Day Trip: Cotswold Wildlife Park

This Saturday my awesome friend (and next door neighbour!) Chris took me on a day trip – he told me nothing other than to bring a camera and be awake. I may have initially struggled with the being awake but I did bring a camera (admittedly the wrong one… I could have done with my DSLR and big zoom lens, but I made do with a compact).

So after a 40 minute drive I still had no idea where we were going until suddenly I saw a zebra. Not a real one sadly, just a picture, but it was then I realised: ZOO. WE WERE GOING TO A ZOO. This literally could not have been a better surprise!

It was Cotswold Wildlife Park which I’d never been to before and this surprised Chris who’d spent big chunks of his childhood there. It was such a brilliant day and we saw all kinds of animals, including plenty which I’ve already posted about on here! Here are the highlights of the day – with photos!


Both me and Chris love giraffes so we were pretty keen to see them! But we paced ourselves and saved them until later in the afternoon when we were seeing all the ‘big’ animals.

There were 3 giraffes, all adorable, and I think there were 2 males and one female. Female giraffes tend to be shorter – around 16ft tall instead of 19ft, plus they have smaller, thinner horns than males.

Giraffes at Cotswold Wildlife Park by Rachel Oates

I actually surprised myself by how many random giraffe facts I could remember and kept blurting out to Chris. Plus, excitingly I got to see them do their silly, splaying out legs thing, which I mentioned in my last giraffe-based post! It’ pretty funny to watch because they kind of shuffled down into the pose and then jumped back up when they were finished!

Giraffes at Cotswold Wildlife Park by Rachel Oates

Patagonian Maras

Another animal I recently blogged about is the awesome Rabbit-Dog Patagonian Mara. These funny little rodents are so much fun to watch because so often they’re just chasing each other around and they have such a brilliant, silly little run!

Unfortunately these guys were hiding a lot when we were there so I didn’t get many photos but here’s one showing just how adorable they are!

Patagonina Mara at Cotswold Wildlife Park by Rachel Oates

Tawny Frogmouths

This is another one I was pretty excited about! I recently posted about the incredibly cute, but bizarre-looking Sri Lankan Frogmouth. Unfortunately, this zoo didn’t have any of those, they did however, have Tawny Frogmouths which are very similar.

Tawny Frogmouths, however, are found in Australia and have slightly narrower beaks so they don’t look quite a strange – they’re still adorable though! It was exciting to see them to be honest because, even though they were in a zoo, they’re nocturnal so they often sleep through the day high up in trees and their markings can make them pretty difficult to spot at they tend to blend in well. However,these guys were just out in the open, snuggled together at the front of the cage! Very exciting!

Tawny Frogmouths at Cotswold Wildlife Park by Rachel Oates

Lions and Big Cats

I’m a huge fan of Big Cats – you know, Lions, Leopards, Wild Cats, Cheaters and especially TIGERS! Unfortunately, Cotswold Wildlife Park didn’t have any tigers (sniff!) but they did have some pretty awesome cats including lions and an adorable little Clouded Leopard.

Lion at Cotswold Wildlife Park by Rachel Oates

Clouded Leopard by Rachel Oates


THE MOST MAJESTIC OF ALL ANIMALS. I love capybaras. A lot. I think they’re wonderful. They’re the largest rodents in the world and they are truly majestic. The way they walk around they just know they’re awesome. They enjoy wallowing in little pools. They like eating and sleeping. They have awesome teeth for gnawing and are just wonderful.

Here’s a Majestic Capy looking majestic, even with a feather on his face:

Capybara by Rachel Oates


The otters were honestly probably one of my favourite parts of the day. When we first got to the enclosure they were all hiding but they soon came running out in a little group looking like they were on a mission. One little guy in particular looked pretty determined, he started sorting through plants, pulling out certain ones and arranging them in little piles (very organised!), which he then ran off and forgot about!

They’re so adorable and so much fun to watch playing, I really love them!

Otters by Rachel Oates

Otters by Rachel Oates

Otters by Rachel Oates

Other Highlights

Other amazing animals we saw throughout the day included, Chris’ favourites, the penguins! We also saw Prairie Dogs, Wolves (who are just big adorable dogs!), wolverines, meerkats, a 2-week-old baby rhino, red pandas, mongooses / mongeese (what is even the plural?!) and some awesome birds!

Penguins by Rachel Oates

Penguins by Rachel Oates

Wolf by Rachel Oates

Wolverine by Rachel Oates

Meerkats by Rachel Oates

Rhinos by Rachel Oates

Red Panda by Rachel Oates

Mongooses  by Rachel Oates

by Rachel Oates

Macaw by Rachel Oates

You can see more of my past wildlife photos over on my Photography Website.

Plus, because this awesome day was made possible by Chris make sure you head over and check out his blog – he’s an incredible writer and often posts about sports and music and a whole bunch of other interesting stuff!


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