Whenever the weekend sneaks up on you, and you haven’t made any plans, you can always go to London Zoo. It’s right there, in central London, surrounded by the lovely preened gardens of Regent’s Park, and overlooked by the picnic-perfect Primrose hill.
We grabbed ourselves a bagful of healthy goods from the nearby Wholefoods market in Camden town. If you’re not a fan of this place already, you really need to give it a chance and try some of their freshly-made nut butters!
Once we fuelled up, we set off for a long walk, starting with a visit to Penguin Beach. There was a short talk given by one of the zoo-keepers, but, frankly, I didn’t hear a word she said. I was too busy following these adorable fellas who were waddling around and jumping into the pool.
We then made our way around the other enclosures, where we met some more playful individuals.
What I really love about London Zoo is that you can really get close to the animals, and witness their natural behaviours. You learn more about them, and you feel like you’ve almost been let in on a secret world.
We made it just in time for another special talk, on this occasion a talk held inside the enclosure of the lemurs. It was absolutely great to feel invited into their home, and see them eat, nap and play in the branches above us. It’s as close you can get to having a trip to Madagascar without leaving central London.
We then moved on to the special rainforest experience. It was really humid inside, and all the inhabitants seemed as though they had never left the tropics. Having recently visited Costa Rica, home of the sloth, I was quick to spot this furtive little guy, even before the guide pointed him out in his leafy hiding place.
It was very difficult to capture all the animals scurrying through the rainforest floor, but this chap was just chilling there and all but posing for my camera.
Although it had been over a couple of hours since we had set out on our walk, we carried on, stopping only for a quick nibble from our picnic leftovers. We paused to look at this guy splashing about in his little pond, and we felt a tinge of jealousy, wishing the coming of a hot summer day would allow us to do the same.
It’s always fun to observe the giraffes. I particularly like it when they want to drink some water, which means they have to spread their front legs very carefully, until they are able to stoop down and reach the water level. It is a funny sight, but it’s also quite impressive when you think about how they are then able to propel the water up their long neck. Nature is full of wonder!
I always love the aquarium section as well. Some of the fish tanks are so big, that you could easily imagine you are diving in the Great Barrier Reef.
Next we visited Tiger Territory, and got up close and personal with this beauty here.
^ At this point I was as tired and lazy as this guy on the left, ready to hit the ground and take a nap.
We admired the stylish do’s of these glamorous primates…
… and finished it all off with a visit to Gorilla Kingdom, where we were shown who’s boss.
So if you ever find yourself with nothing to do on a sunny Saturday, go pay London Zoo a visit. We were there for a total of five hours, and it was entirely worth the somewhat steep admission fee. Once you’ve seen the inhabitants happily monkeying about, you can rest assured they are being taken good care of, and you going and having a nice relaxed day helps that happen. So all in all, everyone wins!