Knowsley Safari Park offers some more peculiar animals, such as bats, ratites, and rodents, but they are all just as amazing. Located in Merseyside, this safari park has the longest safari drive in the UK, meaning there’s more to see and more to do on this 5 mile ride.
On weekends and school holidays, the Baboon Bus is available, so you can take a trip round in that knowing that your car is safely parked elsewhere.
Follow the Amur Tiger Trail and explore in search of the two tigers that live there – Bira and Sinda.
There are also other foot trails that you can take, for example the Wild Trail, Equatorial Trail and through Bat Forest. If you prefer the water, you could also go into the Boating Lake!
National days concerning animals are celebrated here, so you can expect for there to be plenty of events to attend.
The park was opened in July 1971 by Edward Stanley, 18th Earl of Derby and Jimmy Chipperfield using the expertise of general manager Laurence Tennant MBE, formerly the Chief Game Warden of Parks in Uganda and Botswana. Initially the road through the park was 3.5 miles (5.6 km), with visitors driving past lions, cheetahs, monkeys, giraffes, zebra, elephants and various antelope. Due to the popularity of this route, an additional 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of road was added in 1973, and camels, buffalo, white rhino, and tigers were added to the park. Over the years, a few modifications have been made. For instance, tigers are now displayed in enclosures within the reserve, and a bypass around the baboons was built for visitors who are worried about damage to their cars.
The park was also home to a former RAF airfield which closed at the end of World War II. The RAF airbase situated at the safari park was also known as No 49 SLG or RAF Knowsley Park and was in use between 13 May 1942 – November 1944.
The park has hosted several sporting events including the Olympic torch relay, watched by 6,000 children and families in June 2012. The park hosted the finish of Stage Two of the 2012 Tour of Britain cycling event and is scheduled to host Stage Three of the 2013 Tour on Tuesday 17 September.
Most recently it hosted the final leg of Big Learner Relay 2017 which has raised over £300,000 for the BBC Children in Need appeal since 2014. Louise Walsh the inspiration behind the BLR has been awarded the prime minister's points of light award which recognises outstanding individual volunteers.
In 1995 Mr William Middleton, a warden at the park, was crushed and paralysed due to a faulty elephant enclosure. Mr Middleton died 12 years later due to complications caused by his injuries.