I have wanted to go to Longleat Safari Park for years so for my birthday this year we booked to go with my parents. To start I must say it was a little confusing trying to work out what time the park opened as it says a different time on google than it does on the website. This is easily sorted and we found that at the bottom of our booking email it has a link that tells you the different opening times for the time of year. There is also a time on your booking ticket we have now learned that is the time you can enter the drive-through portion of the safari.
Booking and Arrival.
We booked online which was really easy, and had clear pricing for each ticket. You can pick from 4 different time slots that you want to enter the Safari Drive-through. We added both the souvenir and children’s activity book on for extra. The souvenir book is £5 and the children’s activity book is £1.80. I did see these in some of the gift shops so you can buy them later in the day if you wish.
We arrived at 10 am when the park opened, and there was slightly queuing to get in the park while the people in the ticket booths checked everyone’s booking. This is also where you will be given your souvenir book and activity pack if you chose to purchase them at booking. It moved quickly though and there were people guiding people into which lanes to keep the traffic flowing smoothly and quickly.
There are 6 souvenir shops dotted around the park. Each other these have different things in them which I liked as it meant that was a wide range of gifts and souvenirs. This is where you could buy the souvenir book and children’s activity book if you wish as well as cuddly toys, clothing, ornaments, magnets, pens, cups and much more.
This was hands down an amazing experience and the best part of the day. We spent nearly 3 hours in the Safari Drive-through seeing all the animals so up close. All of us loved seeing all the different animals. Baby bear had a huge smile the whole way round, and such a belly laugh while we drove around the monkeys. We went during the heatwave so the animals were laying in the shade which did take away from some of the fun but it was still an amazing experience. When you got to the deer park you are able to buy little pots of feed that you can pull over and park to feed the deer with. You have to stay in your car but lower the windows for the deer to come over and take the food from you. The pots are £1 each which I thought was really reasonable, it is a card payment which also makes it an easy transaction. You also get a antibacterial wipe with each pot so you can wash your hands after feeding the deer.
This is also included in your ticket price which I like as it wasn’t something we had to worry about the cost of. It is a boat ride around the lake to see the Californian Sea Lions, Gorillas, Hippos, and Monkeys. There is an opportunity to either watch the sea lions be fed or feed them yourselves (depending on the time of day). To feed the Sea Lions it is £1 per pot of food. Either way, it is defiantly worth seeing and experiencing.
Food and Drinks.
There are a few different restaurants and kiosks you can stop at to get a bite to eat or a drink. These are dotted around the park in the Safari drive-through, the main square, and the house. There are lots of different options to pick from. We chose to have the loaded fried which was around £7 a portion which I don’t think is a bad price considering the size of the portion you receive. Drinks were a little pricey but again something you expect on a day out. You can, however, take your own food and drinks into Longleat so this can save you some money.
This is also included in the ticket price, it is a train that runs every half hour and lasts for around 12 minutes taking you around the park’s woodlands. I will say this isn’t something we did because as I said we went during the heatwave and the place you queue wasn’t sheltered so we didn’t want to be standing in the sun waiting.
Rest of the Animals.
As well as the Safari drive-through, there are also animals you can see in their enclosures including different monkeys, crocodiles, koalas, parrots, otters, and anteaters. These are all located near the house. We enjoyed being able to see these animals in the traditional zoo kind of layout.
Lemar and Merkat Walks.
The Lemar Walk is located at the beginning of the Safari Drive though so I would recommend parking up and going to see them before starting your journey. There are no signs which is unhelpful as we weren’t aware of the Lemar walk-through until we drove past it so had to turn around. Due to the heat, they were all laying in the shade but I can imagine this is an enjoyable experience to have.
You can also walk around the Merkats further into the park which was cool as they were out and running around. Baby bear enjoyed having them come so close and be able to see them properly.
Both of these are again completely free and we didn’t have to wait for either which was even better.
Feeding The Lorikeets.
This does cost £1 per post of sap the feed the birds but it was well worth the money. Once you enter their enclosure the Lorikeets fly over and land on you to eat the sap from your cup. You are asked not to touch the birds as it can hurt them which is fine and something that even Baby bear wasn’t tempted to do as he was so occupied in the burds landing on him. I would recommend everyone get their own pot as the birds are mainly interested in people with the food. Sanitiser is provided at the end of the enclosure to clean your hands.
As usual, I will now add just a few from the hundreds of photos we took during our day. It is somewhere I look forward to doing again and would recommend it to anyone who is thinking of going or looking for a fun day out for the family. Just try and pick a day that isn’t part of the heatwave.