Mr Left Hip adores rhinos at the moment, and while a trip to Africa is not on the cards at present (shame), where better to get up close and personal with a herd of rhinos than at Melbourne's Werribee Zoo. So, thats exactly where we spent the day today.
We are big fans of Melbourne's Zoos. Be it Werribee, Healesville, or Melbourne zoo itself, our little hip family are proud zoo members, so do try to go as often as possible. The advantages of having an annual pass are you can whizz past the crowds, and pop in for a few hours only, and then if it gets to busy or if you've had enough for the day, you can nip home and revisit another day. A perfect way to get out and about with your family. The zoos are real assets to Melbourne.
For a Sunday, it was remarkably uncrowded, so we managed to jump onto a safari bus straight away to go in search of those rhino. Wow, we were very lucky. We managed to see so many different types of wildlife, and then of course, Mr left hips day was one to remember by getting up close and personal with a herd of rhino. Beautiful...lots of smiles all round.
We headed to the playground and picnic area for lunch, and then, oh, how could we forget our little hips and some others got together for a spontaneous jig to the African music. A fabulous moment. All the parents were just looking on with adoration and pride! We took a walk around the rest of the zoo to see the lions, wild dogs, hippos, meercats, and cheetahs, to name but a few. There are plenty of young animals, and the word is out...gorillas are heading to Werribee Zoo very soon.
One little tip, it is best to get there as early as possible. By lunch time, many of those animals are having a siesta in the warm sun, so are hard to spot or somewhat too sleepy to be entertaining. Being there by 9.30am today really increased our animal viewing chances, and we certainly weren't disappointed today.
A few more little tips; Tuesdays at Werribee Zoo are renamed Terrific Toddler Tuesdays. As the name suggests, its all about introducing the under 5's to a really wild experience. Brilliant way to beat the weekend crowds too.
Another event that looks lots of fun is the Rhythm of Africa nights at the Werribee Zoo. Most weekends, from Jan until mid March each year, the zoo stays open after hours for some real African fun. Bring a picnic, and immerse your family in the African culture with African drumming, music, dancing, food and lots of fun. There are activities for the kids from 4.30pm.
Finally for those bigger hips only (12 years upwards, or perhaps adults only - a good excuse for a mum and dad night away), how about spending the night at the zoo and partaking in the Slumber Safari. This is a great opportunity to experience the wildlife up close and without the crowds, plus enjoy an African banquet, entertainment, a night under the stars, and then wake up in the morning watching the savannah coming to life. Bliss! My hubby is desperate to do this, and one day we shall. Even me, having travelled extensively throughout Africa, and have been on my fair share of African safaris, am really keen to do this, so, its totally on the to do list. Unless we somehow get to Africa first!