It was last year, I think, that I first saw London Zoo advertised and thought that it sounded like an interesting idea – to open up the zoo in the evening over a few weeks in the summer and to lay on other events and food too.
Tickets are cheaper in advance but, of course, you also take a chance with the weather. We rolled the dice, booked early and got a beautiful evening. That was just as well as we had decided to walk from Paddington, a trip of just over two miles along the beautiful Regent’s Canal.
The first thing we noticed on arriving was just how quiet it was. We had really expected it to be heaving with people but despite being told later that it was busier than during the day, it was still possible to easily get to the front of each enclosure.
After a quick pit stop for food (there was a huge choice of fried offerings at inflated prices) we hit the animals, so to speak. First off were the penguins which were as adorable as ever. Next, at the butterfly house one in particular took a great liking to me and I carried her around until I had to shoo her off at the exit!
In the end we did a complete circuit taking in many different animals but the best bits were when you could go into the enclosures and be with the animals, particularly the monkeys. It was a photographers paradise although we were warned that one or two monkeys had a penchant for whipping phones and cameras! I held onto mine tight and get some great shots, which you can see below.
We spent about three hours at the zoo including feeding time (for us not the animals!) and thoroughly enjoyed it, helped enormously by the great weather. A couple of other things that help, I think, were that the evening had a more adult theme to it, no pesky kids (not even our own) and it reminded me of being in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, somewhere we have spent many a happy hour over the years.
Sunset Safari is on for just a few more weeks this year otherwise you will have to make plans to go in 2016.