My kids love the zoo and one of our favourites is Marwell Wildlife in Hampshire, just a 45 minutes from home.
We haven’t visited for about 18 months so I promised the kids we would visit to see what had changed since we were there last……… it turns out an awful lots has changed, and for the better.
The entrance is still the same with the penguins cheerily greeting you as you arrive alongside a small sea themed park to play in.
Next up was the Cheetah walk and thanks to it being a lovely warm, sunny day the Cheetah was out enjoying the Autumn sunshine.
It was just after the Cheetah enclosure where we saw our first massive change – Wild Explorers, where you get to experience the African wilderness first hand at Marwell’s newest and biggest exhibit to date.
Marwell is actively involved in conserving the three iconic species – white rhinos, scimitar-horned oryx and Grevy’s zebra – all of whom are housed in this new exhibit, with its setting and design revealing how they study and observe these species in the wild.
The exhibit has unrestricted views and an amazing view of the animals, both near and far. We could have stood here for hours watching the animals but there is also the discovery zone where you can learn more about them, complete with a safari vehicle resting by the water hole to awaken your inner explorer and a Zoolympics experience with a speed camera to see if you can run as fast as the animals.
What we love about Marwell is just how big it is. It never feels busy, even at the height of the tourism season and the paths are wide enough to run, scoot and stroll down at your leisure, with little pit stops for the kids to play, climb and use their imaginations.
We found a couple of new play trails, saw the Amur Tiger and her adorable cubs and were lucky that most of the other animals were all out enjoying the sun too.
We also got to explore the new Fur, Feathers and Scales enclosure which was interesting apart from the fact that most of the birds were hiding from us or flying too fast to get a decent photo.
The kids found the huge hill by Marwell House and spent ages running up it to roll back down again.
The rest of Marwell was the same as I remember and my favourite animals, the Snow Leopards, were lazing around in their enclosure making it really tricky to get a picture, but I found a sneaky view around the back.
You could see the new Wild Explorer’s enclosure from both sides of the park which really showed how big it is as it dominates the centre in front of Marwell House.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Marwell and promise to visit more often as it really is the perfect family friendly day out.