Not in the wilds of Kenya, sadly, but in the far more drizzly and mundane surroundings of Knowsley. That's not to be disparaging - I think Knowsley Safari Park is a great day out. Africa it may not be, but it's certainly a lot cheaper and more accessible.
My boyfriend and I wanted to take my 4 year old niece for a day out between Christmas and New Year and, as all you parent types will already know, it's hard to find places to entertain little ones when the weather is bad, everything is closed for the winter and indoor attractions are full to bursting point already.
I'd been to Knowsley Safari Park a couple of years previously with my friends, but my boyfriend hadn't been since he was a kid so we thought we'd introduce my niece to one of the north west's staple family days out.
We somehow failed to buy a guidebook at the entrance booth (Where was the pressured selling?? Why didn't they practically force me to buy one like other tourist attractions do??) so although I was confidently able to identify the more obvious animals, such as lions, tigers, giraffes and elephants, I struggled with all the deer-type things. 'What's that?' my niece would ask. 'Ummm, it's reindeer! Like Rudolph. Look, he's taken his red nose off because he only wears it at Christmas.' Then we'd drive into another clearing with a load more deer-type things. 'What's that?'. 'Umm, it's another reindeer...'. (I've since learnt that most of what I thought were reindeer were actually Pere David's Deer).
Anyway, it's a fab day out and I definitely recommend it if you're within driving distance. I particularly enjoyed this young lion taking a shine to our wing mirror, boyfriend enjoyed this less so:
Highlights = the lions wandering up to your car, the baboons trashing your windscreen wipers, the friendly and knowledgeable staff and the sealion show in the walk-round section at the end, which is brilliant for little kids (and me - I bloody loved it. Sealions are v clever!)