Digital Life Photography

The lion sleeps tonight

Over easter, the Muldowney’s went on Safari! There was no travelling the African savannah in a 4×4 for us , we only needed to go as far as the wilds of Wiltshire (Longleat to be precise).

All the same, I was very excited, imagining the frollicking tigers and crazy rhinos running around inches from the car window (as the car we have is relatively new, I was not allowed to smear banana over the bonnet to attract the monkeys).

You know the film Jurassic Park, where they go through the big gates which are locked behind them, then through some more (just in case a sneaky dinosaur should make a bid for freedom)? Well, it was nothing like that. In the first section you are allowed out of the car and are enticed past gift shops and picnic areas to witness the fascinating world of giraffes, zebras and camels. (Do these animals actually associate together in the wild? I can’t think they have much to talk about – everyone knows the rules about spots and stripes). There were however, baby giraffes which were <teenage_voice> my gawwwd, y’know, like soooooooooooo cute! </teenage_voice>

After being charmed by these herbivores, we bundled back into the car for the safari proper and for a buttock-numbing journey around various compounds. I wasn’t sure what animals we were supposed to be seeing next, as I missed the sign and could only make out vague silhouettes. I seem to recall some cow type things with rather big horns. I took lots of photos of the cows. None of this mattered though, as I could see the next stop was the monkeys! Who doesn’t love a monkey?

Despite the promising looking warning signs and the small-print on the back of the ticket disclaiming any responsibility for monkey-related damage/injuries/trauma, it was actually quite hard work spotting them. They were ALL up in the highest trees in the world (do they have Scotts Pines in real monkey jungles?) and every single monkey was fast asleep/comatose by the fumes from all the bank-holiday traffic idling beneath.

I’ll short-hand for a bit now…
Rhinos – far, far away.
Camels – double-humped variety this time. Asleep.
Deer – lots. And they came right up to the car! Can’t complain about the deer, I’m sure when they get cross (if they lose the tv remote or something) they can be really wild!
Pelicans – guess what they were doing. NOTHING.
Tigers – in their stripey pyjamas snoozing away.
Lions – all zonked out, just about to pull away when male lion gets up, yawns and shags female lion in her sleep! Takes about 8 seconds. Everyone cheers.
Wolves – have been three hours sat on arse looking at sleeping animals – deep-vein thrombosis seems more likely threat than savage wolf attack, although everyone is living in hope.

I have lived my life with a David Attenborough commentary running through my head whenever I see wildlife, and whilst I wasn’t expecting to see a pride of lions bring down a weak gazelle within range of my windscreen, I was at least hoping for animals that were not afflicted with narcolepsy! I guess they are all only doing what comes naturally – I’d do the same myself if I was caged up myself, I’m sure.

My tip… if you wan’t to travel at 5 mph for three hours on a bank holiday Monday – go to Bournemouth for the day!

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  • Reply
    22 April 2006 at 02:02

    Rofl. You are a riot. You need to put more photos of yourself in action on your site. You’ve got quite a unique view on life.

  • Reply
    28 April 2006 at 09:53

    I was there last week too – couldn’t believe the amount of people who pulled over for ages to watch sleeping animals!!
    By the end I just wanted to GET OUT OF THE CAR!!!!!

  • Reply
    3 May 2006 at 16:06

    It really was that dull wasn’t it!

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