With a long journey ahead of us, from London to Somerset and Devon, Chris and I came up with a good idea to break up the trip a bit: Longleat Safari Park!
This was a very special trip for me as a lover of all things animal I was extremely excited to go to such a talked about zoo. Longleat had also been the subject of a tv programme spanning nine years (of which I was glued to every episode) so it had been a pipe dream of mine to visit since I was a teenager; but this pipe dream was actually going to be realised. Here’s a bit of a snapshot:
Rainbow lorikeets were probably the chattiest and most colourful residents
This was the first time I’ve ever seen a binturong. Initially I was so confused about what type of animal it was; is it related to red pandas, badgers, civets? (it turned out the be the latter) What an astonishing animal.
We weren’t the only ones enjoying our day.
One of the best bits about Longleat is their reserve-like drive-through where you can get extremely close to large animals like these lions. We hesitated before the entrance of the rhesus macaque section, from a distance you could see troops of monkeys launching assaults on cars that dared to invade their territory. Seeing as we were in a rental car we thought against it…
At sunset we enjoyed the cruise over their lake which is home to Californian sea lions (you can see a female’s head just popping above the surface of the water) and has a gorilla island.
We spent the rest of the weekend exploring the delights of Bath and Exeter, two beautiful cities. Exeter was surreal for me because I hadn’t been back since I finished studying there over two years ago. The high street was different but my favourite pub had stayed the same and that’s what’s most important.