When traveling up to Cromer for day trips we have always spotted Amazona Zoo signs. Yet it is a place we have never visited. As soon as I booked our holiday cottage in Cromer I knew we would have to make a trip to Amazona Zoo.
Situated a mile away from Cromer town centre the Amazona Zoo is home to over 200 tropical animals from South America. These include jaguars, monkeys, snakes, flamingos and tapirs.
The raised wooden walkway to the zoo’s entrance makes you feel like you are being transported to South America rather than being in Norfolk. Adam opted to explore the water way first. Here he got close to Chilean Flamingos and a variety of ducks and geese.
The walkway led us up a small hill where we had our first experience of Mara’s. Otherwise known as Patagonian Hares I thought the creatures looked like a cross between a small deer and a rabbit. In the wild they can be found in Argentina and can move up to 35 kph. At Amazona Zoo the Maras are left to roam wild around the grass areas and several had babies with them. Adam was fascinated by them.
One highlight of our visit was seeing the American River Otter. He was much bigger than the European Otters we usually see in zoos. The otter was extremely playful and we were able to watch him swim backwards and forwards along the glass enclosure. Just listen to Adam’s excitement:
I was surprised by how many animals there were at the zoo that I had never heard of. Despite frequently visiting zoos I found myself having to read most of the information boards just to find out more about the animals. For example I had never seen a Brazillian Tapir or a Capybara before. You could get close to most of the animals too.
After our first walk around Amazona Zoo Adam wanted to check out the Rainforest Springs outdoor play area. As well as a large climbing frame the play area had two new large jumping pillows. This was Adam’s first experience of jumping pillows and he was in his element bouncing around. The outdoor play area gave us an opportunity to enjoy a cup of tea. However, we did have to walk back to the main entrance to get a cup of tea from the Jungle Cafe.
After finally persuading Adam to leave the jumping pillows we went to explore the Tropical House and Spider Enclosure. The walkway to the entrance of the tropical house took us up through the monkey enclosure. Once inside Adam got his first sight of Spectacled Caimans. These are close relatives of alligators and usually bask on the banks of rivers in South America. You should have seen Adam’s face when one of them moved!
Adam’s other highlights in the zoo included hearing the amazing call of the Giant Woodrail, getting close to the Burrowing Owl and spending more time with the American River Otter.
Not only does Amazona Zoo have a large outdoor play area but through the gift shop you can find Jungle Tumbles. This is a well equipped soft play area suitable for children under 12. The indoor play area kept Adam amused for ages, especially when playing with the air jets and the ball pool balls.
Amazona Zoo is the perfect venue for young children to get close to animals. It is an ideal size for small children and appeared to be pushchair friendly. Despite its small size we were able to walk around the zoo several times and noticed new animals on each trip around. Not only did Adam enjoy visiting the animals but he loved the two play areas too. It was a wonderful additional adventure to our Cromer holiday.
Check out our other adventures around Norfolk:
Disclaimer: We were given a family ticket to Amazona Zoo to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.