Travelled there from Auckland in our hired camper van, took just over an hour and half. We were booked on the 2pm course but as we got there early, I phoned and asked if we could go on the earlier one, no problem at all.
Having watched 'the lionman' on tv, and being a leo, I was really excited see the animals in the flesh! The tour started on time with a safety information session with our guide. We then proceeded to take the tour, we had, a few minutes earlier seen 'Craig' who was giving a personalised tour (which is more expensive). He was very pleasant and went on his way to meet his party.
To get back to the tour...our guide was very knowledgeable and works there on weekends as a volunteer as do most of the staff there. I'm not going to get into the politics of the previous management but the park has now been renamed The Kingdom of Zion.
All staff are currently unable to handle the animals (a MAFF directive). The animals looked healthy and well cared for. Our guide spoke to them and in most cases, they responded.
One thing I, and others taking the tour noted, when Craig was in view,(doing his own tour) they wanted nothing to do with us, they were far too busy looking adoringly at him!.
There are some drinks and gifts to purchase but are rather limited as they haven't long reopened. They do need more people to visit so they can continue the good work they are doing and I'm sure if you are an animal lover, you would love to see them. I have attached some pics. Nice clean bathroom too! I loved it here and would go again.
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