Visitors are being invited to join an ‘African Summer’ of live celebrations (July 23rd-Sept 4th) at Longleat to mark the 50th anniversary of its famous Safari Park.

African dancers at Longleat close up (2000x1328)

The Wiltshire estate was the first place outside Africa to open a drive through safari back in 1966. To celebrate this historic event it’s launching a spectacular summer of entertainment.

Among the highlights will be 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.

Longleat safari boat parade float (2000x1270)

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.

Flying lion hot air balloon in front of Longleat House (2000x1429)
This summer Longleat is also unveiling a brand new augmented reality attraction called ‘Air, Land & Sea’. Set around a mysterious watering hole in Longleat’s new Longhouse building, ‘Air, Land & Sea’ will transport visitors to a world of digital animal adventure.

Cutting-edge technology brings a host of magical animal experiences to life with audiences being able to interact on screen with everything from African elephants and giraffes to polar bears and whales.

In addition to the summer events taking place the park will be opening new attractions including ‘Little Explorers’ Garden’ – a new themed adventure playground for younger children and a traditional carousel ride.

New penguin float at Longleat (1971x1499)
The park is also showcasing ‘On The Wild Side’ a series of stunning new images which have been specially commissioned by Longleat to mark the 50th anniversary from the award-winning photographer, cameraman and TV wildlife presenter Simon King.

Other events this year include the all-new Sky Safari (Sept 16th-18th) which will feature more than 50 hot air balloons, including Longleat’s own ‘flying lion’, taking to the skies in a mass ascent along with a spectacular musical night glow on the Saturday night.

Longleat’s African Summer launches on July 23rd and is on daily until September 4th. For full information on opening times, events, activities, and to buy tickets online, go to

Donkey at Longleat (1328x2000)