Yesterday I was an exceedingly lucky boy. For my birthday my godparents organised a private tour of Longleat Safari park whilst it was closed to the public. We consequently had the run of the place.
First of all we visited the tapirs. This is Eddie. He likes being groomed. I was too small to have a go myself.
Next up were the giraffes. Thor, the tallest, is 18 feet high! They have blue tongues and one tried to lick me. I think it was Gertrude.
We then jumped back in our landrover and went to see the lemers. There were ring tailed ones and brown ones. They were very naughty! Once we were back in the car Dougie the camel and Ethel the Ostrich tried to get in with us!
A cornucopia of animals s followed including the infamous monkeys, deer, flamingos, pelicans and wildebeest. But the next bit was AMAZING we were allowed into the lion houses. The first one only had 3 lions, but the second housed 33. The noise difference was immense. The lions followed me everywhere. I think they were licking their lips…
We also went to the petting zoo, where I held a snake, touched a tarantula, stroked an armedillo, fed a porcupine, trode on some meerkats and touched an anteater. I loved every minute.
In the evening we were invited to the champagne reception launch of the Festival of Lights. It started in the Great Hall where I saw the biggest Christmas tree I’ve ever seen. I still don’t know how they got it in! Then with the other 100 guests we made our way outside to watch 2 planes doing acrobatics and set off fireworks from their tails and wings. All I could say was ‘wow’! The lanterns were then switched on after a count down (which I was very good at!)
There are over 1,800 lanterns in total and they were built by a specialist team of 500 Chinese people. We saw some similar ones in Hong Kong, but these were better! There was a monkey kingdom, a 75 foot dragon, a coral reef (I tried to feed the fish my supper but they didn’t seem to want it) welcome gates, a pagoda made of 80,000 plates, a terracotta warrier homage, to name but a few.
A truly magical day and evening!!!!
(I will post more photos once received from my godparents)