Lions, lanterns and lots more! – a unique Christmas celebration at Longleat COMPLETED - Page 2 - PassPorter - A Community of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel Forums
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Old 12-05-2014, 02:08 AM   #16
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Saturday 29 November – part three: the tigers are active today!

Next we saw these guys….



… then the Ankole cattle, and of course, I have a soft spot for them…



The ostriches were also in here…



Next we headed into the deer area. The last time we came here, we could barely get round this for all the deer queuing up for food from the cars. Well, no such issues this time around, because the food stall was closed, so they were being all quiet and serene. Look at the antlers on some of these guys!



When we came out of there, we entered a massive queue of cars, mainly because everyone was waiting to see these….



So this is where they were… However, it was quite amusing to see the sign by them saying “Annie the elephant”… hmmm, not quite!

I also photographed these guys as we waited…



We were stuck in traffic again after seeing the rhinos, because we were about to go into big cat country, and the gates have to be opened, only letting a few cars through at a time. Of course in May this hadn’t been an issue at all, but now it was. Even worse, they were having to hand open one gate, then go to the other gate and operate that by hand, then back to the other set of gates once those were closed – you get the idea… it wasn’t a very fast process.

We weren’t sure what this was all about when we got through the gates, but a bit of research showed that one of the lion keepers died, from what I can gather, unexpectedly at the age of 49. It seems to have been a natural death from what I could gather online.



The other problem, as we discovered when we finally got through, was that the tigers were very active, but not that far from the entrance, which meant the cars took longer to get through the gates, but wow, why move, when you’ve got views like this?



As you can see, some were being very lazy, but one wasn’t:



Next: how the heck can this be a comfortable position to lie in?
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Old 12-05-2014, 02:27 AM   #17
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I think it's so strange that they have animals from Africa and Asia right next to each other on the same "safari". Not exactly educational! The animals are beautiful, though.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:16 AM   #18
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Great shots from the safari! The tigers are beautiful!
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:52 AM   #19
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I think it's so strange that they have animals from Africa and Asia right next to each other on the same "safari". Not exactly educational! The animals are beautiful, though.
No that's very true, but sadly I think that's what a lot of places do now - have big cats near each other and some have no explanation of where they come from.
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Old 12-06-2014, 01:41 AM   #20
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Saturday 29 November – part four: how the heck can this be a comfortable position to lie in?

Once we were done with the tigers, can you guess which enclosure we entered into next?



Yep, you got it – lion country!

Now here the lions were all out, fortunately not too near the entrance, so it was easier to get cars through, but my goodness, their attention had been attracted by something. We could see them staring intently, and also sniffing the air. What it was, we had no idea, but something had piqued their interest!



We then moved into the next part of the lion enclosure, and this was the sight we were greeted with!



Now tell me, how the heck can this be a comfortable position to lie in? Look how many kitties there were in here!



They all seemed to be enjoying the weather, and here I have to say something about it – it really was unseasonably warm, in the mid 50s and pleasantly sunny. We could feel the sun through the window, and it was lovely.

I was able to get some lovely close-up shots of these beautiful beasts:



Once again, we saw the cubs and some females, who we assume were their mothers, in a separate enclosure. There were a lot fewer than we’d seen in May, and you couldn’t instantly see who the cubs were, they’re getting so big!

I waited for us to creep forward enough, as we were waiting in traffic again to leave this enclosure, as I’d spotted these guys, and really wanted to get some shots of them.



Then this one came marching back towards them….



He got so close to the car – I reckon he was literally no more than about four or five metres from my door at one point!

Ok, and once again I ask you – how the heck can this be comfortable?



We then went into the cheetah enclosure, and they were very active:



The last time we went through the wolf enclosure, we weren’t very impressed, as we only saw about three or four, and most of them were some distance away. Well, they were still some distance away, but this time they were just lounging around, I guess enjoying the sun as well, and I was able to get some great photos of them.



Next: wow, look what that dragon’s made of!
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Old 12-06-2014, 01:42 AM   #21
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There won't be an update on this now until Monday as, for a second weekend running, we're away for the weekend - this time, we're off to Brussels in Belgium.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:39 AM   #22
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Have a good trip. I won't ask you to take lots of pictures because I know you will.
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:46 AM   #23
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Quite a nice start to the trip with some nice scenery along the way to Longleat.

Seems like a fun time in the safari park as long as your inside your auto! The animals seem quite active and you captured them quite well. I recognize the Ankole Cows from the AKL, when I stayed there in a savanna room. They were always quite noisy at night and in the morning!

I too would not get near the monkey area, especially with a good car! You were in the proper spot to see them. Couldn't believe how uncomfortable those lions look resting on those tree limbs!
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Old 12-06-2014, 03:43 PM   #24
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Great shots of the lions and the cheetahs!
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:27 PM   #25
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Have a good trip. I won't ask you to take lots of pictures because I know you will.
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Funny you should say that...
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:29 PM   #26
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Quite a nice start to the trip with some nice scenery along the way to Longleat.

Seems like a fun time in the safari park as long as your inside your auto! The animals seem quite active and you captured them quite well. I recognize the Ankole Cows from the AKL, when I stayed there in a savanna room. They were always quite noisy at night and in the morning!
Oh wow, I've never heard them make a noise at all - how cool!
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:37 PM   #27
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Finally had time to read some of your weekend trips.
I have to ask about this picture......Is that a camel mating another camel...I was looking at it and it is the oddest picture of a back end of a camel and then after looking more I thought I saw some more legs. LOL. I can't however see anyones head to make heads or tails of it.

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Old 12-07-2014, 10:31 PM   #28
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Oh wow, I've never heard them make a noise at all - how cool!
I could be wrong as it was 10 years ago, but I certainly heard sounds, that were definitely cows of some sort! Didn't sound unfamiliar to me!
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:41 AM   #29
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Finally had time to read some of your weekend trips.
I have to ask about this picture......Is that a camel mating another camel...I was looking at it and it is the oddest picture of a back end of a camel and then after looking more I thought I saw some more legs. LOL. I can't however see anyones head to make heads or tails of it.

I think it was about to go to the toilet actually, as I seem to remember catching sight of that out of the corner of my eye as I took the next couple of photos...
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:43 AM   #30
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Saturday 29 November – part five: wow, look what that dragon’s made of!

With that, our safari was over, so we made our way back to the house…



I was really excited to see the Chinese lanterns during the day, and they did look pretty impressive, even though they weren’t lit up…



It was this porcelain dragon that took our breath away though – he’s made up of over 15,000 individual pieces of porcelain, all tied together by hand!



We decided to head over to the Longleat version of the Jungle Cruise, which we hadn’t done the last time we were here, and we passed lots more Chinese lanterns on the way there…



As we walked over there, we figured we’d just literally missed the boat, but they let us on, and even better, we had a bench to ourselves, which meant it was nice and easy for photographs.

We set off, and I got some photos of the Chinese lanterns from the water…



I also captured some of the natural wildlife here, and a few remaining bits of colour in the trees:



They have hippos that do go in the water here, but today, they were on dry land…



We were amazed to learn that this pair are the longest surviving animals at Longleat. They’re only 40 years old, and I say only, as our guide told us they can live up to 80 years old.

I have to say a word here about our guide. He was very knowledgeable and he was so well spoken, and I mean in the traditional British sense of the word – i.e. he was very “stiff upper lip” if you know what I mean, it’s probably in the nicest possible way, the British accent that you guys all know and love.

Next: getting close-up with sea lions and red pandas!
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