Every time I have walked along Great Yarmouth Seafront there has been one building which has grabbed my attention but never actually went it. This time Little Bean spotted Amazonia World of Reptiles too and asked if we could go in so we did and I’m so pleased that we did.
I have always had a fascination with reptiles, as has Curly. From as young as I can remember Curly has been first in line to hold snakes around his neck or touching lizards and the like when they have been on display at different events. We went on holiday to Fuerteventura when he was 6 years old and he had a large Python placed around his shoulders without so much as a flinch.
The first thing you notice when you walk into Amazonia is just how warm it is, so if you’re in Great Yarmouth on a cold day, this is a great place to visit. For the health of the animals the climate has to be kept very warm because that is what they are used to, on the day we visited it was 28degrees though on hot days it can be even warmer. My Mum would have loved it!!
For those of you thinking that all the inhabitants of Amazonia are of the scaly kind, you’d be very much mistaken. The first pair of eyes that met mine as walked into the Reptile House were the gorgeous big dark eyes of a Sugar Glider. The Sugar Glider has a squirrel-like body with a long tail. They are native to Australia and surrounding islands. In their natural habitat they eat gum and sap usually from a eucalyptus tree or insects and arachnids.
The Meerkats were a big hit with the children and Curly was particularly intrigued when they were fed dead chicks which had been bought in frozen. They didn’t waste much time eating them at all!
I have always loved Iguanas, Geckos and Water Dragons so I was in photo glee with so many eager models! I particularly liked the Leopard Geckos who looked like they were covered in velvet, unfortunately I didn’t get as good a picture as I’d hoped.
In the centre of the Reptile House were two large ponds, one being the home a crocodile who was more than happy to smile for the camera and the other being the home of these turtles, I have never seen them pile themselves up like that before.
Of course, what would a reptile house be without snakes and there were plenty of them to keep the snake lovers happy! We loved the Boa, it was so inquisitive. Wherever you put your fingers on the glass the snake was sure to follow. There were quite a few varieties of snake but unfortunately I couldn’t take photographs of most of them because they were a bit camera-shy and kept hiding behind the trees.
The highlight of our day was holding a baby spectacled caiman crocodile, it was so cute it’s hard to believe that it could grow as big as 6-8ft. It is called a spectacled caiman because of the bony ridge between its eyes which gives the appearance of spectacles. Whilst they are young they live on a diet of insects, crustaceans and molluscs. When they are bigger they will eat fish and small mammals, then in adulthood they will eat larger mammals such as wild pigs although if there usual prey isn’t available they will hunt for new food.
If they didn’t grow so big and would be likely to eat a family member I could quite happily have taken one of them home!
We had a really fun time at Amazonia and the children loved it. The staff were really friendly and full of knowledge, it was clear to see that they loved their jobs and had a keen interest in the animals in their care. They are keen to educate people on the animals in their care and show that they aren’t animals to be frightened of which is why you can pay a little extra for the animal encounter which we did with the baby crocodile.
The entrance fees are very reasonable, we paid £18 for a family ticket, but if you visit their website you can print off a voucher which entitles visitors to claim up to £2.00 discount off their admission, so a family could get in for £16. You can also pay for animal encounters, we paid £5 for the baby crocodile encounter BUT if you paid for an animal encounter you were given a ticket which entitled you to a third of gifts purchased in the shop AND you can go back as many times as you like throughout the day. As I have mentioned previously, I love the all day tickets when you have small children because they very often fly around the attraction initially and then want to go back – so we did!
It is also worth mentioning that the gifts in the shop were the most reasonable I have come across in a gift shop for a long time, we bought Beanie Boy gorgeous Wild Animals board book, Little Bean chose a cuddly snake and Curly chose a meerkat and it cost less than £10!!!! Now that’s what I call a bargain!!!
Amazonia also do Kid’s “Jungle Trek” parties, and go out with their “Safari Roadshow” to visit schools and community organisations. If you want to be a “Keeper for a Day” – you can do that too.
They operate a “Reptile Rescue” service, – nationwide, – and do a lot of work experience training for college and veterinary students. Amazonia even manufacture most of the reptile, animal, and fantasy items you see in the shop www.amazoniagifts.co.uk (under construction, but active) or Amazonia-World on E-Bay.
Anybody who is interested in any of the above activities should always contact Amazonia by E-Mail on info@amazonia-worldofreptiles.
For more information about Amazonia you can visit their website by clicking below. Pay them a visit, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!