Saturday, 20 August 2016

Visiting Fota Wildlife Park (co. Cork) with kids

I'm sure most of you know about Fota Wildlife Park because it's one of the top places to visit in Ireland, specially if you have kids!

It is very conveniently located just half an hour (by car) from Cork city, so it's perfect for a weekend visit - we live in Dublin.

At the beginning of the summer we had some friends and family visiting so we organised a trip down to Cork, leaving Dublin early on Saturday morning to come back on Sunday late in the evening.

Left Dublin around 7:30am, and after a couple of stops (breakfats, toilet...) we arrived at the Fota Wildlife Car Park around midday.

First impression: could not be better - just took us 3 minutes to buy the tickets.

Just to give you an idea: Fota Wildlife Park is like a zoo, but animals here have much more freedom than in a regular zoo and can be seen from a very short distance, which is much more fun and "adventurous" for the kids.

Our group included six kids of all ages: from 6 to 20, and they all enjoyed the day in the park... and so did the adults!!!

First animal we saw: a cheetah - she was so close to us... and couldn't care less about us

A couple of ostriches and quite a few giraffes: wow mum! Do you see that? Giraffes need to open their legs a lot when they want to eat!!! Don't they look funny?

Lots of monkeys: they are free, but they all live in little islands because.... they do not like the water, so they do not try to jump to mainland to mix with the visitors (even though they could, as the islands are very close to mainland)

Going from one animal to the next was exciting! Plus the park is very well designed, with easy to walk paths (a recommended route is indicated at all times) , and lots of signs where you can read about the animals you see along the way

A few peacocks walking around, and also some kangaroos. This is amazing!

Of course, kids are kids so we also spent some time climbing up trees

and going down slides

We had the chance to see one of the tigers just before lunch. She was so close to us!

and even closer was a lemur, who was sitting down by the path, just chilling... isn't it amazing?

Ducks, flamingoes, red pandas! You name it. Best thing, they have so much space to move around that you feel they're free, in their natural habitat

We spent the whole day walking around the park, we even had the chance to feed the ducks.

There are two cafes inside the premises: one is just by the entrance, and the other one is at the opposite side of the park. So if you feel hungry/thirsty and you have not brought food from home, you'll have the chance to take a break and recharge your batteries, while the kids continue burning energy (there are playgrounds strategically built right beside both cafes - perfect location!).

Fota Wildlife Park is without a doubt a place to visit if you have kids and love nature. Everybody in the family will enjoy it!

As I said at the beginning, we spent the whole weekend down in Cork. Just wanted to let you know about the hotel we chose for the night: The Blarney Hotel and Golf Resort: we had the chance to avail of one of their summer offers: fantastic hotel and very good breakfast for a reasonable price. Check it out if you would also like to stay in Cork for a couple of days (so many things to do and see...)

Aaaah! We had such a lovely weekend...

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