Explore The Adventure: Banham Zoo

Ahh Zoos! Who doesn't love a family day out to the zoo? Even though I am a fully grown adult I still get excited about going to the zoo, and I know that I am not only one. It's a great opportunity to see and learn about these magnificent creatures, and it's also a great way to help charities and conservation. As a child we would go to a zoo at least once a year and we have been all over Norfolk and Suffolk, and now that I have my own family I feel as if the tradition should carry on. We took our daughter to the zoo for the first time when she was a year old and she was completely mesmerised with all the different animals. And we thought that it was time for another adventure to Banham Zoo

There is so much to see and do for families at Banham Zoo, and this year Banham Zoo are celebrating their 50th birthday so there is even more fun and activities that you and your family can get involved with. You can see the Tigers, feed the giraffes, be complete mesmerised by sloths and monkeys as well as seeing some of their newest arrivals and some rare ones too. The birthday celebrations start with the official opening of the brand new California Sea Lion enclosure which is pretty epic.

Enjoy a full day out with lots of activities to thrill and entertain every member of the family, including daily animal feeding talks, ‘Amazing Animals!’ presentations and one of the most exciting ‘Birds of Prey’ displays in the UK! I remember both of these presentations on our last visit an they were amazing. The 'Amazing Animals!' presentation takes place throughout the year, where you get the opportunity to see the animals live on stage as they give you a glimpse into the world of some of the most incredible creatures. The show lasts for 30 minutes or so giving you plenty of opportunity to see so many different animals such as serveral, ring tailed lemurs, European genet, Swainson’s lorikeets, monk parakeets, kookaburra, rats, barn owl and blue & gold macaws. It’s an absolute ‘must do’ on a day out at Banham Zoo. The 'Bird of Prey Display' situated in the heart of the zoo at the Bird of Prey Centre, you can come face to face with the magnificent bald eagle, beautiful owls and vultures flying together! However, on our visit this time sadly the display was cancelled due to all the rain. 

Sea Lion Bay

Banham Zoo’s new residents are five Californian sea lions. These adorable, playful, curious and very sociable marine mammals have already settled in and love a crowd. “Sea Lion Bay” is an exciting new saltwater marine habitat and provides the perfect environment for the five sea lions; it's a deep water pool, rocks and ledges will allow them to show off their natural behaviour, giving visitors an amazing insight into sea lions, while learning all about these beautiful mammals during educational feeding talks.

Penguin Cove

Last term at nursery my daughter was learning about birds and  become interested in penguins especially since our visit to the SEALIFE centre in Great Yarmouth. So, as you can imagine we had one excited lady heading towards Penguin Cove. The enclosure is home to lots of black-footed penguins, as well as other birds such as cape teal, white-faced tree ducks, little egrets and African spoonbills. This recently renovated enclosure allows visitors to see the penguins in something that would be like a natural habitat whilst get up close and personal. 

Farm Barn

As with the zoos we also adore farms, I guess there's something about farmyard animals that everyone likes. We got to see pygmy goats from Africa, llamas from South America, and Kune Kune pigs from New Zealand which were of course my favourite. You can also visit our infamous rat room and even get to feed them. In the farm barn area you will be able to touch or feed some of the animals, and we met a couple of very friendly goats on the way, our daughter of course wanted to have a cuddle.

Lemur Encounters 

In this enclosure you really do get close and personal with the Lemurs, one stood next to my daughter for a little while. It was pretty amazing. The enclosure is home to a troop of one of Madagascar’s most recognised inhabitants – the ring-tailed lemurs, and also to a group of some of its noisiest – the red ruffed lemurs. During our walk through to the enclosure my daughter was very excited to be seeing lots of King Julians, but as the sun was shining you could see that they were enjoying a little sunbathe session.

Eureka! Aminazing Oasis. 

I must say that this was probably one of the highlights of our day. Banham’s immersive enclosure ‘Eureka!’ invites guests on a voyage of discovery around the world to find out all about its amazing inhabitants and their incredible adaptations! There were so many amazing animals in this enclosure that we went around again just to make sure we didn't missed anything. It is home to a variety of animals, including two-toed sloths, titi monkeys, tortoises and bats as well as free-flying birds and butterflies. On our way out we came across another family who had visited the zoo coming back in the enclosure with a butterfly from his mother in laws coat. These butterflies were only a few days old and we just getting to grips with their wings, it was pretty amazing to watch them. It was like they were in slow motion. ‘Eureka’ was also the perfect place to warm up on a rainy day too. This was my husband highlight of the day and was in complete if the Sloth they has inside the enclosure, and I must admit he was quite the little poser.

Seeing beautiful big cats was another highlight for everyone. Amur tigers, snow leopards, cheetahs and the beautiful, but rare Sri Lankan leopards and their cubs. There are also so may primates including lemurs, monkeys and siamangs as well as our feathered friends such as flamingos, owls, parrots and ibis. It was an amazing experience. 

We also got on board on the free Safari Road Train where we took a small journey around the zoo to see some of the animals, of course my daughter enjoyed the Safari train and was chug chug chugging all the way around. Our daughter's favourite part of the day was at the Giraffe enclosure, as it was their feeding time. She was so interested in watching them eat their snack and then asked if she could ride them like a horse, she couldn't wait and told everyone she saw lots of Melman's. 

So if you're looking for an adventure with the family and you're around the Norwich area, you must go and take a trip to Banham zoo I know you won't be disappointed. 

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