You will by now realise that I have a great fondness for animals and in Bristol we are spoilt for choice of places to go and see all types of wonderful creatures. The main one, of course, is Bristol Zoo but we also have Bristol Aquarium, Avon Valley Animal Farm and Chew Valley Animal Farm but the most recent addition to these is The Wild Place Project. This is the sister to Bristol Zoo, it’s somewhere on the outskirts of town where there is more land for larger animals such as giraffes.
I finally got around to visiting here for the first time. It’s a bit out of the way for me as it’s located near Cribbs Causeway. You can do it on the bus and a bit of a walk but when one of my friends suggested taking her twin boys there for a day out and offered to drive I took this offer up.
It was a cold day but thankfully the sun was shining and this encouraged all the animals to come out and enjoy this little bit of golden warmth. It doesn’t take a long time to walk around but there is plenty to see. In Summer there are little trails that you can take through the woods but we decided against this with the buggy and the amount of mud everywhere.
We started off near the meerkats who were playfully active and walked around to the lemur enclosure. This area is fab, its set up like a small Madagascan village and there are lots of small interactive bits for the children here including a lemur walkthrough. My friend unfortunately had to stay outside as buggies are not permitted in that area. All the lemurs were out and they were so close. I have been through lemur walkthrough where there are a variety of lemurs including everyone’s favourite, the ring-tailed lemurs. There are also a couple of my husbands favourite, pygmy goats in this area.
Next around is a fake town which is made to look like somewhere in Africa, this area is called Benoue National Park. Here you can find all the really exciting animals that you won’t see in Bristol Zoo including the very newly added giraffes. You can walk up the walkway to the top of the giraffe house and go inside to view them if they aren’t out yet. You can see across most of the Africa themed area from here including the zebra and the guinea fowl which freely roam.
Just over to the other side of the path is the cheetah enclosure. Before you reach here though, it’s worth noting there is a little wooden hut you walk past which looks empty. Don’t ignore this though, we noticed a staff member sat in here alone and he encouraged us in. He was actually doing an animal encounter but this was with insects and we swiftly passed on this! My friend had been to Wild Place several times and said that she rarely sees the cheetahs and if she does they will be far away so set expectations to low. Well, the odds were in our favour and the cheetahs came right up to the viewing fence and just strolled past. They are stunning creatures, truly beautiful and this was great to experience them so close.
The last animals we encountered were the Gelada gibbons. I have never seen such pretty gibbons, these guys were total chill just sitting on their rocks, enjoying the sunshine.
We ended our trip with some nosh, we ate at the cafe here. This unfortunately lets the experience down, the service was poor, the choice was limited and the food for the price you pay disappointing. Id say skip here and pop over to one of the many choices you have across the road at Cribbs Causeway.
All in all, this was a great day out, I had a good catch up with my friend and got to see some brilliant animals. I intend to return here with my husband later in the year once the weather is a bit warmer to do some more exploring.