Thank you to Folly Farm for our annual pass tickets and for our Folly Farm giraffe experience. As always reviews are honest.
Folly Farm Giraffe Experience – A review
Feeding the Giraffes at Folly Farm is on our list of 101 awesome things to do in Wales with kids. Even though it lasts for just 20 minutes or so, it is one of the highlights of my year so far.
So what can you expect from your folly farm giraffe experience…
We arrived at the park as it opened at 10:00 a.m. and made our way straight to the giraffe enclosure. The experience was due to start at 10:30. As we walked towards the enclosure we spotted the zebras, antelopes and giraffes munching on some twigs and foliage. We later found out that they share the enclosure just as they would do in the wild.
As we waited we stood in the high level look out putting us at the same height as the impressive towering giraffes who remained completely oblivious to us.
We weren’t there long before we spotted Pippa carrying four buckets of giraffe food walking towards us. The buckets contained some lettuce leaves, foliage and food pellets.
I thought we would be stood in a tower to feed them but instead we were to stand on the ground right next to them, with a small fence in-between. We walked through the enclosure and met Sillan and Taharqa who we would be feeding. It was only when we stood next to them that I really appreciated the enormity of these gentle giants.
Pippa explained that giraffes don’t have teeth at the front so we shouldn’t be worried about them biting us. We were just to place our hands out flat and close to their mouths so that they could take the food from us.
When I first held my hand out and this huge dark tongue enveloped my hand I almost dropped the lot (watch the video if you want a laugh). But we all got better at it. The tip is to hold the food closer to them and then they just eat it with less of the slobbery tongue.
It was an amazing experience, they were so gentle. Happily chomping and chewing away with the heads bobbing back up and down to retrieve more food.
When our buckets were empty we held our hands up to the giraffes to signal that the feed was finished. The giraffes duly complied and we said goodbye to the lovely Sillan and Taharqa.
Before we left Pippa gave us a souvenir to take away and remind us of our visit. The kids opted for the giraffe teddy and we choose a Folly Farm mug.
We all absolutely loved the experience and it is a memory we will all cherish. The surprise of a small giraffe teddy or a zoo experience mug was also a nice souvenir of the day.
We also loved hearing all about the giraffes and of their mischievous ways from Pippa. It was a fantastic experience and one I would love to repeat, although my sons have already worked out that they’ll be old enough to feed the Rhino next year.
After our feeding experience we then went on to explore the rest of the zoo which has lions, rhinos, monkeys, meerkats and so many more. It also has lots of play areas, indoor play areas, and indoor vintage fun fair and go karts. We had a fantastic day out and can’t wait to go back and make the most of our annual passes. I’ll write up a full review shortly.
About the Giraffes at Folly Farm
Folly Farm is part of a giraffe breeding programme. They are helping by taking male giraffes (the brothers of breeding females) from other zoos so they can continue to breed. This is the same as in the wild where the father giraffes kick the mature males out so that they can start their own families.
The giraffes at Folly Farm are all male and according to Pippa live there happily together. In the wild in Africa the giraffes stay in small groups and the males and females stay separate only coming together to mate.
These giraffes will never breed themselves as they are hybrid. They were bred elsewhere before there was an understanding of the different giraffe species. Today only same species are bred together. However Folly Farm still supports the wider breeding programme by offering these male giraffes a home. What I hadn’t realised is that certain species of giraffe are listed as endangered. Research is now being undertaken to increase awareness and understanding of their plight.
Good to know before you go..
The Folly Farm giraffe experience costs £40.00 per person. This is in addition to general admission charges. To take part in the experience you must be at least 8 years old.
The experience lasts around 20 – 25 minutes. Pre-booking is essential and I would recommend booking well in advance.
As my youngest was too young to take part, she stood just behind us on the ramp with her Nanna and Bampa and had a great view of the experience. I think she enjoyed it almost as much as we did.
With so much to do at Folly Farm, it is impossible to squeeze everything into a day visit. There are animals to see including Lions, Rhinos, Monkeys, Meerkats and Penguins. It also has lots of outdoor play areas, a huge indoor play area, an indoor vintage fairground (rides at a small additional cost) and picnic tables and places to eat spread out through-out the park.
Folly Farm don’t provide paper maps so it is a good idea to download one on your phone before you go so you can plan your day.
Folly Farm Website: www.folly-farm.co.uk
Address: Begelly, Kilgetty, Pembrokeshire, SA68 0XA
Be sure to check out our list of 101 awesome things to do in Wales for more amazing things to do with kids in Wales.