Woburn Safari Park

Back in early June I spent a few days with my Sister and her family in Welwyn Garden City. The main purpose of the visit was to go to Thorpe Park with Simon (my Brother-in-law) whilst I was there my sister arranged for us to go to Woburn Safair Park on the following day. This is the (very late) blog post about that visit.

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Located approximately one hour’s drive from London, Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham, Woburn Safari Park is one of the best Safari Parks I have ever been to. The wide range of animals is amazing and I had a good day out.

This post has been in edit mode for far too long but I wanted to make sure that I got the names of the animals in these photographs correct; this could not have been done without the aid of the very good Guide Book and the ever faithful Google search engine.

More detail on the safari park can be found here.

We started with the Road Safari.

There were around 20 different species of Animal in this part of the park, as we were driving around I couldn’t get as steady a shot of some of the animals as I would have liked and in some areas we had to keep the car windows up. The pictures were all taken with a GH3 and 100-300mm lens; these are the edited RAW photographs. I would like to thank my brother-in-law (Simon) for driving, thereby giving me the opportunity to photograph and also not worry about my still quite new car to be trampled on by energetic monkeys (more about that later).

We passed the Dwarf Forest Buffalos first but as we couldn’t slow down here the photographs of them were not blur free. There were also many Southern White Rhinos around here are a couple of my favourite shots:

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As we passed the Ostrich, Sabel Antelope and Blue Wildebeast, I got this shot of a relaxed Eland:

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For the next set of animals we had to pass through some double gates into a more secure part of the park. This part housed the following animals (in order of viewing):

  • Amur Tiger
  • Canadian Tiber Wolves
  • Ameraican Black Bear
  • African Lions

Unfortunately whilst we did see these animals they were very photo shy so none of my shots were very good.

After coming out of the secure area (through more double gates), we saw some Scimitar Horned Oryx and many Rotherchild’s Giraffes – there were also a few young giraffes too.

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Passing the herd of Zebras we passed into the monkey area where they have both “Patas Monkeys” and “Barbary Macaques”. My sister, brother-in-law and Nephew were particularly interested to see if “Dave” was still around. In a previous visit about 2 years ago they noticed a 3 legged monkey (actually missing his left arm) and they nicknamed him “Dave”. They couldn’t remember what type of monkey he was but after a few minutes we saw him:

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Dave is a Patas Monkey.

We also saw a large number of Barbary Macaques who were very mischievous as they would go wherever they want whenever they want to, it if a car was in the way they would just jump, run and walk all over it and maybe even sit on it (or worse). When one jumped on the car and then ran over it I though another car had hit us! I did notice a lovely sight, here are a pair with a baby:

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They are all cleaning each other and eating anything they find.

On they way out of the road safari I also noticed the following animals:

  • East Afican Mountain Bongo
  • Somali Wild Ass
  • (More) Grevy’s Zebras
  • Addax

We parked the car and walked into the Foot Safari Animal Encounter area. We decided to go on the Swan boats first. These are 4 person foot paddle boats (front paddle only) and each one is given a Christian name which we didn’t know until we came out of the boat. We were in the boat called Chris (my name) and we noticed another one with my Sister’s name (Louise):

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Whilst on the boat I had switched to the 12-35mm lens and got some nice shots of my Nephew, this is my favourite:
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Once we disembarked the Swan boat and started to walk around we saw that some animals were in enclosures and others were roaming “wild” such as these Helmeted Guineafowls:

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We also saw in a small enclosure a few Aldabran Giant Tortoises, this is one of my favourite shots:
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There was a quite large penguin pool and enclosure where they had a large number of Humboldt Penguins:
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One of the best areas to take photographs came up next as they animals were quite tame – the “Land of Lemurs”:

There were Ring Tailed Lemurs, including this bunch who were very inquisitive:
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This Red Bellied Lemur spent a long time on the fence and had no problems having his photo taken, this probably my favourite:
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In one of the areas, the Lemurs had left some food so I took this photograph of a not quite so exotic bird, a Jackdaw:
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The final Lemur species we saw where the Black and White Ruffed Lemurs. They were having a good time in the warm weather, this one reminded me of our 2 dogs (Seska and Zara), they spend a lot of time on their backs too:
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After watching them for a few minutes, one of them jumped onto the fence allowing me to get a close up shot:
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After a spot of lunch at the “Safari Restaurant” we next visited the “Australian Walkabout” enclosure, many of the animals in this area were quite shy so not many photos. I did get this amusing shot of a pair of “Red Necked” wallabies:

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After taking all of these photographs I put the camera away as we watched two shows before we left and I wanted to enjoy the shows instead of getting lots of lousy shots.

We started with the “Birds in Action” show where they have a number of birds perform tricks and this was very entertaining.

After this we visited the gift shop to pick up the usual fair of mementos including the standard staple – the fridge magnet (we pick one up whenever we visit somewhere).

The second show (just before we left) was the Birds of Prey and it was quite amazing to see these various birds in action, this included (in no particular order):

  • African Spotted Eagle Owl
  • Red Legged Seriema
  • Harris Hawk
  • Common Kestrel
  • Brown Wood Owl
  • Common Buzzard
  • Great Grey Owl
  • Barn Owl
  • Turkmenian Eagle Owl
  • Burrowing Owl

This is not everything to see and do at Woburn Safari Park – there is simply too much to do and see in one day, I can easily recommend a visit or two to the park; there’s a lot for many different age groups.