Believe it or not, I’d never been to a zoo before, I once went to a safari park, but never a zoo. We spend a lot of time in Chester and with B’s love of pretty much all animals, we finally got round to going.
We went during term time too, which seemed like a good move as there were no queues or crowds. We started off by the elephants, well you can’t miss them really, they’re right by the entrance! That was clearly hard work for all of us so we sat down and broke out the packed lunch that the grandparents had expertly put together.
Next it was onto the monkeys. B loved this, why wouldn’t he, he’s a bit of monkey himself. Then we went via the speckled bear enclosure towards the ‘islands’. The speckled bears proved to be particularly shy, and for a while it felt a bit like that scene in Jurassic Park where they’re in the cars outside the T-Rex enclosure waiting for it to make an appearance, except of course we were not in cars and were looking for a bear rather than a man-eating dinosaur.
Anyway, since there was no sign of the speckled bear we moved on to the zebras (these are way cooler in real life than I thought they would be!) to the ‘Islands’. This cool little corner of the zoo is focussed on several islands in the South Pacific, including Bali and Sumatra. It has been done very well and at times you could believe you were really there…except for the weather of course! The highlight for me on this little excursion to the South Pacific had to be the Sumatran tigers, smaller than their Bengal cousins but super cool none the less.
Other highlights here were the orang-utans and the little boat ride…this part of the zoo was by far my favourite.
At this point the weather took a turn for the worse. The rain arrived so we decided to make a dash for cover in the restaurant area on Sulawest for a much needed hot chocolate, hoping optimistically that the rains would subside. Well, after half an hour or so the rain hadn’t subsided so we decided it was time to head to the cars. However, at a critical juncture on our journey back, I decided that since we were at the zoo, we should see some big cats. We took a detour via the raised walkway to see the cheetahs and lions. This turned out to be a very long route back to the car, the rains got ever heavier…and of course we didn’t see any big cats, as they all had the good sense to get themselves in the warm and dry! We eventually made it back to the cars a little (a lot) wetter than we started but we all really enjoyed our visit. We probably really only managed a third of the zoo, so we’ll definitely be back…rain or shine.
What we took