Longleat Safari Park

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Longleat Safari Park
Longleat Safari Park is located in Wiltshire
Longleat Safari Park
Longleat Safari Park
Red pog.svg Longleat Safari Park shown within Wiltshire
Type Safari Park
Location Wiltshire
Nearest city Warminster
OS grid ST818434
Coordinates 51°11′24″N 2°15′40″W / 51.19°N 2.261°W / 51.19; -2.261Coordinates: 51°11′24″N 2°15′40″W / 51.19°N 2.261°W / 51.19; -2.261
Area 9,000 acres (36.42 km2)
Created 1966
Designer Jimmy Chipperfield
Camp sites Yes
Website http://www.longleat.co.uk/

Longleat Safari and Adventure Park, in Wiltshire, England was opened in 1966 and was the first drive-through safari park outside Africa.[1][2][3] The park is situated in the grounds of Longleat House, an English stately home that attracts tourists and is the current home of the 7th Marquess of Bath. The safari park was the first of its kind anywhere in the world and was considered to be a massive breakthrough in the way in which captive animals were kept, with the animals roaming freely and the visitors in cages (cars). Longleat Safari Park and the concept of safari parks were the brainchild of Jimmy Chipperfield (1912–1990), former co-director of Chipperfield's Circus.[4]

Today Longleat's collection comprises over 500 animals, and the whole estate is situated on 9,000 acres (36.42 km2) of Wiltshire countryside.

The Safari Parks Reserves[edit]

Other attractions[edit]

The estate is open to the public with the various attractions being individually priced. A 'passport' ticket providing one admission to each attraction is available at a discount.

  • Longleat House
  • Gardens and Grounds
  • Lord Bath's Murals
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Bat Cave
  • Jungle Kingdom
  • Motion Simulators
  • Animal Adventure
  • Longleat Hedge Maze
  • Jungle Express railway
  • Postman Pat Village
  • Adventure Castle
  • King Arthur's Mirror Maze
  • The Life and Times of Henry, Lord Bath
  • Family Bygones
  • 'Meet My Ancestors' Film
  • Longleat House Scale Model
  • Rockin Rhino
  • Dinosaurs Alive
  • Deadly adventures

Jungle Kingdom[edit]

Jungle Express

This attraction opened in 2011 and is the first step in a long redevelopment programme of the park as set out by new CEO David Bradley. The first section is within the former Pets Corner area, and includes walk-through exhibits for meerkats and chipmunks (the former is the first of its kind in the UK) along with themed enclosures for otters, binturong, coatis, porcupines, giant anteaters and maras. The second section built between Jungle Kingdom and Animal Adventure includes the Monkey Temple which allows marmosets to run free around the visitors from mock temple ruins, and the lorikeet feeding station where visitors can buy pots of nectar to feed to rainbow lorikeets in a walk-through aviary alongside golden pheasants. Otters, red pandas and barn owls can also be found in this area.

Animal Adventure[edit]

Animal Adventure rabbit

Containing many animals previously kept in Pets Corner, there are many exotic and familiar mammals, birds, reptiles and insects on display, including Goats, Macaws, Cockatoos, Rabbits, Tortoises, Iguanas, Kune Kune Pigs, Armadillos, Siberian Weasels, Rock Hyraxes, Fennec Fox, prairie dogs and many more. A walk-through butterfly hot house and handling areas for small mammals, reptiles and invertebrates allow visitors to gain direct contact with the animals. Donkeys Tony and Lucky can also be seen as well and the 3 Emus and 2 Kookaburras called Darwin and Giggles has just arrived to join the Animal Adventure in 2015

Jungle Express Railway[edit]

Established in 1965 and expanded in 1975, the Jungle Express railway is a 15-inch gauge ridable miniature railway which passes through the Jungle Kingdom. It has a length of one mile and circles a Half Mile Pond. Reindeer can also be found at Christmas when everyone go on Santa Express which is known as the Jungle Express where they meet Santa in his grotto[6]

Jungle Cruise[edit]

The Jungle Cruise involves taking a short trip around the park's lake, which houses a large family of sea lions, the dominant male of which is called Buster, and a pair of hippos. Aboard, it is possible for £1.00 to receive a cup of fish pieces to throw to the sea lions, who naturally follow the boat and bark for food.

Penguin Island[edit]

Opened in July 2013. Penguin Island is a 225,000-litre naturally-themed display which is home to a colony of 30 captive bred Humboldt penguins. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views from both above and below the waterline via giant viewing windows. As part of their new display visitors will have the opportunity to actually walk inside part of their enclosure and the penguins will then be able to choose whether they want to interact with people

Stingray Bay[edit]

Opened in July 2013 same as Penguin Island. Stingray Bay is a giant, open-topped display housing a selection of marine stingray species and is home to Thornback stingrays and Undulate rays

Bat Cave[edit]

Bat Cave is home to Egyptian fruit bats, cave fish, rats, scorpions and many more

In the media[edit]

On Safari[edit]

On Safari is a children's TV show made by SMG Productions (now known as STV Productions) for the ITV network children's strand CITV The show was presented by Richard McCourt and featured two teams of two children taking part in a series of challenges and tasks within a safari park, including animal-care and physical skill challenges; the winning team took part in an endgame to win a prize (usually a trip to go on safari in Africa). that show was at Longleat in 2000

Animal Park[edit]

Longleat was the subject of BBC's long running Animal Park series, hosted by Kate Humble and Ben Fogle.


Roar is about the animals and keepers at Wild Animal Parks. It is similar to another BBC series, Animal Park, filmed at Longleat Safari Park. From series 6, it has moved from Howletts and Port Lympne to Longleat.

All Change at Longleat[edit]

BBC 1's Documentary following one of the country's most extraordinary aristocratic families and the people who work for them. Lord Bath hands control of the estate to his son, Ceawlin, but it doesn't go smoothly


  1. ^ Mary Chipperfield, Lions on the Lawn (1971)
  2. ^ The lions and loins of Longleat The Sunday Times Retrieved 18 February 2011
  3. ^ New Scientist 2 Dec 1982 Retrieved 18 February 2011
  4. ^ Great dynasties of the world: The Chipperfields The Guardian Retrieved 18 February 2011
  5. ^ British Zoos: Longleat Safari Park. Retrieved 10 April 2015
  6. ^ "Jungle Express 15 inch". Miniature Railway World. Miniature Railway World. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 

External links[edit]