Longleat’s African Summer celebrates 50th anniversary

Visitors are invited to join an African Summer of live celebrations (July 23-September 4) at Longleat to mark the 50th anniversary of its famous safari park.

The Wiltshire estate was the first place outside Africa to open a drive-through safari back in 1966 and to celebrate, it has unveiled a summer of entertainment.

Highlights include the ‘Pride of Longleat Parade’ with animatronic floats featuring some of the park’s most famous residents including monkeys, penguins and an original safari boat driven by meerkats.

The parades also include a giant ‘walking’ lion puppet created by the team behind the hit Warhorse theatre production, a troupe of African dancers as well as donkeys, Jacob’s sheep, runner ducks and African pygmy goats.

Longleat is also unveiling a new augmented reality attraction called ‘Air, Land & Sea’ which will “transport visitors to a world of digital animal adventure”.

Audiences will be able to interact on screen with everything, from African elephants and giraffes to polar bears and whales.

The park will also open ‘Little Explorers’ Garden’, a new themed adventure playground for younger children and a traditional carousel ride.

Other events this year include the new Sky Safari (September 16-18) which will feature more than 50 hot air balloons, including Longleat’s own ‘flying lion’, taking to the skies.