I am a passionate wildlife lover. My dream vacation? I yearn to go out on safari of course and see apes, tigers, elephants and more out in their natural habitat. As a photographer my hope is to one day capture their beauty in all its natural glory.
I live in the rural countryside of East Anglia. I am blessed. We have a bounty of beautiful animals and wildlife here … deer, hares, birds of all variety, horses galore, and farm animals of all kinds from cows and sheep to lamas.
No lions roaring though. No monkeys playing. No cheeky yellow mongoose to make us smile or lemurs jumping through the trees. No giraffes strolling elegantly. No elephants roaming. No ….
Or so I thought. I was wrong. A friend introduced me to the delights of Africa Alive this week. Run by the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), Africa Alive is located just off the A12 at Kessingland, near Lowestoft. It is the sister park to Banham Zoo (also in my neck of the woods here in East Anglia).
Yes, it can be tough seeing these wonderful creatures in enclosures, but the conservation work funded by ZSEA is invaluable. Ditto for the education work the folks at ZSEA do. And that goes for many others such as the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) which runs London Zoo and Whipsnade – see some cracking photos from London Zoo here.
I had the most wonderful relaxing day roaming around Africa Alive meeting the wildlife, such as these cute Yellow Mongoose and the gorgeous Chimpanzee above.
It only served to enhance my passion for conservation and my love of wildlife even more. I recharged my batteries and I got some great photos – I will be posting more photos from my day at Africa Alive on my Rage With A Smile Photography website soon.
I can’t wait to visit Banham Zoo next (I got a ZSEA season ticket so I can visit both zoos anytime I want in the next year – price was great).
I still plan to go on safari at some point, but for now I can get my wildlife fix right here on my doorstep. And I’m betting so can you.
Zoos run by the likes of ZSEA and ZSL do vital work to help save animals all over the globe. By supporting them you help. Plus you have a great day out.
So why don’t you start planning your travel plans by looking for things to do right on your doorstep. You’ll be amazed at what you might find.
PS. Zoos aren’t just for children! I’m 44 years old and I loved my trip to Africa Alive with my friend of a similar age – no children just us. Zoos are open all year round so if you don’t want to go with kids, go without them when they and their little counterparts are safely at school! You won’t regret it — a truly fabulous day out indeed.