Paradise Wildlife Park
White Stubbs Lane,
Herts EN10 7QA
Tel: 01992 470490
About Paradise Wildlife Park
Situated in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, Paradise Wildlife Park offers visitors the opportunity to explore the exotic world of animals as diverse as camels, zebras, big cats, monkeys, birds and reptiles, with a unique interactive element. Unlike most zoos, at Paradise Park you can actually touch and feed many of the animals in its vast collection – a feature that families will particularly enjoy.
New additions to the Park in recent years include a rare white lion, a white tiger, a beaver colony and the Tumble Jungle indoor play zone for children, where adults can enjoy Starbucks coffee. Families will also enjoy the three themed children’s playgrounds, rides, the Paradise Lagoon paddling pool, tractor trailer expeditions, adventure golf, a gold-panning attraction and the chance to board the Dinosaur Woodland Railway. The Park, a privately-owned establishment, also operates a free minibus service from Broxbourne train station for anyone arriving from London.
As well as offering the chance to encounter wildlife in accessible settings, the Park prides itself on its conservation message, holding regular fundraising activities for its own charity, the Friends of Paradise Wildlife Park. This organisation, run entirely by volunteers, also works on raising awareness of green issues such as recycling and energy conservation.
The wildlife collection at the Park is wide-ranging, with a particularly impressive big cat enclosure for cheetahs, lions, jaguars, tigers and snow leopards. Many of these animals have produced offspring in recent years, marking the Park’s tangible contribution to the future of their species as a part of the European Endangered species Programme (EEP). The technical nature of the programme – which aims to maintain genetic variety in the various species in order for them to proliferate – can be explained to you by any of the many keepers who are on hand to guide you through the Park and answer any questions you may have.
Elsewhere in the Park the visitor can engage with a variety of animals such as Brazilian tapirs, one of which recently produced a baby calf. Further on the visitor will find wallabies, capybara (a kind of giant South American rodent), mara, hog deer, camels, alpacas and zebras. Most of these animals can be fed by hand by the visitors, although the staff warn that animals such as camels can occasionally take an interest in your non-food items too!
Visitors can also step into the Wonders Of The Rainforest exhibition, where animals such as endangered tamarins, two-toed sloths and lesser hairy armadillos reside. These creatures are rarely seen outside the bigger UK zoos, so the chance to interact with them is one that all visitors should take up. More intimidating creatures are available for inspection, too, thankfully behind glass, including the residents of the Angkor Reptile Temple, where you can get up close and personal with snakes, turtles, hissing cockroaches from Madagascar and a Chinese alligator. Together with lemurs and meerkats, a large section of the animal world is available for viewing here.
Apart from the animal collection, Paradise Wildlife Park offers a series of rides and attractions aimed at the younger members of the family. Keeper talks are scheduled daily on a variety of subjects to remind visitors of the Park’s educational goals as well as its focus as a wildlife sanctuary, and the many play areas dotted around the Park will ensure that a full and varied day is had by everyone. Take a stroll along the Ancient Woodland Walk, a path that links the adventure playground and the Funland attraction: this performs the essential function of reminding visitors of the the remarkable countryside to be enjoyed at home in the UK without needing to travel abroad to more exotic climes. In particular, walkers along this beautiful pathway will be introduced to and informed about local animals such as owls, foxes and deer. The path also emphasises the importance of the role of conservation in Britain’s flora and fauna, managed by the Park’s Gardening Team.
All visitors are welcome at the Park, thanks to a range of activities suitable for both able-bodied and disabled customers. In the Adventure Playground children love the Pirates’ Cove installation, the popular Thomas The Tank Engine and the Special Place. Safari Sam’s restaurant is recommended before a visit to a series of further attractions, including the Woodland Railway, bouncy castles, the helter-skelter, the roundabout, Canyon Trucking and Manning’s Amusements near the Great Ormond Street Garden in the centre of the Park. In the summer months a very popular activity for family members is a swim in the Paradise Lagoon, where entry is free of charge and complementary swimming nappies are supplied for babies. Add to this the Jungle Trading Post, a store with the full range of souvenirs and wildflife-themed goods, the On-Safari Crazy Golf, Panning For Gold and Crazy Sand Cabin (some of which require a small entrance fee) and it’s clear that the wide range of attractions on offer will be popular for years to come. With so much to do in one location, it’s little wonder that many visitors take the opportunity to become members and come back to enjoy all the attractions again and again.
With so much on offer, it’s easy to forget the real point of the Park, which is to serve as a focus for wildlife conservation and preservation. However, it appears that the managers of this unique collection have pulled off the tricky task of combining a fun location for the family with a serious facility that works towards a goal of worldwide importance – conservation of animals. Few other zoos in England can make the same claim with any credibility, outside the great historical collections in London and at Whipsnade – and it’s all the more to the Park’s credit that it continues to meet its lofty goals with little more than the support of the paying public. Visit Paradise Wildlife Park safe in the knowledge that you are helping to support a new and unique kind of collection, one whose objectives are as worthy of achievement as its attractions are entertaining.