This is my last blog entry about the safari park trip, I promise. The thing is, as we were going around the park, we realised that there was one fundamental problem with the whole premise.
Why are we driving?
Our experience of the safari park was: turning off the main road to get to the ticket booths, queuing to buy the tickets, then driving excruciatingly slowly round the park. Thankfully, there were two lanes to allow some cars to stop and take pictures of the animals, whilst others could pass if they wanted to move on. This idea failed as soon as we got to the popular exhibits, though.
For at least twenty minutes, we sat in the lion enclosure, stacked up car behind car, just waiting to move on. Our cars were heating up and I can’t begin to imagine all the pollution. It must be bad for the environment, and it can’t be pleasant for the animals either. We also saw at least three cars having to be recovered, and plenty of trucks on standby with cranes ready to rescue stricken vehicles. Whether it was overheating issues, or running out of petrol, I don’t know, but clearly it’s not working for everyone.
Mr C and I were discussing this on the way round, trying to pass the time. We thought perhaps they should have signs at the entrance saying: “Make sure you’re stocked up with petrol!” and “Don’t come in unless your car has been serviced!” but then we came up with the solution.
Ditch the cars!
Our idea begins, as most genius observations do, with some small trains. They would move you through the park, with plenty of stops and observation decks. Naturally, the idea of the cars is that it protects you from the animals, but there must be another way of doing this. In the dangerous exhibits, you can stand behind glass or fencing. In the non-dangerous ones, perhaps just some smaller fencing or bars or the like.
This way, you reduce the pollution, the petrol, the waste of resources and the need for recovery trucks. You allow people to move at their own pace, get on and off the trains as they desire. They can hang about with the lions for ages, or they can, like us, move on to the elephants.
Mr C even suggested some tree-top walks, or sections with monorails, but this idea fell down when we realised that lions can climb trees.
We haven’t got all the details planned out, but it seems like it would make a lot more sense, and be more enjoyable, than the current congested parks.