Monday 14 July 2014

Banham Zoo

"We're going to the Zoo, zoo, zoo, how about you, you, you" .... I'm pretty sure it's impossible to go to the Zoo without having that little sing song on the way.

When planning what we were going to do with our week in Norfolk I knew that Banham Zoo had to feature.  It was somewhere I visited a lot in my childhood, from weekend outings with my family to trips with school and the Brownies yet I hadn't been for years.

Simon was a little less enthusiastic at the thought of spending our day looking at animals.  Out of all of our planned activities this was probably the one he was least looking forward to. 

There was some sun on the forecast, so being proper holidaymakers we threw on our shorts and headed out for an adventure.

Banham Zoo first opened in 1986 and in the last year has become a Charity under the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), advancing the zoo in wildlife and animal conservation, animal welfare and education.  No one likes to see animals put into cramped cages and poorly treated but at Banham the enclosures are absolutely huge and the animals are well looked after.

The Zoo is small and very manageable which we really loved because it meant we got to go round it all and picked out which animals to go and see twice.  It also has plenty to keep the whole family entertained with a road train running round the Zoo and an aerial obstacle course as well as animal feeding and talks scheduled throughout the day.

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this before but I love giraffes, they're my favourite animal and I always love the opportunity to go and see them.  The giraffes arrived at Banham Zoo in 2008 (the year I left Norfolk and moved to London ... typical!) so this trip was the first time that I'd seen them.  The enclosure is fantastic with a high board walk on one side giving visitors a fantastic view of the giraffes.  For £7.50 you can hand feed them which looked amazing but having fed giraffes before I decided to give it a miss this time.

It wasn't too long before Simon started to really enjoy his day.  He fell in love with the Red Pandas and spent the rest of our trip telling me how much he loved them and I even caught him checking out the red panda cuddly toys in the gift shop. 

Banham has some wonderful big cats which I always love looking at.  They're so huge and majestic and also a little terrifying.  We saw Snow Leopards, Tigers, Cheetahs and Leopards and were very lucky to get some great photos.

My favourite part of our day had to be the Lemur Encounters.  Twice a day the Lemurs are let out into an open walk through area which allows you to get up close with the animals. 

You're not really supposed to touch them but the Lemurs are so friendly they tend to approach you and stick out their paws to say hello.  I could have spent hours and hours there, they were so cute.

I'm beyond happy that Simon has now decided that he enjoys zoos as I can now secretly plot a trip to Edinburgh to see the Pandas.   Watch this space!


  1. How adorable! I haven't been to a zoo in ages.. I miss them! The giraffes are always very funny to watch, but I must say I'm also a massive fan of the Red Pandas! They've been my favourite ever since I was little because they're just so, so cute! I swear they convert everyone to zoo lovers.. I used to think only I knew about them but I was very wrong!

    Imogen // imogenscribbles

    1. I hadn't been for a long long time either. We don't seem to really have any in the North East, I think the closest might be Edinburgh which is why I need to make myself a plan to go :D

  2. What a brilliant day out the red panda is lovely. I really enjoyed visiting the zoo as a little one I need to go again. I work with two girls from Norfolk, one of whoms surname is the same as the zoo. Growing up she told everyone her parents owned it how sweet is that Lucy x

  3. Zoo posts are my favourite! I always get far too excited about Giraffe photos! Well Giraffes in general! Also I Saw your comment about no local zoos we have flamingo land in yorkshire ;) it's a zoo and a theme park! Haha
    Kloe xx

  4. You've captured the animals really beautifully too! Did you ever go to Zoo Lates when you were in London? A great way to enjoy the animals with cocktails!!
    Lots of love,
    SilverSpoon London

  5. Aww I love zoos, what a lovely day out! I love how lzay and sleepy the big cats always are :)

  6. I'm probably in the minority here when I say I'm not a big fan of zoos - I went to Edinburgh zoo a few years ago and found myself traumatised by the experience. There was a tiger who was pacing back and forth in his enclosure,whilst people scrambled over each other to get a picture, flash after flash right in the poor things face. I'm all for saving animals that couldn't survive in the wild, but I believe it should be in a conservation area in their own environment, not a zoo.

    Gems x
    Fashion, Well Done

  7. Edinburgh Zoo is alright, don't get your hopes up about seeing the pandas though because they tend to hide away a lot! Also, I found there that a lot of the animals paced in a way I hadn't seen in many other zoos which made me a bit uncomfortable. If you ever get the chance, check out Colchester Zoo, it's hands down one of the best ones I've been to.
    Lovely picture of the tiger by the way, he's so pretty!!

  8. You managed to get Simon to a zoo!! I'm so excited for you! Red pandas are my favourite animals too and I love it when zoo's let you get up close to the monkeys! If you do go to Edinburgh Zoo make sure you go to see the penguin parade, it's one of the cutest things I've ever seen.

  9. I love these photos, especially the big cat ones. I'm such a fan of days out at Zoo's and Wildlife parks and seeing the big cats is always my favourite part, I love them :)
    Those Lemurs are pretty cute too!

    Belle x Part of Belle's world

  10. I love the giraffes too and zebras! Edinburgh zoo is great, the penguins were my favourite but the panda's weren't showing the day we went! I want to stroke the Lemurs too! X


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