Knowsley Safari Park is one of Merseyside’s premier leisure attractions, winning several awards for tourism and it’s animal husbandry.
A Grand Family Day Out
With its array of entertaining animals, rides and attractions, Knowsley Safari Park makes for a grand family day out. Having achieved a worldwide reputation as a premier conservation and zoological facility it’s just the ticket for relaxation, recuperation and a dose of educational fun thrown in for good measure.
The UK’s Longest Safari Drive
Knowsley Safari’s 550-acre Safari Drive is home to many animals from around the world. As you drive through the reserve you will see Bactrian Camels, White Rhino, Baboons and African Lions. The route is split into different continental zones where you’ll drive through many habitats and see the collection of animals along the way.
Eastern and Southern Asia
Your adventure begins in Eastern Asia where you will meet the herd of Bactrian Camels whose coat sheds throughout the year. There are also Yaks, Eastern Kiang and Père David’s Deer roaming around. In Southern Asia, you’ll find Axis and Eld’s Deer as well as Nilgai and Blackbuck.
Witness one of the largest White Rhino crashes in the UK, along with the world’s largest bird, the Ostrich, in the African Savannah. Whilst driving through the African woodland, keep your eyes peeled for the Bongo, Roan Antelope and Waterbuck too.
One of the most anticipated areas of the Safari Drive is the monkey jungle. Hold on to your seatbelts as the parks Baboons steal the show. They are not shy and will happily come right up to your car with some even climbing onto the roof! For those not brave enough to risk the family car there is a car-friendly route which allows you to view the monkey’s antics from a safe distance. If you still want the full mischievous experience without the risk, then there is always the Baboon Bus.
Also included in your admission ticket is the excellent Foot Safari, offering everything you need for a wild day out! There are walking trails through woodlands and animal habitats. Add to your adventure with a walk through the Amur Tiger Trail, full of viewing spots where you can come nose-to-nose with the big cats.
On the Foot Safari meet the mischievous Meerkats, giant Giraffes and smiling Sea Lions. Enjoy a peaceful woodland stroll which leads you past a beautiful waterfall. And the best part is, it’s all included in one admission price. There’s no need for a separate ticket!
Rides and Attractions
Knowsley Safari also has a selection of Rides and amusements for every age, along with play areas and animal displays to keep your little ones entertained all day long.
Food and Drink
Set yourself up with some homemade food at the Oasis Restaurant or bring your own picnic. Take a break at the coffee shop and on warmer days enjoy an ice cream.
Travelling to Knowsley Safari
Most people visit by car to enjoy the Safari Drive in the comfort of their own vehicle. But, you don’t need to have your own car to enjoy the full safari experience. Knowsley Safari is in Prescot, Merseyside, just off the M57 on the A58 bypass. The attraction is under 30 minutes from Liverpool and only 45 minutes from Manchester. Use the postcode L34 4AN in your Sat Nav, or follow the Brown Tourist Signs to the attraction.
Travelling by Train
Catch a train to Prescot station which is only a few minute’s taxi ride from Knowsley Safari, or you can walk. The walk takes less than half an hour. Trains arrive at Prescot Station from Liverpool Lime Street every 30 mins.
See the Raileasy website for details.
There are lots of places to stay in Cheshire. If you only planning on visiting the zoo for one day and would like to explore some of the other attractions in the area then take a look at some of the wonderful self-catering cottages available from Snaptrip.
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Edward Lord Stanley, the thirteenth Earl of Derby, kept an extensive private menagerie at Knowsley as early as the 1830s, when the Park was one of the largest zoos in the world, covering almost 100 acres of the Knowsley estate. It boasted 94 species of mammals and 318 species of birds, which would make it the largest bird collection in Britain today, and the third largest mammal collection after London and Chester. Among the family attraction’s regular visitors at the time was artist and poet Edward Lear, who painted many animals and entertained Stanley’s grandchildren with nonsense verses and limericks inspired by the zoo’s residents.
After serving as an RAF airfield during World War 2, Knowsley Safari Park was opened to the public in July 1971. At the time of opening, the `safari park' concept of having visitors in cages (cars) and the animals roaming free based on the drive-through game reserves of East Africa was unique. Knowsley was the first safari park to be built close to a large city with the estate being located only 8 miles from Liverpool city centre. In spite of some understandable apprehension about the possible problems associated with large numbers of animals (including lions) roaming about close to the city, the then County and District councils approved the proposals.
In the first two years of opening, the route through Knowsley Safari Park consisted of a 3½ mile drive, and the main attractions were lions, cheetahs, monkeys, giraffes, zebra, elephants and various antelopes. The park proved immensely popular, so in 1973 an extension, including a further 1½ miles of road, was built and opened. This allowed more animals to be added to the collection on display along the now 5 mile long route, including herds of camels, buffalo and white rhino as well as a group of tigers.
Over the years, a few modifications to the original design have had to be made for safety and display reasons. The tigers and lions are now displayed in enclosures within the game reserves, and the elephants have their own paddock in the walk around section at the end of the safari drive. A car friendly route has also been added around the outside of the monkey jungle for visitors who do not wish to have a close encounter with the baboons.