June 3rd: Crocodiles of the World, The UK.
We’re back on the road!
Well I saw we, we’re missing Doris but we are in her replacement, Timmy the mini! It’s a little more cramped, without a toilet, kitchen and pretty much everything else, but we’ve got wheels and we’re staying in the UK.
Yesterday we left sunny North Wales to head South to see whatever the week would bring. No actual plan or agenda but spending some time down south, in the Cotswolds and along the South West coast of England.
Last night we stayed in a very nice AirBnB. Private room and shower/toilet too it was a nice place and cheap too. You can find it here.
Today is Nat’s birthday. So a happy birthday to Nat!
The plan for today was to head to the UK’s only crocodile zoo, Crocodiles of the World.
I remember seeing this place maybe 6-8 years ago when I kept snakes and lizards of my own and it’s always been on the agenda to come down and visit. We finally made it! Thankfully it’s on the way to where we want to end up, so it would have been rude not to have a little stop over.
At only £8 per person I have to say this zoo is incredible value for money and having spent quite a few hours here today I cannot recommend it enough. Even if you’re not that keen on reptiles (crocodilians, alligators, monitor lizards, snakes and tortoises) then you’ve got some other cool mammals to keep you entertained instead.
With more than 15 species of crocodile there is incredible variety on show here. With everything from the American Alligator to the incredible Saltwater crocodile. Not only that there is also meerkats, otters, tamarins and birds too.
Being a huge lover of big lizards and having watched Steve Irwin since I could walk this place was incredible at every turn. The enclosures were very good, with enough space and enrichment for each animal. I’ve studied Animal Management and wanted to be a zoo keeper until I was 19! With animals from every corner of the world, it really was a pleasure to walk around.
That and of course the inside enclosures were all around 25 degrees. Nice!
Some highlights from the day
Watching the nile crocodiles feeding. With 34 of them in their enclosure, the feeding time was INTENSE.
Used as an enrichment type feed and more for movement and to show their capabilities. Watching them rise out of the water to strike their prey was incredible. The snapping of their jaws was loud and so awesome.
Watching the giant Galapagos tortoises go about their day. Potentially weighing in at 400kg. Yes, FOUR HUNDRED KILO, these giants are incredibly majestic. Watching them eating, basking and going about their day was amazing and definitely one of the worlds most fascinating animals.
Why are they so big?!
The beautiful cotton topped tamarin trio. These three never stopped all day. Jumping, swinging, running and generally acting like monkeys they were so fun to watch.
Unfortunately these little guys are critically endangered with less than 6000 left in the wilds of Columbia. Their main threat being deforestation, it would be a sad world without these lively little guys jumping around the rainforest.
Seeing the asian short clawed otters. These cute bundles of bones never fail to ooo and ahhh. Especially when they’re dipping their fish in the water to wash it before eating. Or napping head to tail with their brothers whilst dreaming of crabs and crustaceans.
Huge appetites for both food and for napping, they’re somewhat closer related to someone we know well. Nat!
Freddie the Fishing Cat. A native to the rainforests of South East Asia I’ve never actually seen a fishing cat before, but what a beautiful cat he was. In fact, I smelt him before I saw him! We managed to catch him at feeding time and watched him de-feather 3 quail before chomping them down for his evening meal.
Lastly the loud, but awesome, Laughing Kookaburra. A native to Australia this bird gets its name from it’s strange laugh it makes. After a few attempts I managed to finally whistle in the correct tone and get these guys to laugh along with me. Beautiful, small and fluffy these guys aren’t to be underestimated as they do eat small crocodiles in the wild!
The Beautiful Cotswolds
The medieval towns in the cotswolds are quintessential English. Some of them are absolutely beautiful and the town of Burford is no exception. With its quaint little cottages and wonky buildings this high street is absolutely beautiful.
Complete with bunting this little town is a must see if you’re in the cotswolds. A small walk around town and popping our head into some of the unique and quaint little shops we decided it was time for food and headed for the closest Nandos.
We’ll be sure to tick off some more villages and towns in the coming days. Medieval architecture is definitely up there with my favourite. Its beauty is always amazing!
Tonights sleeping location: Somewhere between Bath and Bristol. (Click Here)