Knowsley Safari Park set up a few different ways to have a visit experience through 2010. There has been a keeper day experience for a few years now, this is a full day and really gets you around the park for a warts and all view of everything, great if you really want to get down and dirty but it’s not for everyone. The first of the new experiences to be sold was a one hour animal encounter, less expensive than the keeper day at only £100 and you can choose any animal you would like to do the experience with, if you are only interested in one particular animal then this is the one for you. This fits in well with the keeper days and just gives customers a bit of an option if the full day is either too much or not really what they want.
The second type of experience is the tour. The tours were set up just before the summer, they are something other parks have done for a while so we thought why not give them a go. The tour uses one of the parks vehicles, it’s a bit old and rattles you around a bit but really has a safari feel about it, and also has the advantage of having someone knowledgeable about the park and it’s animals in the car with you. I have driven a few of these tours around myself and the feedback from them has been that they would have missed seeing so much without a guide to point things out. On a recent tour I spotted an antelope calf hidden among the roots of a tree, the mothers “park” their calf in a safe place while they go off to feed and come back regularly to check on them. All you could see was this tiny head sticking up from behind the root and the customers in the landrover struggled to see it even after I pointed it out but this ended up as one of the highlights of the tour, sometimes it is the smallest thing that makes the biggest impact. Some of the bigger things make an impact too, as we tour in a park vehicle we can drive of the usual route and take some of the staff access roads to get closer to the animals.
There are two types of tour, the “I really don’t want to take my car in there!” tour that is just an additional cost for the vehicle and driver to take you around the safari drive for the hour or so that it takes, the rest of the day is then your own, or the all singing VIP tour. The VIP tour is an all inclusive full day with animal encounters, meet and greets, food and drink and even amusement rides if they are open. I am usually office based so the VIP tour is fantastic day to work on for me too. Working in a place like Knowsley Safari you can sometimes get a bit used to having all these exotic animals around you on a daily basis but it doesn’t take much to make even the longest serving staff say “wow!”. Lions surrounding your car, baboons doing their best to take bits off, rhino giving you that look that says “I’m bigger than you so watch it” it’s an amazing experience every time.
The tours have already proved popular and the only question really is “Why didn’t we do this before?”.
Find out more about Knowsley Experiences click here