#30 of 130 in Liverpool
Knowsley Safari Park was opened to the public in July 1971 by the 18th Earl of Derby. Then, the `safari park' concept of...
Knowsley Safari Park was opened to the public in July 1971 by the 18th Earl of Derby. Then, the `safari park' concept of having visitors in cages (cars) and the animals roaming free based on the drive-through game reserves of East Africa was unique. In 1994, Edward Stanley, the 19th Earl, succeeded to the title. The estate being only 8 miles (13 km) from Liverpool city centre, Knowsley was the first safari park to be built close to a large city. In spite of some understandable apprehension about the possible problems associated with large numbers of animals (including lions) roaming about close to the city, the then County and District councils approved the proposals.In the first two years of opening, the route through Knowsley Safari Park consisted of a 3½ mile (5.6 km) drive, and the main attractions were lions, cheetahs, monkeys, giraffes, zebra, elephants and various antelopes. The park proved immensely popular, so in 1973 an extension, including a further 1½ miles (2.4km) of road, was built and opened. This allowed more animals to be added to the collection on display along the now 5-mile- (8 km) long route, including herds of camels, buffalo and white rhino as well as a group of tigers.A few modifications to the original design have had to be made for safety and display reasons. The tigers and lions are now displayed in enclosures within the game reserves, and the elephants have their own paddock in the walk around section at the end of the safari drive. We also have a car friendly route around the outside of the monkey jungle for visitors who do not wish to have a close encounter with our baboons. Knowsley Safari Park has become one of Merseyside's premier leisure attractions, winning several awards for tourism and it's animal husbandry.