During our trip to Hertford Camping and Caravan Club we were going to be celebrating Jack’s 9th Birthday! It was the first time we were going to be together Mark usually works on his birthday. Whats more, we were going to be on holiday! As a way to make up for the lack of present opening we had arranged to visit Paradise Wildlife Park. As a family we love going to zoo’s and wildlife parks and coming across animals we haven’t seen before. Also Paradise Wildlife Park was under 15 minutes away from our campsite so it was really close!
Paradise Wildlife Park
Paradise Wildlife Park opens at 9.30am so we aimed to get there a little early. We expected it to be really busy so I wanted to make sure we got a decent car park space. I knew we would be leaving our picnic in the car and I didn’t fancy having to walk far to get it. Thankfully at 9.30 the car park was pretty empty and we had our pick of spaces. As we were receiving complimentary tickets we went through the Discovery Centre’s entrance rather than the main one. So we started our journey into Paradise Wildlife Park from the other side.
We were handed a map and when we stepped through the gate we took a moment to gather our bearings. As the boys didn’t know we were visiting they had no idea what to expect. We decided to head straight to Animal Park where we could find the Ring tailed Lemurs.
The Ring Tailed Lemurs are Arthurs favourite animal and it was lovely to see them all huddled together. Arthur was rather mesmerised. We then decided to head towards the lions. We haven’t seen lions before especially a male with a mane! So we were excited to see them. Although whilst we were there, they didn’t budge from their spot and slept. Choosing to make the most of the sun and sleep, I can’t say I blame them to be honest!
What I loved about this part of the park was it was all accessible by walking on a high bridge, AKA Tiger Treetops.
Across the tiger treetops you had a better view into the big cat enclosures. Without stepping off we saw lions, Cheetah, Tiger, Jaguars and Snow Leopards. The Jaguars were in a playful mood the morning we came, chasing each other around their enclosure.
Amazon and Beyond and Reptile Temple
The boys were keen to find the reptiles, so this was our next stop. I wasn’t sure what to expect but as a family of reptile lovers we couldn’t wait. Inside the Temple of Angkor (Reptile Temple on the map) we found a whole array of snakes, Chinese Alligator and Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches.
Amazon and Beyond housed the Green Anaconda! We hadn’t come across these before, so seeing how big they are brings all the programmes we have watched about them in perspective. There were also Beaded Lizards, and Bearded Dragons too!
Having relatives in Australia, we wanted to go and see the Outback Trail! It isn’t looking likely we will afford to go and visit so this is the next best thing. One of the animals the boys loved was the Emu. It was another animal we hadn’t seen before! We loved all these new experiences. Along with Emus, there were also red necked wallabies.
Meerkats, Penguins and a Wolf!
I have mentioned before on my blog that my favourite animal is the Meerkat! I can stay and watch them for hours. Standing guard, digging and generally just lazing around and eating! Paradise Wildlife Park have 3 meerkat enclosures. Two small ones; one near the big cats and the other near the Wolves and a much larger enclosure near the Outback Trail.
You can get pretty close to the meerkats and even go through a tunnel to see them from a different perspective! I sent the boys in and stayed outside to watch them!
There are so many other animals at Paradise Wildlife Park. Which you can feed yourselves. There are sheep, goats and a pig. As well as smaller animals such as Rats, Guinea Pigs and Rabbits. There is a hut by the entrance to the Animal Park section or from the main entrance for £1.
World of Dinosaurs
Opened earlier this year the World of Dinosaurs is the latest attraction at Paradise Wildlife Park. It is one of the UK’s largest animatronic dinosaur attraction! With 30 life size dinosaurs which move and roar.
From the moment you walk underneath what looks like the entrance to Jurassic World you step into world of the dinosaurs! Having been to a different dinosaur park a few years back we were excited to see what was here. Immediately the first dinosaur we came across got us excited for what was to come!
Well, it turns out the dinosaur wasn’t a dinosaur! More a close relative flying reptile that lived in the same time period. It was a Pteranodon guarding her eggs.
With each dinosaur there is also a plaque which tells you more about them. From where they would be found today, to the time period of their existence. You can also find facts about them too.
As you walk around the one way system. You notice plenty of signs, all with funny captions like this one;
The animatronics of the dinosaurs were pretty impressive.
As you come to the end of the Dinosaurs there is a great opportunity to get your photo taken in a jeep in front of a T-Rex. There is a worker that happily takes your photos for you. I am not sure if they are there all the time or just during holidays/peak times.
When you finish the walk you can go through the gift shop. There are plenty of dino related stuff under £5 so good for most budgets. There is also a small café within the shop handy for a quick drink. Mark and I had a cup of tea whilst we watched the boys at the dino dig. They loved unearthing the bones in the sand.
Within the park there are plenty of opportunities to play. The more arcade style games do have a charge of about £1. There is even an enclosed play area for children with special needs and disabilities, you do need a key to unlock this park. These photos do not even cover the extent of what is available!
There are plenty of small cafes and restaurants dotted around the park. The food isn’t too expensive either and you can happily get a meal for around £6-8. There is also plenty of picnic benches and even an undercover picnic area for the wet weather.
There is literally so much to do! We were there from opening to close and we could still find things we didn’t do! I also haven’t been able to mention everything so I think I may just write a part 2. I do hope that has helped you to make the most of your visit.
*We were given complimentary tickets in exchange for an honest review.