Hello........ On Saturday afternoon I went on a bit of a huge adventure for me. It's fair to say I've been having a bit of a rough time lately with my health, in fact this was only the fourth time I'd left the house this year. So this was a big big deal for me
Yes we were off on Safari, my sister popped the wheelchair in the car and off we went, truth be told I wasn't really well enough but I was determined to go. We were off to Port Lympne Wild Animal park home of the Aspinall Foundation.
The park is situated on a very steep hill, so not ideal for Wheelchair users but they couldn't have been more helpful, on arrival the lady in the shop radioed for a mini bus to come and pick us up and dropped us off where we wanted to be. So we headed straight to the truck stop the perfect way to get around a big section of the park 'The African Experience'.
The driver lifted the wheelchair up onto the trailer and we were off. Past the Cheetah and her cubs, then past the elephants and Zebras who were sadly but sensibly all in the houses, way to cold to be out and about
However lots of the animals were braving the elements apologies if I get them wrong first we spotted a Water Buffalo, who was happy in all the mud and flooding from the recent weather
Then this chap, It makes me so happy to see acres the animal can roam in
We saw Heron and Ostrich as well, all from the moving Safari truck
Waterbuck and Raon Antelope by this point I was almost bouncing up and down with excitement and then it got even better ...........
Lookie lookie my favourite Giraffe right up close
Aww so lovely and serene I did feel a bit sorry for them all as the terrain was so wet,
Aww one last look, it's hard to believe we are in rural Kent
This is the very bottom of the park that is quite flooded
See ducks !!!
we then saw the African hunting dogs who were ragging about playing
The Blue Wildebeast we out and about (apologies if I'm wrong I'm trying to identify them from the park guide)
Lots and lots of them, I'm sure they were all very happy that the Carnivores are situated elsewhere in the park. I always feel so sorry for them on the nature programs
Just look how much room they have to roam in, it makes me so happy, plus the great thing about the Aspinall foundation is that they have breeding program and return animals back to the wild where they can.
Here's the view from the top, sorry it was quite a murky foggy day. Here we got off the truck to go and say hello
to this little guy, bless him he was on century duty while the rest of his friends and family were in there burrow huddle around a heat lamp, he was making such cute little noise and so close.
Back on the truck I even spotted a Panda, oh no sorry that's 'L' in his Panda hat.
On the way back round we passed the Black Rhino Mamma and her Little one
such a shame so many of these animals face extinction it makes me very sad and thats why when I was well enough to work I used to donate straight from my salary each month to the Aspinall Foundation.
Our Safari tour took most of the afternoon and as the rest of the park would have been real struggle in the manual wheelchair, the Safari Truck driver radioed for the van to come and pick us up. I was pretty exhausted by this point and had, had such a wonderful time seeing all the animal especially the Giraffes
We weren't quite finished though there was time to see the Barbary Lions and Wolves at the top of the park and this magnificent creature.
This is the closest I've ever been to a Tiger, so beautiful and less than a metre away
The Amur Tigers, were prowling around there enclosure but they were happy enough to poise for photos and rub against the viewing windows glass to say hello, just like our cats rubs around our legs at home.
So I had a marvellous afternoon so very worth the ME/Lyme payback. You can find out more about the park and the Aspinall foundation 'here' if you are in the area it's well worth a visit.