When my grandma told me she'd booked an African Wildlife Experience for us to go on, that was the first thing I said... "I can touch them?!".
I was, of course, talking about the animals. Ever since I was a kid I've loved anything to do with animals and wildlife. The first question I'd ask when entering someone's house was "do you have any pets" and I'd honestly preferred the company of animals to humans. So needless to say, a day where I could cuddle up with some unusual wild creatures was my idea of heaven.
However, before my very exciting African Wildlife Experience began, I had to pay some dues in the form of a very cold and windy day trip to Blackpool. The UK's answer to Coney Island really isn't much fun when you're over the age of 15 and under the age of 65, but was a nice opportunity to spend the day with my lovely Nanu and we did go to the top of the Blackpool Tower, which I hadn't done before. We were also rewarded with a pretty stunning sunset at the end of the day. Above is an out of focus photo taken of my grands and I by her friend and a snap of the many, many seagulls waiting to steal chips from an unsuspecting tourists' hands.
So, back to the important bit... The animals. As soon as we got to the farm, we were ushered into a side room by our guide, who happened to be holding a gorgeous young Caracal called Shaka. Caracals look a bit like a smaller version of the Lynx, but they're not actually related to them. Some people do in fact own these as pets, which I can imagine would be quite a handful. They're not your average cat and this one isn't even fully grown.
As it was the African Wildlife experience, obviously all of the animals we experienced were native to the continent. Next up were the baby Meerkats.
Oh. My. Gosh. These little guys were so adorable (you'll see a pattern forming here) and they immediately snuggled up and went to sleep as soon as they were in my lap. I took quite a few #MeerkatSelfies with them, you know, to continue the tradition. (It all started with the 'Goat Selfie' in Greece).
After I managed to pry myself away from the sleepy Meerbabies, we fed some Ring-tailed Lemurs (think King Julian from Madagascar) who weren't very cuddly at all. They did enjoy a bit of mango though, and having them cling on to my fingers with their little Lemur hands was enough for me.
Much to my delight, we got to go in an enclosure with a couple of Servals next, which are another breed of big cat. They're the second fastest cat after the Cheetah and are another popular breed for people to have as pets. I'm sure they look cool but behind the scenes they must be tearing up people's houses!
So, that was my day with the animals. I was basically just over the moon that I got to be up close and personal with them (as you can see from my face in the photo at the beginning of this post) and I would've happily spent all day there but alas, the experience only lasts an hour. Luckily there were only 4 of us in our group instead of the usual 8, so we got to spend way more time with the animals than most.
The African Wildlife experience was at Hoo Farm in Telford and my grandma bought the tickets on Amazon Local... Just in case any of you are interested in going after reading this post!