Well I've always been very negative about Knowsley and have always found it the worse of the Safari Parks in the UK, so today I ventured the short journey to see what progress or lack of progress there had been going into 2018, since my last visit 4 months ago. Having normally been £16.50 per adult entry, until February 10th entry is only £15.00 per car, so if you have any desire to visit it is quite cheap at present. The biggest change at the Safari park is the massive new Tiger exhibit being built next to the car park to the left of the Safari drive entrance. I got a few photo's of what I could and will upload them tomorrow. You start by seeing a big Amur sign, prior to a waterfall feature which runs through the exhibit and the walkway into it. The large high fencing, has around 5/6 viewing windows. They have raised areas, dens, water features and rock and overgrowth features and at this early stage it looks very impressive and is by far the biggest Tiger I have seen. Looking at it, it's set up a lot like Highland Wildlife Parks exhibit but about 3 times the size. It would be nice for once to actually be able to see the Tigers, something which the safari drive has eluded for many visits. They are also doing some work on the old Elephant paddock, which will give access to a grass paddock for Giraffes and also bringing in Blesbok as well. They currently out on the Safari drive, with the Bongo's and other antelope, but bringing them to the Foot Safari, see's the Park moving it's 3rd animal now to the foot safari, with only one new animal on the Drive. The Wolves exhibit is now completely finished with viewing on the front and also in the Woodland Trail. Sadly the Wolves exhibit is very wide open, with no real wooded section to it. The Wolves (2 older wolves) spend most of the time running around and always look a bit stressed, it's good viewing but I don't personally feel it is a good exhibit for the animal. It needs a lot more tree's and hideouts for the Wolves. A couple of Den's and about 3 tree's in the whole exhibit is not good for a woodland animal. The Sea Lion show remains unchanged and I really hope soon the Sea Lion's get an improved exhibit, the outside section for 4 Sea Lion's is too small, so whilst they have access to a big pool when shows are on, when they are kept outside the exhibit really isn't big enough. Continuing my little whinge, all the fencing in the Woodland Walk has now been removed with just the poles in the ground. This is disappointing. It was a good exhibit when the Elk were there and it could have been used for something like Lynx / Wolverine / Bears if they wanted to continue the Woodland theme, so sadly it will now just stay an empty area with a side view for the Wolves. The Bush Dogs weren't out today and their outside access was blocked off. Also the indoor viewing of them was fenced off. I'm not sure why, so could only guess maybe they are expecting babies? or they are under Vet treatment. The River Hogs seem happy in their new exhibit, and the Tapir and Sitatunga were on the graveled section of their exhibit, with the land by the train (currently closed) flooded somewhat. The old River Hog exhibit remains empty advising you, that you can see them by the Giraffe's now. The one plus for the park is the catering, the food is very good and not too expensive, the new Deli, does freshly made sandwiches (you can chose what you want), and they have 5 choices of bread. They also have a hot Carvery meat option and homemade soup. I know this isn't really what most Zoo Chatters look for, but it does make a change from package sandwiches which are days old, Pizza, Burger or Hot Dog options which is all most zoo's seem to offer nowadays. The fast food menu also now includes chicken dishes, pasta dishes, and my fav Chilli with either Rice or Chips. Was nice to see them also serving Jacket Potato's with a few options for fillings. Having exhausted the foot Safari in 30 minutes (having spent 15 of those minutes trying to get photos of the new tiger exhibit without being asked to move) I decided to go back to the car and on to the Safari Drive. Now given Knowsley is way bigger than any of the other Safari Drives in the Uk, it's also been disappointing the lack of lets say..... Animal's. Today was no different .... If you want to see lots of Deer and Antelope, Knowsley ticks the boxes but it could offer so much more. As always this time of year, the Rhino's were inside where you can't view them with no access to the paddocks, and asside from the mass collection of deer there wasn't a lot to see. The Zebra were confined to their house (you could see them in the distance) so no viewing of them, and for 2 paddocks (Where Rhino and Zebra should be) all you got to see was 2 Ostritch. The Baboons have always been the highlight here, as they are very active unlike Blair Drummond where the monkey's don't even jump on the cars or anything. The young camels were growing up fast and one decided to stick it's head through my passenger window to say hi. Where the Wolves used to be (A nice overgrown exhibit, suitable for Wolves) they have cut all the grass, so it's now like a paddock and it has Vicuna (Not listed on website yet, so may be new arrivals?) and Capybara in there. This seems odd to have them right by the Lions and Tigers and seems a bit out of place, and not really a good attraction by the carnivores. Again this exhibit could have been used for something so much better (Cheatah, Puma, Jackal, Hyena). The Lion's one male and 5 females were out and active and playing. Some got up close to my car so I got a couple of nice pictures. It was annoying that having been there 10 minutes, the keepers were then calling them into the fenced off area by chucking meat in there, as it was starting to rain so they were removing them from the drive through section, most disappointing. The Tigers I did not see. The big paddock prior to the Lions contains Bison and an Elk. They used to mingle together but now the Elk prefers the wooded section,whilst the Bison are on the plain. There are 7 Bison by the looks and just the one Elk, the female from the pair, after the male died in 2016. She always looks lonely to me, but there are no plans to get another Male, and the female may be moved on in due course I was told, which would be a shame as it would be yet another of Knowsley's more exciting animals to depart and disappear off the Safari Drive. Finally as you leave you get to see the Somali Ass and Eastern Kiang and they (The Kiang) looked to have a couple of young with them. Unfortunately I failed to see any Wildebeast or Forest Buffalo so I am unsure if they were just moved offshow for winter, or they have left the collection. For me for all the space Knowsley has, the fact it's Safari Drive nowadays feels just like a collection of Deer and Antelope and other Ungulates is most disappointing. When the Tigers move to the foot Safari, it will only be Lions as main attractions on the drive and it's said they will be using the old Tiger exhibit to spread the 20 lions out across more, I personally find this disappointing rather than adding a new species of something. I don't think I'll be going again until the Tiger and Besbok exhibit are finished, but I do hope they spend some time bringing in new animals for the Safari Drive as it's starting to get boring and they badly need some new attractions. The other nightmare was about the 200 potholes everywhere on the Safari Drive, given they only open 5 days a week at present, they should make sorting them a priority, you find yourself zig zag driving not to wreck your tyres, something you wont get a luxury to do when it's busy in the summer, so I do hope, they resurface the roads or fill the many potholes in soon ! It's still the worse Safari Park in the UK in my opinion. Photo's of new Tiger exhibit and other things will be posted in gallery tomorrow.