Luz – a day at the zoo

Yesterday, Tue 20/12/16, was a very pleasant day. 21°C, no wind, no cloud. So it was perfect for a family trip to Lagos Zoo. The zoo is not a traditional zoo – it does not have any large animals, though it boasts that it spans 5 continents. It is basically a zoo for very young children, and it does well in that respect.

Our family group arrived at the zoo around 11.15am and left at about 3.30pm. This is plenty of time to pack in sunshine vitamin D, lots of animals, and our daughter managed to clock up 5,500 steps during the visit, according to her step recorder.

What do the kids get in Lagos Zoo? Check out the photo below for a sample. Please make note of the blackish blob on the LHS, as it will turn up again.


The zoo has a collection of small animals. For example, it has meerkats. Despite the fact these meerkats have no predators in the zoo, they still stand upright to check on what is going on around them.

Then there is Lucas and Lulu. These are bigger than chimpanzees but smaller than apes. Lucas, the male, chose to stay in the background out of way of the visitors. Lulu, the female, went exactly the opposite way. She came down and strutted her stuff for the cameras. I swear she can lip-synch. And she threw in every pose a super-model would be proud of.

At lunchtime, there was a choice between a fairly traditional Portuguese restaurant offering a good value menu and a snack bar offering snack meals. The youngsters outvoted the oldies so it was the snack bar, al fresco. A tuna pizza (fine), a pizza diavolo (fine), a hamburger (tasteless). Three portions of chips when only two could be eaten.

Lagos Zoo stocks mainly different types of birds, and lunchtime brought another. There was a peacock free to roam loose, and it had decided the outdoor part of the snack bar the al fresco part, was the place to try for a treat or two.

Having re-fuelled the family, it was time to set off again. There were hippos to be seen. Here’s one of the pair.


This hippo’s rear end is the one that appears in the first photo. But if you are wondering how Lagos Zoo can have only small animals whilst having hippos, the answer is easy. These are pygmy hippos.

One of our grandkids indulged in a portion of popcorn. There was a Rudolph the Reindeer, aka the lady who works in the Alloro Italian restaurant in Luz. She would repeatedly sneak up on our 6-year old and give him a hug. While she was doing this she would nick a little of his popcorn. Then she would make a big play of supposedly eating the popcorn. Our grandchild absolutely loved this.

After Rudolph the Reindeer, there was a seasonal trip to meet Santa. I do have a photo of that, and I consider it to be particularly nice. But after being the subject of crass reporting by the Mirror a couple of months ago, I am not inclined to post such photos on-line.

After a frenetic visit to the zoo, it was time to return to our home and just have a little bit of quiet or down time. We sat outside because the weather was still fine. We kicked off with a “Dutch tea”, which has nothing to do with tea but is a mix of herbs and spices. Then we moved on to English tea but by then the sun was going down over the trees and the temperature was dropping. At 4.30pm al fresco was over, it was time to go indoors. A nice day over.


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