After a busy day at Sainsburys Jubilee Festival on Saturday, we travelled to Canterbury to stay with relatives and visit Howletts Wild Animal Park on Sunday.
We watched the weather forecast to see what we could expect and were relieved that we were given a window of opportunity over lunchtime until around 4pm when it would remain dry. We decided to book tickets online as you save 25% on the door price, which is a big saving. It still cost us £65 for two adults and two children (Eliza was free), which did make me wince a little.
We got to Howletts about 11am and it was very quiet. We donned our wet weather gear and set off in the hunt for some wild animals.
The animals were a little reluctant to come outside in the damp and cold weather it seemed, as it took a while for our first sighting. We were quite relieved our trip hadn’t been for nothing when we spotted this little fella:
|Hello – I am a Capybara|
Because the zoo was so quiet it was nice to let Eliza and Isaac run and explore their environment. The squeals of excitement from them both when they spotted something they hadn’t seen before was infectious. Hubby also enjoyed testing out his photographic skills and took some truly amazing shots of some of the inhabitants who graced us with their presence.
|The Rhino came to say Hello|
The Black Rhino spotted us and came right up to the fence to say Hello. One little girl was so terrified he was going to charge at us, she ran into her Grandmothers arms sobbing. The Rhino however just looked at us, and wandered towards the gate to its enclosure, turned around and urinated directly over the padlock. Either it is planning to escape by dissolving the padlock or it doesn’t like its keeper!!
|Just before its enormous wee!!|
Next door to the Rhino were my favourite – the Elephants. There was also a small picnic area so we stopped and enjoyed our food whilst the rain held off with a fantastic view.
|This young one looked desperate for a wee!|
After our re-fuel we decided to explore the park as well as we could before the weather turned. What we didn’t expect was it to be so huge!
We didn’t stop for any Rangers talks as it was too cold, but on a warm sunny day I should imagine they would be very interesting.
The highlight of the day was definitely the Tigers! Two of them were prowling their enclosures and they are truly magnificent beasts. Hubby has a field day with the camera and this is my favourite shot.
We continued our walk around the park, glimpsed some Lions but sadly not close up. Almost without exception the monkey’s were in hiding. We walked through the Lemur enclosure and didn’t spot one, but by this time the weather was on the turn and it started to drizzle.
We found the elephants again, and were astounded by the sheer size of them up close.
Isaac by this time was starting to get tired. Unlike its sister zoo Port Lympne, which we visited last year, they do not provide buggy’s. Kian was anxious to try the Tree Top Adventure but it cost an extra £6 on top of entry and was very wet and slippery so I have promised him a trip to Go Ape in the summer instead.
We decided to head home, and go and warm up with a cuppa and a few cakes, but I will leave you with these photo’s which has caused much amusement amongst us adults and a curious “What are they doing?” from my Aunt. We declined to explain it to her for obvious reasons.
I can imagine that Howletts would be a wonderful day out on a warm and sunny day. If you are local to Kent you can buy a pass for a whole years entry for just a few extra £’s, which would be well worth it. You can also buy one that covers Port Lympne too, which I preferred as an experience, although we got a closer look at the animals here.
|I’m watching you!|