Strap yourself in, gird your loins, and check your insurance policy – it’s time to brave this five mile drive through big game country! Well, whilst it isn’t the savannah, this park on the outskirts of Liverpool is one of the North West’s major attractions.
From our experience choose your day carefully as it can be a sweltering traffic jam fraught with the danger of a child needing the toilet just as you arrive at the tigers! We went out of season and had the luxury of driving the route twice with plenty of time to linger alongside some pretty exotic creatures. Honestly, there is nothing more awe-inspiring than sitting twenty feet from a pack of lions.
That said, and anyone who has ever been to a safari park will agree, whilst the big cats have a definite wow factor, nothing beats the monkey enclosure. The monkeys can be avoided if you are the car polishing type – but that definitely isn’t us, so in we headed and were met with mayhem and chaos, both inside and outside the car. We will never forget the unexpected appearance of a massive, highly coloured baboon’s bottom on the windscreen! Though laughter did turn to tears when a monkey’s head suddenly popped into view just an inch or so from our two year old’s face!
Once out of the car there are still other animals to see: otters, elephants, warthogs and more, all of which can be viewed at reasonably close proximity. There are sea lions who at regular times throughout the day put on a spectacular show. And we adored the eerie walk-in bat house. You’ll also discover a small but well-stocked farm with all the usual suspects, plus the odd llama and a bug house. So, all in all, animal-wise, Knowsley has it pretty well covered. As if that isn’t enough fun for one day, there’s also an amusement park, and a high ropes course for six-year-olds and over; both of which are an additional cost to the entrance fee.15 Feb-30 Oct Daily 10.30am-5pm, 1 Nov-14 Feb Weekends and school holidays 10.30am-3pm (amusement rides seasonal). Low season: Adult and Child £10 per person, under 3s free. Peak season: Adult £16, Child £12, under 3s free. Amusement rides £2, unlimited ride wristband £10. Knowsley Safari Park, Prescot, Merseyside L34 4AN Tel: 0151 430 9009 knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk