Colchester Zoo

August 19, 2012

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During a stay at Nana and Grumps’s we took a day out to Colchester Zoo.
We went on Friday, but it was still pretty busy, we had a queue to buy our tickets (£17.99 for adults, £11.50 for children over 3 – but tesco club card points are currently offering £5 tesco voucher for £20 entry voucher for the zoo). It is quite a small zoo, in that it’s quite compact, but still has plenty of different animals to see, we forgot to bring a pushchair for Alice, but in the end didn’t need it as it was all accessible even for little legs. (In fact I think a pushchair would have been difficult to manoeuvre in the narrow, often steep sloped pathways and routes through the animal houses, it would be a nightmare for anyone in a wheelchair!)
After getting in, we tried to head to the bottom end of the park, where the elephants and giraffes are, but on the way were distracted by the chimps, spider monkeys, leopards,meerkats and our picnic – I didn’t mind, the rucksack was quite heavy with all the sandwiches. Then we hurried onto the elephants to make feeding time at 12.10.
You are given the opportunity to feed lots of different animals here. The queue for feeding the elephants was massive and so assumed we wouldn’t get a turn, so wandered about looking at the other near by animals (giraffes, rhinos, zebras and ostriches), but on wandering back the elephant queue was gone, but the elephants were still there and the keepers had some cabbage left so we did get a go, although the girls got a bit worried about elephant snot, so me and Nana got to feed them on their behalf. There are convenient sinks to wash your hands after.
Then we took a ride on the ‘lost Madagascar express’ (little train!) and saw the flamingos and the wolves on the little journey, then the train stopped for us to take a walk around insde the lemur enclosure! Or ‘king Julians’ as my girls called them, after Dreamworks ‘Madagascar’ character. Then stopped for icecream. After that we saw the tigers, wolves, komodo dragons, red panda, penguins, sea lions and orangutans and stopped again for a drink. Martha had a play on the enormous play park by the entrance while I took Alice to see a ‘mummy snake’ (anaconda) – Nana wasn’t too keen on this idea! Then a quick stop at the zoo shop and home.
We had a lovely day out, and I would recommend Colchester zoo to anyone with small children as you get to see all the classic zoo animals up close without too much walking. There were plenty of cafe’s, picnic areas and toilets, and the opportunities for feeding and meeting the animals up close are amazing. It might be worth a bit of pre-visit research to find out exactly what you want to do and at what times.

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