those barking deer- the Muntjac I mentioned as chasing the cat at the wedding.  It was quite wild and not really supposed to be there ;)  You can see that they are really very small!

The giraffes are my littlest sister's favourite animal.  We were very lucky when we went- they had a number of baby giraffes!

I loved this picture of the giraffes of all sizes :)  They had a nice tall shelter to hide in to stay warm and dry, but the little ones would come out and run around some.  Giraffe's are always amusing to watch when running!

The zebras roamed around the open area a lot.  We caught up with them twice- once just before entering the carnivore area, the other just before the monkey enclosure.  I got my best photos at this second spot...

Look- it is almost the same colour as the enclosure ;)

The monkeys are always fun.  First time through they were all huddled in groups.

Like this.  There were several bundles. 

And a few on signs and such.  They are on signs because they like to ride around on the cars.

This is the monkey that was on my sister's car for a short while :)  The hood/bonnet of the cars were obviously nice and warm!

There were even some baby monkeys in there.  See the one above?  It kept getting distracted and would have to run after its mother!

This guy looks very serious.  
The park has a variety of different monkeys.  To avoid confusion, I have called them all monkeys- because I have no idea which type is which ;)

Two more monkeys and a bear!  We stopped after the first go through, had a warm drink in the restaurant, looked in the gift shop (these two each bought something) then headed back to the car, where we proceeded to eat the packed lunch mum and dad had brought.  The picture above is taken at the gift shop, where they very kindly allow photographs of the kids with the bear :)

Then we went through the safari park again, before heading home.
That night, DH and I cooked a meal for the family (BIL went home and brother arrived home from work) before heading back to the hotel.  The rest of the holiday, would be mad touring of places before we left to go back to the states.

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