Last weekend I went to visit one of my best friends at her new house in Southampton. Sarah and I lived together during our final year at university in Bournemouth. Since then I’ve moved back home just north of London and she’s moved back to Southampton to a new home. I was so excited to see her as it was the first time we’d met up since graduation!
We decided a while back that we would visit Marwell Zoo in Winchester. Our friend Lili, who was also one of our housemates in final year, joined us on the Saturday. We explored the zoo and later went for a meal in the centre of Southampton. I really enjoyed catching up with these two lovely ladies, finding out all about their lives since graduation; we’ve all embarked on the next phase of our lives, but we’re still all in this together.
On Saturday we picked up Lili from the train station and Sarah drove us all to Marwell Zoo in Winchester. We managed to look around pretty much the whole park by the end of the day and our feet were aching so much – but it was definitely worth it! Here are some pictures from each part of the day and the animals we saw:
We started at the Humboldt penguins. Who doesn’t love penguins? They were so friendly and not at all afraid to walk up close to the edge of the enclosure right by us. The barrier between us and them was really low so we could see them so well. Marwell Zoo is home to a famous penguin called Ralph who moults much quicker than the others and wears a wetsuit to protect his body from the sun. Ralph wears a personalised, custom-made wetsuit from O’Neill – the surfwear brand.
We went back to the penguins later on at 3pm to see them being feed by the keepers, who also delivered a talk about them. There was lots gathered around the keeper who was giving out the fish for their dinner, but also quite a few swimming around in the water and coming up close to the crowds.
After seeing the penguins, we moved on to see what we could find next. We saw flamingos, which are really beautiful when they extend their wings, and warthogs, before venturing on to see the giraffes. We were lucky enough to arrive at feeding time, so the giraffes were inside where we could see them up close. Some were much bigger than others but they all moved so gracefully.
There was also a little baby one – which in all fairness was still pretty big! At lunch time we had a little gift exchange because it was Lili’s birthday recently and it was Sarah’s birthday this weekend just gone! We had a little break before heading out again to explore some more.
Another really interesting part of the zoo was ‘Savannah Tracks,’ a wooden walkway around the leopard enclosure. The leopards were quite sleepy but we still managed to see them up close. Big jungle cats are some of my favourite animals to see at the zoo – we also saw a cheetah which was perched on a rock almost posing for photographs.
We visited the Tropical World house, filled with exotic plants and wildlife. There were tiny, brightly coloured frogs, poisonous plants and leaf cutter ants. You can watch them carrying little bits of leaf through a long, clear tube around the edge of the room to their nest. It felt like a green house inside, at the right tempurature for the wildlife, and all the greenery was very pretty.
We also saw a snow leopard, wallabies, Amur tigers and Sulawesi black macaques. The macaques were in a family group, walking around the outside of the enclosure with their babies. Throughout the day we also saw hippos, rhinos, warthogs (and almost a warthog fight) and zebras.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post about my trip to Marwell Zoo with my friends.