Seven coach loads of Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Rangers and Leaders descended on Woburn Safari Park on a Sunday during April.
First up was the road safari, in which we had the chance to get up close to a wide variety of animals; including some very playful monkeys! ‘Oohs’ and ‘Aahs’ were heard throughout when we passed families of zebras, giraffes, wolves and tigers. We saw a pride of lions lounging about in the late morning sun and a family of bears relaxing by the side of the trail; as well as a very curious ostrich, who was adamant about standing in front of our coach, blocking the way!
After the road safari, the next thing to see was the elephant show. Those that saw it said it was the best part of the day- we got to learn all about the Asian elephants; including the conservation efforts the park take part in to ensure elephant numbers don’t decrease anymore. Plus we got to see the baby elephant, who is only a few months old. The ultimate highlight of the day was stroking Chandrika, the matriarch of the herd, after watching her keepers perform a health check to make sure she was in top condition (and after she’d given her keeper a hug or two!)
We then split off into smaller groups so that we could see what we wanted of the foot safari; although you never had to look far to see another group of girls in uniform! Our group of six Rangers had incredible timing throughout the day; first we visited the Australian Walkabout, where we made it just in time for wallaby feeding. We got to see the adorable little animals hopping about waiting for food, it was a real heart-warming sight to behold – especially considering some of them had joeys in their pouches! Next on our list of things to see were the penguins, sea lions and lemurs; we were fortunate enough to witness a talk with one of the keepers about the lemurs of Madagascar, which included the story of a very adorable ring tailed lemur with only three legs.
As the time drew closer to the designated meeting time, we made our way over to the bird area and got to see an amazing free flying bird demonstration which featured a cheeky cockatoo named Pepe. After this we ventured into the bird feeding area and were visited by some beautifully coloured lories.
Then all that was left to do was visit the gift shop! As we picked out our treasures to buy; there was laughter all around as people discussed their favourite parts from the day and although the day was drawing to a close, we all felt happy and content after having spent the day with great friends.
The coach journey home was a lot quieter than on the way there as people dozed after such a brilliant day.
We would love to thank all the Leaders who gave up their time for us, especially Hilda for organising the amazing event!
By Georgia Marshall, Grace Duncan and Alice Walker – 1st Newmarket Rangers.