Review: Monkey business at Woburn Safari Park

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Tearing your hair out already and you’re not even halfway through the long school summer holidays?

Need somewhere to take your little monkeys to keep them entertained while also letting off plenty of energy?

You’ll go ape if you overlook Woburn Safari Park this August and it’s unlikely your children wouldn’t give a monkeys if a trip is on the cards, writes Steve Sims.

You may well have guessed, but the park’s primates were number one with my kids when we visited Woburn on Sunday.

Both the Barbary Macaques and the Patas Monkeys found on the road safari, plus the Common Squirrel Monkey in the Monkey Business area of the foot safai gave rise to plenty of shrieks of laughter and excitement from my children.

The animal magic starts from the moment you drive into the park. But a quick tip, if the road safari looks busy head straight for the leisure area and foot safari, and hit the road again mid-afternoon when the route is much quieter.

That’s what we did and we were rewarded by some great views of the animals, the highlights being two Amur tiger lazing about on the roadside just yards from our car, a North American black bear roaming in very close proximity, a herd of Rothschild Giraffe’s crossing the track right in front of us as the keepers brought out some fresh food, and a male African Lion majestically surveying his territory.

As for those monkeys, it’s fun watching them jump on other people’s cars, although my son was out of luck as he repeatedly willed them to clamber up onto our bonnet, wing mirror or roof.

Woburn is adding all the time to its animal encounters in the foot safari area, which is great if, like us, you’ve visited a number of times over the years. The Desert Springs attraction is a great recent addition and is home to the hilarious Slender Tailed Meerkats, as well as Yellow Mongoose and African Crested Porcupine.

Our other favourites were Rainbow Landing where it was great to have the chance to venture into an indoor aviary and feed Lories and Lorikeets in free flight, Land of the Lemurs where the excitable animals will probably surprise you by suddenly landing on the walkway’s handrail centimetres away from you, and not forgetting the Sea Lions, Penguins, Great Woburn Railway, Mammoth Play Ark, and the Bobcat (“just one more go, dad”) Astro Slide.

There’s far too many attractions to mention them all, and one day just wasn’t enough to take in all that the park has to offer, including the timetable of talks and demonstrations throughout the day.

Never mind, we’ll just have to return soon then!

For more about the park see woburnsafari.co.uk