Grab a cuppa - I'm about to share our Safari experience with you :)
We had a fantastic day on Monday at Woburn Safari Park. It's the first time we've been there - I doubt it'll be the last. After a few issues with Google Directions (a new road meant far less roundabouts - thank goodness for google maps on android and gps!!), we made it to the park quarter an hour after it opened, which was around a 2 and a half hour journey for us). We'd kept it a surprise, so until we pulled up and our eldest read the signs neither of the boys knew where we were going - they were thrilled!!
After parking up, we went and booked in to the iExplore area and got shown the car hubby test drove around the Safari. The whole booking in procedure was extremely efficient and seamless. We were shown to our test drive car, and had a demonstration on how to start the car, use the parking break, and how to move the seats forward - car seat in place - then we were away. After a few stalls from hubby, we made it to the elephant enclosure area, and then onto the Bison and large game area...at this point the rhinos were not visible. We then tested the air conditioning out, which was a novelty for us (air conditioning in our car is the windows!!!!!). It was lovely to have space to stretch our legs out...this being the premier model we were test driving. Our eldest is extremely tall for his age - he was in awe of how much room he had in comparison with our Corsa (and really, there is no comparison). The i40 also estimates how many miles you can travel until your tank is empty, and how many miles you could travel if the tank was full. That in itself makes planning a journey really so much easier.
The boys were a little wary of going in the big cat area, but once they realised the cats weren't interested in the car, they were fine, and in awe of seeing them so close up. Further round we saw the giraffes, with two small babies. What I was looking forward to the most was the monkey enclosure. The i40 model we were in had a double glass sunroof, so with the exception of the driver whilst driving, we could all see the roof and any animals which may decide to take a ride with us. Gutted to say the monkeys kept away, although we did track a monkey and her very small baby sitting and then climbing trees together, which was really sweet.
We then returned the i40, having all agreed that this would be the car we'd choose to buy on a rainy day....maybe after a lottery win.....
We found out some more of the functions of the car on its return, which was a shame as we could have benefited from them on the way round - the steering wheel moves up and down to adjust to the correct height, as does the driver's seat - would have been handy to know at the beginning as hubby has fairly short legs, and was fairly restricted movement wise and uncomfortable, which could have easily been solved had we known. The passenger seats also tilt back, which the boys would have enjoyed. We left these as comments on the feedback form, hopefully it will benefit others who use the test drive if the staff re-evaluate.
What pleasantly surprised us most - no hard sell. We were glad there wasn't...it's left us feeling very positive overall with the whole experience. Would I recommend the i40 and/or the experience?? Certainly! I'd already commented about the experience on Facebook prior to us going, and would have no problems recommending this as a purchase, the model we drove was a luxurious family car :) The boot is very spacious, and our eldest was very pleased when he realised there were charge points in the boot for games consoles etc!!!!
After our Safari, we then went for a walkabout, saw one of the displays with tropical birds, had lunch and went on the train. Woburn is a huge place. There were plenty of cars in the car parking area, but nowhere felt crowded as there's so much space.
We had a hilarious time in the squirrel monkey walk through area! There's a reason why there's a sign saying make sure all pockets and bags are closed! One lady thought she'd be clever and invite a squirrel monkey to climb on her, moving her arm in the process - which exposed her pocket which she'd kept her mobile phone in....yep! The monkey was so mischievous and quick, it took a second or two for her to realise the monkey had lifted her mobile and was heading for one of the trees....so - one curious but happy monkey made off with her mobile to a tree branch way out of reach!! All that was left for the lady and ranger to do was to watch as the monkey sat in the tree and played with her phone......we didn't stay around long enough to see how it ended....don't think she'll be making the same mistake again!!
We did return to the Safari - this time in our car, which was an eye opener after the previous lovely cool Safari we had experienced. This time we had a stowaway from the monkey area, luckily hubby had removed our radio aerial, unlike a car in front of us, who had resident monkeys that had delighted in ripping their antenna off and sat on their boot munching away on it!!
Huge thanks to both Woburn Park and iExplore for the fantastic day out, which was made memorable by both the experience - the animals, and the fun we had :)
Entrance into the Safari came with the iExplore experience which we thoroughly enjoyed, we wouldn't hesitate in a return visit.