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Aspinall Trip!

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by ShonenJake13, 16 Oct 2016.

  1. ShonenJake13

    ShonenJake13 Well-Known Member

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    Hello all!

    So I am planning on continuing on my quest to visit all of the top 10 zoos in England this year (going from a list I found on the Internet, not official). Being a London resident I visit there regularly, and this year I have also visited Twycross, Whipsnade and most recently Chester. Next on the list is, as the title gives away, Howletts and Port Lympne! Myself and pocket (my co-pilot in this endeavour) will be visiting both on one weekend; Howletts on the Saturday and Port Lympne on the Sunday. Currently looking at some point in November.

    Anyone have any highlights/good route tips? Also, me being me, the gorillas will be my main must-see; are all 5 (technically 6, if you count Sidonie being separated as a group) groups at Howletts and all 3 groups at Port Lympne onshow, and if so where in each collection?

    I currently have the Howletts groups down as the following:

    Djanghou, Kwimba, Sanki, Kimba, Kidiki, Masindi, Kisane, Nkoumou, Affy, Jouki, Soundi

    Shumba, Juma, Dihi, Emmie, Ebeki, Joshi, Kiju

    Mushi, Sidonie (lives separated from the group), Tambabi, Kifu, Bamilla, Emba

    Tebe, Sammi, Kibara

    Baby Doll


    And the Port Lympne groups as:

    Tamba, Kouillou, Sangha, Matibe, Jubi, Mambi, Viringika, Oundi, Boula, Bou, Kabale, Koundi

    Kangu, Kebu, Kouyou, Fubu

    Mataki, Ambam, Timbou, Kush, Djimu


    After these Paignton, Colchester, Bristol and Marwell are on the list!! :D
     
    Last edited: 16 Oct 2016
  2. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    At Howletts they apparently closed off the 'old Gorillas' area( the kitchen garden area) when new male Sammi first arrived a few weeks back, but I'm sure its open again by now.I doubt you will be able to see Sidonie though.

    Gorilla areas at Howletts are divided into 'new Gorillas' near the entrance (Kifu and Ebeki groups) and 'old gorillas' in kitchen garden at other end of the park furthest from the car park(the Djanghou and Sammi groups + Baby Doll on her own). Baby Doll is well worth seeing as she is the last of their very earliest gorilla group and incidentally the great grandmother of their new male Sammi from Givskud.

    At Port Lympne there is nowadays no access to the covered/indoor house of the oldest male group(Ambam etc). Two of these males(Timbou & Mataki) live seperately from the others and don't access the outside, so those two are nowadays invisible to the public. The other group of four can be seen both indoors and out, though both groups are often invisible in the open for long periods. They used to have 'talk and feeds' for them when you could guarantee seeing them outside, but I think nowadays they may have transferred it just to the breeding(Kouillou) group in the large Palace of the Apes. Its worth going to as they do all come outside for a short while then.

    Overall I do far prefer Howletts, both for seeing the gorillas close-up and since the Safari-style transformation of PL but you can still access all the Primates there on foot.

    I can probably answer other specific queries if you have them.
     
  3. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    The important thing for gorilla viewing at PL is to check the times of the outdoor feeds as these are the only times when you can be sure of seeing them in their paddocks, where you get the best views. The website says noon and 3 pm, but I'd check on arrival. I usually try to see the breeding group at the first feed and the bachelors for the second, because the light is better for photography that way round. These areas are too far apart to get quickly from one to the other.
    There are plenty of other interesting primates and carnivores to see; note that the site is beautiful, but very steep in places so stout footwear is required.

    Alan
     
  4. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if they still do them for the male-only groups. He should probably check.
     
  5. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    The website says so - but, as I said before, check on arrival.

    Alan
     
  6. ShonenJake13

    ShonenJake13 Well-Known Member

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    Perfect :) I shall do indeed!
     
  7. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    The 'old ' Gorilla area was open when I was there last week.
     
  8. ShonenJake13

    ShonenJake13 Well-Known Member

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    Are the gorillas profiles signed at the zoo? Also, what other highlight species should I look out for in both zoos? (planning on going to both the 12th and 13th November)
     
  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    No they aren't. There are simple black/white nameplates listing the members of the groups by name (you will find photos of them somewhere back in the gallery no doubt) with their d.o.b. but that's all. No other means of identification.

    With regard to other highlights, a bit too numerous to mention-depends what you are most interested in really. Elephants, black rhino, small cats, old world primates, I could go on.
     
  10. ShonenJake13

    ShonenJake13 Well-Known Member

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    Are the Sumatran surilis onshow at Howletts? Also, what are the chances of seeing honey badgers?
     
  11. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about the Surilis.

    Last time I saw both male and female Honey Badgers, currently in seperate enclosures because the female has bred recently. You should see at least one of them I would think. They are just before the 'old' gorilla area.
     
  12. ShonenJake13

    ShonenJake13 Well-Known Member

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    I hope so! Both are on my list :)
     
  13. Swampy

    Swampy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the surilis are on show.
     
  14. ShonenJake13

    ShonenJake13 Well-Known Member

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    This weekend will be the weekend we go! Following a recommendation from Nisha, we have decided to visit Wingham and Howletts on the Saturday, and Port Lympne still on the Sunday. I will post reviews of the trip in a separate thread, and will be sure to include my thoughts on the chimp enclosure and chimps themselves (!) at Wingham :)
     
  15. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    We look forward to your thoughts :)