Disclosure: We were invited on this day out for the purpose of this post however all opinions are my own.
At the weekend we were lucky enough to be invited to Paradise Wildlife Park to experience one of their private tours but first we spent a few hours in the park exploring by ourselves.
We love Paradise Wildlife Park. It’s not too big, has plenty to see and do aside from the animals, and it’s easily accesible from both the midlands and the south. It’s well positioned for so much of the country to visit and we go every year – often using Tesco vouchers too!
This time we started off looking at the birds. They have such a nice, quiet avery section with parrots, owls and, Little Man’s favourite, love birds. There are giant tortoises too and they are all so well spaced out and surrounded by greenery. Whenever we’ve been to Paradise Wildlife Park it hasn’t been too busy and is lovely to visit at any time of the year.
We then made our way through the farm area – seeing both the bigger farm animals like sheep and goats and then the smaller ones like rabbits. There were also rats and Dave was intrigued to learn that rats can be trained to sniff out bombs or missing people.
The next chunk of time was spent looking at all the big cats – and this is one of my favourite things about Paradise Wildlife Park. You don’t get to see big cats that close and such a variety anywhere else.
There were snow leopards, tigers, white lions, leopards, jaguars and a cheetah. It was amazing and the children loved seeing the cats so close. A highlight was the baby jaguar who, at eight months old, was still small, very cute and very playful.
We went into the reptile house, saw snakes, crocodiles and insects and then saw otters and a red panda outside – who always seems to be perched up a tree.
Paradise Wildlife Park has so many monkeys too and the children loved the spider monkeys who were so, so playful and friendly. There were also lemurs that the children loved – and really, all the animals seemed so happy and willing to show off for us. It was nice to visit a zoo in winter and still have so many animals wanting to be outside and playing.
We saw the new penguin enclosure which was so big and with so many viewing spots and we got to walk through Africa too, finishing off with the meerkats. One thing we noticed throughout our visit was how much Paradise Wildlife Park is doing to expand and refresh the park. There are so many new enclosures being built, old ones being restored or replaced and so much looks new – including so many new play areas. It’s nice to see an attraction like this investing resources into making it a nice place for both visitors and it’s animal residents.
It was then time for our tour. The Walk on the Wildside Tour started at the Discovery Centre where we warmed up with hot chocolate and biscuits before being introduced to Hannah, our lovely tour guide.
Hannah took us to the Lorikeet house where we got to feed the Lorikeets. The children loved how the Lorikeets drank nectar from their little pots and would have happily stayed inside the cage for hours.
We were then taken behind the scenes at the park to see where the animal food was prepared and where animals would go for check ups. The children loved that they could understand how the animals were looked after – that, just like out cat at home, the animals were fed regularly, giving things to play with and taken to the vet regularly too.
At this point the children met a little lady Tenrec, who looked just like a hedgehog but who in fact shares more of her DNA with elephants! She was very cute and the children loved her.
We then got to see the big cats again, learning more about them, how long they had all been at the zoo and the future of them too. We found out that the baby jaguar was part of a European breeding program and the first leopard cub at the zoo in the zoo’s history. A very special cub indeed!
Hannah then took us to The Studio, a special private room where the children could meet even more animals. The studio was full of snakes, snails, the make tenrecs and so many other creatures.
The children got to meet Usain, the tortoise and they said hello to a new bearded dragon resident too. I found it lovely that so many of this sort of animal at Paradise Wildlife Park are unwanted pets that are rehomed at the park. It’s nice that the zoo gives so many animals a fresh start in life.
The children really enjoyed meeting the animals and then we finished our tour by seeing the rest of the big cats. Hannah would have taken us anywhere in the park but the children were pretty obsessed with the cats so that is where we spent the bulk of our time.
We all really enjoyed the tour, learnt so much and met so many new animals too. It definitely gave a new perspective to a zoo that we have seen a few times before.
After our tour the children worked their way through the many adventure playgrounds at Paradise Wildlife Park. The play areas are always a massive highlight and something we save until last – otherwise they would play all day and not see the animals.
The day finished with a trip to the indoor soft play for the children whilst Dave and I had a nice hot drink. We had such a lovely day and it was so nice to see the park in a new light, through the eyes of one of the keepers.
Here’s a little video we made of the day: