I feel like I’m back in Africa. I’ve just driven past a herd of zebra and wildebeest and am now staring down a large male lion. I’m attempting to get the perfect photo when a small yellow Citroën drives in front of me. It’s a reminder that I’m still in France and the animals are fenced into 80 hectares of land just south of Nantes. The other giveaway is the fast food picnic stop and the souvenir shop selling stuffed animals and fridge magnets. Well it was good to dream for a while.
I found myself with time on my hands and decided to while away the day at Planete Sauvage – France’s answer to Longleat. I‘m taking Trixie through the self-drive Safari Trail and she is glad that the rhinos and elephants are separated from us by a deep ditch. The animals don’t seem very happy, but that could just be due to the horrendous overnight weather. Strong winds felled trees and the heavy rain has yet to be soaked up by the rich fertile earth. The Madagascan Lemurs don’t want to play and the meerkats are all huddled in a wooden box filled with straw. Only the dolphins seem unperturbed by the rain as they put on a spectacular show for the determined, but damp audience.