A trip to the Zoo would always send me down a guilt trip – saving animals from ‘certain death’ by ‘sentencing them to life’. In an idealised world those creatures would be thriving on their unspoiled habitat! But then again, the majestic human race does not allow such thing. So yes, we still need to sentence some of those animals to life.
The good news is that there are animal conservation charities like the Aspinall Foundation. This foundation works with specialist breeding programmes at two wild animal parks in the UK, the Port Lympne and the Howletts.
Have visited both parks in several occasions, I have to put my hands up and say that Port Lympne is by far my favourite; well, I am quite partial to the wild cats.
With a planned picnic packed of goodies, we leave home relatively early, for a weekend! At arrival, our starting point is the Safari experience. Jumping on the expedition trucks we take a safari through the ‘Kent Maasai Mara’, where the most iconic African wildlife can be seen roaming free. Giraffes, zebras, wild beasts, water buffalo and cheeky ostriches, have given us close encounters that we would not even dream were possible in the UK.
A relaxing break in the picnic area, allow us to immerse ourselves in the moment, appreciating the views and sipping a warm cup of coffee; we may be contemplating African scenery but the weather is definitely Oh so British!
Returning to the ‘base camp’ the foot exploration then starts, going through the habitats and learning about its residents, watching the feeding process or the mischievous behaviour.
All in all it is a splendid place to build marvellous memories.
- By offering an annual passport card valid all year long for both parks, you can have fun family days at no extra expense.
- Always take a jumper and comfortable shoes.
- Sometimes by booking on-line you may have discounts.
- There is a souvenir shop and coffee shop, so be prepared for some extra expenditures especially if you are going with children.
- Have a look at the foundation website http://www.aspinallfoundation.org/