An exciting around-the-world safari experience this time with a trip to Knowsley Safari near Liverpool. This is a great place to go at any time of the year, we experienced a number of interesting weather systems during our day there; but luckily there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities.
We started off with the Safari Drive (100% an indoor activity – or at least inside the safety of your car…). If you arrive by car you pay at the entrance booths, and drive straight ahead to begin the Safari Drive, or left to visit the Foot Safari, café, etc.
Adult entrance into Knowsley Safari is £17.50 (£15.75 online) and child entrance is £13.50 (£12.15 online). Carers can visit the park free of charge.
You are given 2 child-friendly maps, so our 2 excitedly consulted the Safari Drive map as we headed off onto the 5 mile safari drive (the longest in the UK!). I won’t say too much about this, just add a few photos, no spoilers! It’s a great experience, you get so close to the animals and see them in a very relaxed habitat. They aren’t at all phased by the passers by, including those who randomly park up with their flasks.
It was slightly nerve-wracking when the lions walked right behind and alongside the car but you can imagine the excitement levels of the small people….
We chickened out of the baboon enclosure as we didn’t fancy being separated from our windscreen wipers, but pulled over on the car-friendly route to have a giggle watching the brave souls who did take on the ‘friendly’ baboons…
Once you leave the safari drive and head down to the main centre, there is very easy access from the blue badge parking spaces into the Oasis Restaurant where we took a quick pit-stop for lunch and to wait for the rain to pass.
We were really lucky as it cleared up and the sun came out; but before heading to the outdoor attractions we took in the lovely Sea Lion Display, watching Roger and Arthur and their clever tricks. Sea Lion Cove has raised seating, but if you speak to the staff on the way in you can be seated at the front without the need to use the stairs.
Once we left Sea Lion Cove, we were spoilt for choice for what to do next. There is a Birds of Prey display, the Bat Forest, Wolf Country, the giraffes and lots more animals to see on foot; a fairground, a train ride, some lovely parks – and more! The pathways are well-maintained and easy to manoeuvre with a buggy or wheelchair. Emily needed help onto the rides and with using the steps, but this is always the same when we visit rides.
Our final stop of the day was the fabulous Russian-inspired Amur Tiger Trail which we all loved! The tigers have been moved to a brand new enclosure which is visually stunning and also includes an intrepid explorer style activity trail for the children.
Once you arrive at the Amur Tiger Trail station, children can collect their own trail map and use this to explore the area, collecting stamps on the way back. You can enter the trail via the ‘Wobbly Bridge’ but there is also level access (which we used on the way back as the bridge was possibly one wobble too far for Emily as it was a two-man job!).
The trail has been really carefully planned and is completely accessible. There is a fabulous viewing platform with full-length viewing windows. We were really lucky as the tigers were very active that day and we got unbelievably close to them.
Knowsley Safari Experience is a fantastic day out both for all the family and from an access point of view too. Access to all viewing platforms is wheelchair accessible, and there is ramped or level access everywhere. The Equatorial Express train ride and Baboon Bus can accommodate wheelchairs.
If you are planning a day out and have a member of your party who has a disability, take a look at the accessibility page on the website (www.knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk); particularly the outstanding access statement which has photos of all areas of the park (I wish all attractions did this!). Knowsley has a number of disabled toilets, and there is a large disabled toilet with a bed and mobile hoist.
There is so much to see and do here for all ages. There are lots of extra experiences available including kids clubs, Safari School, keeper talks, den-building, Animal Encounters, Bat Nights and themed events (Christmas looks ace!).
There are lots of changes and exciting new developments planned at Knowsley, if they are of the same high standard as the amazing new Amur we can’t wait to go back once they are finished!
As you leave the park, pay a visit to the loo and have a giggle at the animal-themed humorous posters (see below for one of my favourites….).
The team at Knowsley Safari Experience kindly invited us to visit for the day to experience the disabled access and facilities. All views and opinions expressed are our own.
Thank you Knowsley!!