Location: Islands, Chester Zoo
A new, exciting feature at Chester Zoo are their 'islands' - six tropical environments to wander around that reflect six South East Asian islands including Bali, Panay, Papua, Sumatra, Monsoon Forest, Sumba and Sulawesi. As somebody who is ACHING to explore South East Asia, this was a treat for me and something that I think is an amazing addition to the zoo. Hopefully it's going to give children a sense of a huge world out there to see, but also make people realise that the beautiful creatures that they see have a homeland that needs to be protected, and will make us all a little more aware of the lands these species and plants come from.
Okay, this post is a little photo heavy, but the Islands were amazing to explore and for a short while transported us to a different world: the set up is beautiful and feels like you've left the zoo and dived into South East Asia. You can see so many different plants and animals - some of which can only be found on these islands in the entire world which, sorry to be a total nerd, but I found really cool! You can even get a little boat to give you a tour, and there's also places to eat and drink like Manado Town which has a street kitchen where you can purchase some of the 'local' cuisine to make your adventure more authentic. There's also loads of little aspects which make this feel genuine; from the Tigers in Sumatra to the Starlings at the Bali temple, there's loads to see and enjoy.
Islands is a permanent part of Chester Zoo now and is free to enter, it has its own 'zone' which you will see on your free map when you arrive at the zoo. If you'd like to plan ahead and read more about the Islands, click here where you can view a virtual map of the islands, read how the animals are settling in and watch a video of how the Islands project began and became a reality. I would really recommend visiting Chester Zoo and putting some time aside to explore everything that the South East Asian experience has to offer! If you'd like to read more about my visit, check out The Zoo.