“ Address: Spring Grove / Bewdley / Worcestershire DY12 1lF / Telephone: +44(0)1299 402114 „
I went to West Midland Safari park in July 2011 and July 2013, both times it was fab.
The ticket price is £17.99 for adults and £12.99 for children, which I think is quite acceptable. Obviously not cheap enough to do it every weekend, but as a birthday treat it's fab.
When buying your ticket, you're given a free ticket to return until the end of the season, which is fantastic! So really, you get 2 visits for the ticket price, as long as you remember to come back!
You can purchase animal food at the beginning which you can feed to the animals throughout the safari drive, which is a fabulous way of getting close to the animals!
There is a great range of animals on the safari, from giraffes to elephants and tigers to rhinos!
After the drive around, you get out of your car and there is an amusement park and small zoo. The zoo is great, there are meerkats, goats, birds, bats everything you could think of! When comparing a trip to West Midlands Safari park and a trip to the zoo, I would always say the safari park is better as you get the best off both worlds!
Both times, I went with another adult and we had a great time, I would imagine if you took kids it would be even better!
A few weeks ago, a friend and I decided that we would have a day out on the weekend. My friend thought it was absolutely atrocious that I have never visited the Safari Park, when it is so close to where we live! Well, according to my mum I have, but I certainly don't remember ("of course you've been. You were in a pushchair! Although, now I think, it might have been your sister").
The West Midlands Safari Park is located in Bewdley in Worcestershire. The website contains a helpful list of directions depending on what direction you arrive from. However, once you get to Kidderminster, if there's a line of traffic standing still, you are probably in the right place! I recommend getting there early. We got there 5 minutes after the park opened and we still sat in traffic approaching the park and at the gates.
Upon arriving at the Safari Park, there is often a queue at the ticket booths, where people will be trying to sell you programmes and animal feed etc. We figured that there was not really any point buying a programme, as you get a map and a small leaflet with your ticket anyway. The entrance fee is quite steep, at £16.99 per adult (over 16's) and £12.99 for children (although under 3's are free). However, the Safari Park is running an offer at the moment where you get free entry on another occasion when you buy your ticket (although take the same car as they record your registration plate!).
After paying, you go through to the Safari Drive Through. Now, I had some idea of what to expect, but when you get there it really is amazing when there's a rhinoceros wondering past your window! The safari drive through has rhinos, elephants, zebras, giraffes, ankole cattle, dholes, african wild dogs, and the bit I was desperate to see, the white lions and that's just to name a few. It is really an incredible drive, seeing all these animals and it was most definitely my favourite bit of the entire day! There are safari trucks driving around, to make sure that the animals don't wander into the road, thereby holding up the traffic. The staff also make sure you're not lingering too long at any point so that the traffic keeps flowing! We went on a pretty hot day, where there were cars overheating and all sorts, but the staff seemed pretty helpful in assisting. Just make sure that you follow the instructions around the self-drive as it tells you when to shut your windows and lock your doors!
After the self drive, it leads to the car park for the rest of the site. Once you find a space, you're free to explore the rest of the park at your leisure. There are so many different attractions that it's easy to spend the rest of your day here!
Penguin Cove - this was my second favourite bit of the park. The park has a collection of Humboldt Penguins which are native to Peru and Northern Chile. The penguin enclosure is new to the park but consists of a large pool area for the penguins, a house and a mini beach. The sides of the enclosure are perspex so that you can see the penguins swimming around and being incredibly cute! We thought it was pretty good that there was also a member of the park staff giving a bit of a talk about the penguins. How about an interesting fact...? These penguins have spiky tongues so that once they've caught a fish, it can't escape again! One thing that really surprised me was that these penguins are actually listed as vulnerable as they are being gradually threatened in the wild, by hunters and human development, which is an incredibly saddening thought.
Sea Lion theatre - the park has a collection of Californian sea lions, which give shows about their skills. They seem to learn pretty fast and they have a whole variety of ball skills etc. The shows are pretty frequent, however you need to book so its worth planning ahead so that you don't miss out on a show.
Reptile House - I'll admit I spent most of this peeking out from between my fingers as I'm a teensy bit scared of snakes. But I was put slightly at ease by the helpful chap giving a talk outside of the reptile house on the reasons snakes bite etc as I thought that they pretty much attacked indiscriminately rather than only when threatened. But they still send shivers down my spine! There are a lot of other cool things to look at though, like lizards and other things. I was pleased that I actually went in although it involved some creeping along as far away as I could get from the snakes. Yes, I'm aware they are in tanks and behind thickened glass... they still creep me out though!
Bat House - I wasn't too sure what to expect with the bat house, but it's totally worth a visit. You enter through some thick hangings and it's quite dark (and smells horrible!), but your eyes adjust quickly to the light and it becomes much easier to see. There are bats flying around above your head which is really incredible. If you look carefully, you may see them hanging from the walls and flying past you at great speed. I was slightly apprehensive at first, but it was so worth the visit.
Meerkat enclosure - this was my all time favourite part of the park... (I'm easily pleased!). There is a pack of meerkats which I think are really interesting and incredibly cute. Also, when we were there, some babies had just been born! There is an information board alongside the enclosure, as meerkats work in a pack, it tells you the job roles and what they do! There was a meerkat sitting on high on the top of the middle bit of the enclosure. Originally, I thought, well he's clearly the dude of the pack, but no, he was the lookout which would protect the rest of the pack when building shelter in the wild. They were incredibly cool. Simples!
Lemur wood - there is a lemur wood, which is a short walk through the lemur enclosure. I had thought that they would be difficult to spot, but slightly closer to the end, they were all out of the grass enjoying the sun shine!
Goat trail - if you or your little 'uns fancy feeding some goats, I'd recommend heading for the goat trail, which is a short walk around the goat enclosure. You can buy goat feed and the goats eat out of your hands, which is pretty cool in my opinion!
Also, park staff and volunteers are wondering around all the time with some of the smaller animals and do mini talks about what the animal is, what they do etc. I discovered that millipedes are rather cool to hold! It's legs cling to the back of your hand and it feels surprisingly smooth!
From having known some people at university that were studying animal type courses, I know that the Safari Park does quite a lot of research with students, both undergraduates and post graduates which aims to further the welfare of the animals. As well as this, they have a conservation project to conserve biodiversity and to try and prevent animals from becoming endangered. It's a sad thought that some of these fascinating animals are closer and closer to becoming extinct. All around the park are information boards advising of the animals status, i.e. extinct in the wild, endangered, vulnerable etc. It shows that the captive animals from around the world would assist greatly with reintroduction into the wild, or growing the population etc. It's worth your while taking the time to read the information boards around the park, as they are full of fascinating information.
If you are taking children with you, there are rides and attractions at the park to keep them entertained. However, the rides are not part of your ticket and you pay separately for a ride wrist band. The wrist band price for an adult is £11.99 or £10.99 for a child; or 3 ride tickets for £6. Personally, we didn't think it was worth it as we thought it was quite pricey but I can see that it could be a useful additional extra if you have kids (or slightly bigger kids!) in tow.
If you're a bit peckish while you're there, there are a number of food outlets and a cafe in the park for you to sit down and have some lunch. The prices can be a bit steep so we didn't have lunch there, but I can recommend the benches around the park if you take your own lunch with you!
The useful thing is that all around the park are handwash stations and regular reminders to wash your hands. It's useful being able to wash your hands with hot water and soap after stroking the animals!
Overall, I can't believe I've not been to the Safari Park before, its a brilliant day out even if you don't have any children with you. There's so much to do and learn that you can easily use your return trip and not be bored. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and have so many interesting facts for you to find out about. I would say that the biggest drawbacks are the price and also how busy it gets. If you have a free weekday, I'd recommend going then. We went on a bank holiday Monday and it was absolutely packed, even after getting there for very shortly after the opening time! With it being so close to where I live, I frequently see the queues at the weekend so I know that it gets really busy. My advice... arrive early!
The opening times for the park are daily from 10am - 9pm, even on the weekends, so you'll be able to fit in all the good stuff!
I have spent many days out at West Midlands Safari park as a child and they were always very memorable. Since having my own children I have been a handful of times but each time it has gotten worse and worse and I will explain this as I go on.
Lets face it.. the price of any day out is usually the big factor of where you end up choosing. What attracts you about West Midland Safari park is that you seem to get a lot for your entrance fee and you get a FREE return admission ticket within that year. What they don't tell you is that it has to be in the same car and on many times we have had a new car by the time we have gone again so were unable to use this!
The price to get into the safari park has gone up at least £2 per person in the last few years. The Prices are currently:
Adults 16-64years: £16.99
Children 3-15years: £12.99
Under 3's: Free
Now I find this very expensive baring in mind you then have to pay to get on any of the rides inside the park and you use lots of petrol queuing to actually get round the safari park itself. The ride prices are:
Adult Wristband - £11.99 (16-64yrs)
Child Wristband - £10.99 (Up to 15yrs)
Concessions - £10.99 (Available to Seniors, Students & Disabled visitors, with valid ID)
This is absolutely ridiculous price when there are not many rides anyway and you have just paid £16.99 each to get in the safari park! So for my family of 5 this has already cost me £140 in just entrance fees!!
This is the main reason which has put me off this zoo as my local zoo which has rides and is massive is only £12 to get in each and this includes everything!!
When you get there you can choose weather or not you want to drive around the safari first or go and walk round the leisure park. Usually we get there on opening time and its fairly empty but we have never been where there has been no queuing. There are several reserves that you drive through, some you can have your window down and feed the animals and others you have to have your window up. They do have a range of animals but most of the time they are lying far back so you can see anything and when an animal is up close you tend to get one greedy driver who will just sit next to the animal for ages and not let anybody else have a look. This is a major factor of why queuing gets so bad and its also not fair. The children get bored of waiting around and you end up juts bypassing a lot of the animals.
It is fantastic when you get the animals come up to your window, I was looking forward to seeing the giraffes and lions when I last went which was March 2013. But unfortunately they were nowhere to be seen! I was really disappointed about this and felt it was a waste of time as these were the main big animals you expect to see. After driving for about 2 hours around the safari you can then park up and go into the leisure park.
The leisure park consists of a few great things such as a sea lion show. This lasts for around 5 minutes but there is a lot of seats and my children enjoyed seeing the animals up close and jumping around! They have free flying bats and because its so dark inside you cant actually see them but you can feel them fly past you and around your feet. There is a reptile house and a fish/aquarium room. If its busy it is very hard to actually look at these as its very small, especially when you have pushchairs.
They do have a new lemur walk where you walk with them through the woods and they swing over your head and come right up to you. This is a new aspect that I thought was brilliant to get so up close to the animals!
Then at the bottom of the leisure park is a restaurant which I have never been in as I normally take a picnic in the car so I cant comment of the price or food in there. There is a small arcade bit with your usual slot machines and soft toy grabbers and then the rides. A lot of them have height restrictions and there is hardly any rides for smaller children. I paid for the wrist band before I went in expecting there to be quite a lot but I think my children went on 1 ride each! Defiantly not worth the 12.99 each!! You can get individual tickets for the rides which are about £6.00 each but I never realized this at the time and ended up buying the wristbands for no reason! There are small gift shops and takeaway shops at the entrance which are over priced but not surprising there!
Overall I think this would be a decent park if the prices were took down! Or at least made the rides included in the main ticket price this has put me off ever going again!
I visited the West Midland Safari Park a few times as a child, and after recently being given some free tickets I thought I would visit again. The Safari Park is located in Bewdley in Worcestershire and is fairly well sign posted from the M5.
Upon arrival you drive to the kiosk where you pay for entry to the safari and the park (excluding rides), which costs £14.99 for adults and £12.99. This then allows you access to the Safari which you can choose to drive through straight away or you can visit the park and drive through later.
The Safari takes around an hour, where you drive through the various animals in your own car. Animals include Zebra, Giraffe, Rhino, Deer Tigers and Cheetah. I was slightly disappointed with this as it felt as though we were driving round incredibly slowly as people in other cars were taking photographs of animals causing traffic to queue back but as there only seemed to be a few of each animal it felt like a lot of waiting. I also expected to see Monkeys as they are the animal I remember as a child, climbing over the car; however, I'm told they contracted foot and mouth a few years previously so are no longer there.
Once we had finished the Safari we parked the car and headed into the main park, as it was a typical British day of pouring rain we headed straight to the rides rather than visiting the Sea Lion show or the Penguin Cove. The rides require a wristband which can be purchased for £11.99 per adult and £10.50 per child, this allows you to go on as many rides as you want to (individual tickets can also be purchased). The Safari Park is about the animals so doesn't compete with some of the major theme parks but it does have a couple of big roller coasters and thrill seeker rides as well as a log flume, water rapid ride and bumper cars. There are also several children's rides and a helter skelter, so plenty of variety but not a large number of rides.
We had a good day out, we enjoyed looking at the various animals in the safari even if it was a little slow. We didn't spend too long around the theme park rides due to the rain as we were soaked through but the time we did spend was enjoyable. This was followed by a picnic (again sat in the car due to the British weather!). Although we had a good day I had been given free tickets, I'm not sure if we had paid for the day it would have been value for money.
I've wanted to visit West Midlands Safari Park for quite a while now although as I don't drive I haven't really had chance to. I've never really fancied the idea of taking a coach trip to the park as I just don't think it would be the same as being in your own vehicle going at your own pace. A few weeks ago my best friend passed her driving test so I filled up her petrol tank and forced her to take me!
----- Location & Getting To The Park -----
West Midlands Safari Park is located in Bewdley, Worcestershire, West Midlands and is accessed via the A456. If travelling with a SatNav the postcode for the park is DY12 1LF.
The nearest train station to the park is Kidderminster, approximately four miles away. Kidderminster bus station is located half a mile away from the train station where regular buses stop right outside the park. If travelling to the safari park without your car the park offer guided bus tours for an extra charge of £4.25 per person, under 3s travel free.
-----Admission Prices & Opening Times -----
Admission Prices are as follows:
Adult (16-64) - £14.99
Child (3-15) - £12.99
Under 3's - free
Senior Citizen - £13.99
Disabled - £13.99
Student - £13.99
All admissions also include a free return ticket. These prices do not include access to the amusements and rides at the park, admission for which is paid separately and costs £11.50 for an adult and £10.99 for children, senior citizens, students and disabled people.
Currently, tickets can booked online via the safari park's website (www.wmsp.co.uk) for a 10% discount.
The park closes during weekdays in November and the last week of December through to the second week of February, it is still open during weekends during these times. The park opens at 10am, 9am on bank holidays, and last entry is between 3pm and 8pm depending on the season/day you attend. We went during the summer peak period where last admission was 5pm with the park closing at 6pm.
----- The Safari -----
The four mile safari (6.4km) takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to complete on quiet days and is home to 40+ different species of animals from around the world. As this is a safari it allows a more up close and personal experience with these animals than zoos tend to offer. For a real intimate feel you can purchase special diet animal food from either the entrance booth or the gift shops within the walking areas of the park. This food can be fed to the deer, goats and cattle during the safari who will happily come and eat out of your hands! I would personally recommend purchasing this food as it adds a lot more to the safari experience and for £3 you get a reasonable amount too! It's definitely worth the money in my opinion.
The safari is home to the only pride of White Lions in the UK, all ten of which are a magnificent and rare sight. Even out of the UK there are not many places to see these rare predators as the vast majority of them are bred in South Africa exclusively for hunting. In fact, there are only thought to be around 500 in the world. Despite them having a whole load of space to wonder around in, we found all of these Lions simply huddled up together having a early afternoon snooze. A very precious sight and, unless I got back to the safari park again, probably the only sighting of them I'll ever get. The pride were behind a fence obviously for safety reasons although as it was just a few thin wires (I can only assume it was electric otherwise I have no doubts a Lion could escape from it with no trouble at all) there was a still a clear view of them all and offered great photo opportunities.
White Bengal Tigers can also be found in the safari, not as rare as the White Lions but stunning none the less. These were contained behind a mesh style fence making viewing them a little more difficult but still possible. We were lucky enough to arrive at a time where one of the males decided to walk around really close to the fence making him clearly visible, a wonderful sight to behold!
There are also 'normal' Lions and Sumatran Tigers at the park. The Lions were, surprisingly, free to roam about and come to your car with no fencing around them. All doors and windows had to be shut and locked obviously but it was still nice to get so close to them. The Tigers were enclosed behind fencing and we only actually had the very restrictive viewing of one of them but I suppose that's something you have to expect at a place like this. You can't expect all of the animals to be clearly visible to you when they have such a lot of space to roam about in all of the time.
Keeping with big cats, the park has the largest group of Cheetahs in the UK, I think I counted about eight of them. Like the White Lions these impressive felines were huddled up together having a nap. Thankfully they decided to take this nap right against the mesh fencing enclosing them so views were pretty good.
The park home a pack of Eastern Dholes and, despite only actually seeing one, were a particular favourite of mine as I just find them to be such attractive animals. They always remind of foxes, another animal I love, and I just find it nice to see a similar animal be an attraction to humans rather than be labelled 'vermin'. Then there's a pack of African Wild Dogs which were another highlight of mine. I just love their coats and how sneaky and clever they are!
There were also a fair few Southern White Rhinos at the park. This was actually the first time I'd ever seen a Rhino in person and I was pretty impressed by the sheer size of them! Obviously they're big animals but I don't think you quite comprehend just how big until you've actually seen one. African Elephants also live at the park and we saw two males eating the grass. The Elephants are enclosed by electric fencing on the floor meaning you get a unrestricted view of these enormous animals. Although we only saw two the Elephant house behind them looked like it had space for a fair few more so I'm not sure if others were hiding inside or not.
Rothschild Giraffes were roaming about between the cars trying to get some food from visitors too. Again, I don't think you can fully appreciate just how big these are until you peer out of your car window and just see a knee! There were loads of Bactrian Camels and, as if he heard her, the moment my friend announced her dislike for these animals one decided to stand directly in front of the car and refuse to move for a good ten minutes making us well and truly stuck there! A little further along we came to a few Zebras too. The park have three types of Zebra, Grant's, Burchell's and Grevy's, all very beautiful and definitely the one animal that produced the most collective 'awwwws' from us.
Other animals in the safari include Ellipsen Waterbucks, Common Elands, Wild Water Buffalo, Visayan Spotted Deer (definitely the most friendly animal at the park, a number of them happily had their heads stroked from us), Barbary Sheep, Addax, Yaks, Gemsboks and many more.
I did find the information given about the animals to be lacking detail and a bit of a let down. I personally want to be educated whilst I visit these types of attractions rather than just looking at the animals and I didn't feel as though I came away from this safari with any additional knowledge. Each section of the safari has a notice board at the side of the road with animal names, where the originate from and how endangered they are - pretty basic information. The Lions were particularly disappointing. These were labelled as 'African Lions' which isn't actually a sub-species of Lion. I couldn't work out whether they meant 'West African Lion' (which is) or that these Lions originate from Africa - which most do so that's no real help. Maybe I'm alone in getting frustrated over that but I would of thought I place like this would have been very specific about these matters. There was also no information on the sub-species of Cheetah at the park either.
However the animals had ample amounts of space and all looked happy enough and it was great to see some rarer types of animal too. I think anyone of any age would enjoy a drive around this safari and that is proven just by peering into other cars whilst you drive around. Families with small children definitely seemed to only make up a small proportion of the groups of people smiling and pointing in their cars. Plus you're also free to drive around as many times as you like whilst the park is open. Although by the time you've experienced everything else the park has to offer there isn't really time to go around again.
----- The Lost City Plaza -----
The Safari Park offers much more than just the actual safari and as soon you park your car into one of the many free car parking spaces to enter the walk around parts of the park you'll come to the Lost City Plaza. This is pretty much a long line of shops made up of a rather large gift shop and several places selling different types of food. The gift shop here is the largest of the five at the park and probably the only one you need bother with as all of the rest are just smaller versions of this one, the items for sale are pretty much identical in every shop. Sticking to my habit of purchasing a key ring every time I visit a place like this I managed to get hold a nice one containing a picture of the White Lions for a very reasonable £1.50. This is where those reasonable prices end though! Everything else sold in here is very expensive. Obviously you expect these places to be over priced but this one was probably the most overpriced I've experienced. The shop sold a wide range of stuffed animals the smallest which was barely bigger than my Hamster, cost £5. There were the usual West Midlands Safari Park branded stationary items, mugs and postcodes for sale too. You could even purchase a tax disk holder! The rest of the items sold seemed pretty irrelevant to me. Pens with names written on them, candles and dream catchers. They just seemed to stick out as they didn't follow the theme of the rest of the items.
There's also a sweet shop here, again very overpriced, selling pick & mix, ice creams and rock. Little bags of sweets were made up which contained no more than a generous handful and cost £2.95! Most of the stuff in here can be bought from my local Tesco for half the price. I couldn't pass the home made fudge without buying a few bars though! At £1.95 for a bar just a little longer than my middle finger these were still pretty pricey. However absolutely beautiful! I picked up a bar of white chocolate fudge topped with a Cadbury's flake and it was probably the best thing I've ever tasted, although rather sickly. If you like fudge I would definitely recommend picking up a bar of this, it's not the type of thing that can be commonly bought either. There was also a pizza shop which I missed the prices of and a chip shop style place too. We didn't buy anything from either of these places so I can't comment on how nice the food was but I do remember exclaiming that a portion of fish and chips cost just under £6!
An Experience Kiosk is also located here. Here you can pay £30 to be star of the Sea Lion Show, £69 to feed a Giraffe, £99 to feed a Cheetah or £850 for six people to have a 'VIP Tour' around the safari. Not something I could afford to bother with that's for sure.
-----The Discovery Trail -----
Once you've left the Lost City Plaza you'll enter the Discovery Trail. This is home to 'Penguin Clove' a new attraction containing a group of Humbolt Penguins. This enclosure is actually pretty open, you could probably reach over and touch them if they were stood close enough to the raised glass although this isn't allowed so best not to try. The enclosure is almost a mini beach and there is glass which allows you to view under the water too, easily done as the water is so clean.
There's also the Sealion Show a little further up. This takes place three times a day and I was quite disappointed to find that the Sea Lions aren't actually on general public display so unless you attend the show you don't get to see them. We arrived into this area with only one show left that day which was a good three hours away! We ended up completely forgetting about it too so we never did get to see them.
There's the SeaQuarium too which is basically a massive fish tank containing massive fish. There was plenty of interactive information about these fish too and I ended up learning quite a bit. The water was perfectly clear allowing you see right through it to view these exotic fish.
Twilight Cave is a dimly lit room which has free flying bats and enclosures for Madagascan Jumping Rats and an Aye-Aye. I found the place to be a little creepy and I was walking around on edge expecting something to scare me half to death at any given moment. Other people seemed to be enjoying it and taking a leisurely stroll around the place but I couldn't wait to get out of there!
There was also a similar room containing 'Creepy Crawlies'. Being a typical girl I didn't even bother to go in here as, even behind glass, seeing a Tarantula would probably have forced a panic attack upon me. Frankly, just writing the word 'Tarantula' has made me shiver.
Then there's Mark O'Shea's Reptile World. Despite his face being plastered on all the walls I still haven't a clue who this Mark bloke is. But the Reptile World held plenty of snakes, in fact it was pretty much all snakes. There was one particular python which was enormous, the biggest I have ever seen. I quite like snakes but my friend soon ran out of there when she saw this one! There were a couple of Crocodiles too which were a little freaky the way they stood so perfectly still for such long periods of time. I lost count the amount of people who walked past and asked if they were real purely because they were so lifeless.
There's a large, clean but basic toilet block located here as well. Fully stocked with everything you need but not the most luxurious of places. The number of cubicles meant there was no need to wait in line to use the loo either, despite the park being quite busy.
We ended up eating here at the seated restaurant. This was a self service type cafe selling sandwiches, cakes and drinks as well as hot food. There was a definite lack of vegetarian options here. The only thing on the hot food menu I could see which didn't contain meat or fish was a bowl of chips which would have set me back nearly £3. I ended up buying a egg and cress sandwich, a piece of carrot cake and a bottle of coke which came to nearly £8! I will admit though, the carrot cake was absolutely gorgeous. Being such a massive lover of carrot cake I've tried a lot, this was definitely the best yet!
Outside the restaurant is a cash machine which charges you £1.85 to withdraw money. Probably best paying on your card, although everywhere has a £5 minimum spend to do so. Not that £5 is particularly difficult to spend here.
-----The Amusement Area-----
The Amusement Area is a little theme park type place, although don't go expecting Alton Towers! There are 27 rides in total and most of these are aimed at smaller children. The 'thrill' rides are still mostly enjoyable for older people who like that type of thing although nothing spectacular. A lot of the time the scariest thing about these rides is the fact they creek so much you expect to plummet to your death at any given moment. We went on a relatively quiet day so we didn't have do much queuing for any of the rides. In fact there were times we were able to go around again without even getting off the ride.
There were two water rides, rafts and a log flume, both will have you pretty drenched when you come off so best to leave those for warm days. There's a tower drop and a small rollercoaster with lots and twists and turns but no loops or the likes - it's a ride which makes you giggle rather than scream, a pirate ship, dodgems and a twister coaster (my favourite). The rest are pretty much children's ride and there's definitely a lot more for the little ones than the big ones here although it's still enjoyable regardless of age in my opinion. It's definitely worth investing in a wristband if you visit the safari park during the summer months (this area is closed during winter).
This area also has an arcade with the usual gambling machines, penny slots and games. There was a photo booth also which 'drew' your picture for a very reasonable £2 - a pretty cheap memento of your day.
In this area are also a few food stands. Here you can buy burgers, chicken, hotdogs, cheesy nachos, wraps, jacket potatoes and even crispy pancakes! The downside is that none of these eating stands offer indoor seating so unless you visit on a day where you're happy to sit on the picnic style outdoor seating you're much better off going to the indoor restaurant.
There's another gift shop and block of toilets in this area and it's also possible to hire a locker to keep your bags safe whilst you're enjoying the rides. To be honest I was too scared to even go and look at how much they charge you for such a privilege. I'm assuming it was a lot, there were only probably about twenty or thirty lockers available and most of them were unused.
You can board or leave the safari express here, a train which runs along the outside of the walking areas of the park and takes you to and from the Lost City Plaza to the Amusement Area. Walking this distance without stopping and looking at things along the way roughly takes and fifteen to twenty minutes and I'm sure most people got on just for the novelty for children. With the park being on mostly flat, even ground I can't imagine this is a very difficult walk to many people.
Hippo Lakes is also located in this area of the park. This is basically a raised platform which allows a much clearer view of the Hippos than the actual safari allows. It's a nice but short walk decorated with huge posters containing many facts about the animal topped of with nice, clear views. When we went all of the Hippos were huddled around each other in a pool of mood sleeping. One got up at one point only to lay back down and sleep in a different position. It's an easy life! It was very peaceful and scenic and also offered further viewing of the Giraffes at the park.
----- African Village -----
The African Village is the last area you come to at the park and one of the smallest. It's set up to look like, as the name suggests, an African Village although I'm not sure that it is entirely accurate. Here is yet another gift shop and a wash station - something you'll be needing to use if you take advantage of the animal encounters available here.
Firstly there is Meerkat Mayhem which is basically a big Meerkat Enclosure. They were by far the most energetic animals of the day and it was amazing to watch how one moved and the rest of them followed. There were a fair few of them too making it hard to concentrate on just one individual Meerkat as you constantly see another darting past out of the corner of your eye and I couldn't resist diverting my attention to this one to see if he/she was being cheeky, which they more than likely where! Very funny and amusing.
There's also Lemur Wood. This is a Lemur Walk through just like the ones many zoos offer now days. A walk around the woodland setting with free roaming Lemurs. These guys were very friendly and had no trouble getting right up close to you. You can't touch them however, just in case they bite, but you can get very close indeed. In fact it would be entirely possible to touch many of them if it were permitted. The walk took about ten minutes and was very enjoyable although not wheelchair or pushchair accessible. I think this is the only thing at the park which isn't though. Obviously you're free to leave pushchairs outside so younger children can still enjoy the experience and I think younger children particularly would enjoy this.
----- Overall Opinion -----
Overall I had a thoroughly enjoyable day out and will definitely be using that free return ticket with my admission. It's a great and rare opportunity to get up close and personal with animals you wouldn't normally be able to do so with. It's probably one of the most disabled friendly places I've visited and with the exception of the Lemur Wood, there's absolutely nothing which isn't easily accessible to disabled people.
I would have preferred the actual safari to give a little more education and information on the animals. This is a subject which highly interests me almost more so than actually seeing the animals so it was a little disappointing to just see big board stating the very basic things that just about everyone already knows anyway. Although it wouldn't be convenient to place boards with masses of writing along the roads I'm sure there could be some form of voice over in place which gives the required information.
Another thing is that is works out to be a very expensive day. I paid for just myself and between my admission, ride wristbands food, drinks and a small amount of gift shop purchases I spent nearly £60. I dread to think what that number would have been if I had children to pay for as well! The park could definitely benefit by offering some form of family ticket in my opinion and I'm very surprised they don't already actually.
Regardless, it's still a place I would thoroughly recommend and I don't think I'd have been disappointed if I'd drove a long way to get to the park either, the fact it's only a 45 minutes drive from where I live is an added bonus!
~*~ West Midlands Safari and Leisure Park~*~
During the October half term this week, trying to find something to entertain the whole family, whilst also being undercover should the weather turn chilly or rainy proved to be a bit of a mission. The cinema or bowling can only amuse you for a couple of hours, and so we decided to make a day of it and chose to visit the West Midland Safari Park.
~*~ Getting there and Opening Times ~*~
For reference, the winter opening dates are: 6, 12, 13, 19 & 20 November; daily from 26 Nov - 24 Dec 2011 and then every weekend from 31 Dec until 5 Feb 2012.
The address for Sat Nav is, Spring Grove, Bewdley, Worcestershire DY12 1LF.
We didn't use the Sat Nav on this occasion as we had been a couple of times in recent years. It should be noted that the brown signposts for directions, while there are plenty of them, they are not always in the place you need them to be. For instance, instead of being placed at an island, informing us to take a right hand turn, it was placed at the turnoff, which is all well and good if you are turning left, but causes confusion in other cases.
~*~ Admission To The Park ~*~
The prices for admission to the park are as follows:
Under 3 year olds: Free
Concessions (Students & Disabled Visitors, with valid ID): £12.99
Credit cards are accepted widely throughout the park, and there is a cash machine onsite, which charges £1.75 to withdraw a maximum of £40, should you need extra cash.
We pre-ordered our tickets with our Tesco Club card vouchers. This meant, using the rewards scheme, £15 of vouchers would enable our family of three adults and one child to gain entry to the Safari Park - a huge saving of almost £40.
Amazingly, the price includes a Free Return Ticket; and as we took our visit during the winter season, we are able to return again before February. I would imagine, if you visited in the spring, you could visit again during the summer and see how much the newborn babies have grown.
As you enter the site, you are escorted to some booths where you can pay your entrance fee, if you have not already done so, and purchase boxes of food for the animals, at a cost of £3, or a souvenir guide book for £5. We purchased one of each, and also received our free return ticket, and a guide map.
The box of animal food doesn't have a weight on it, but it's a similar size to one of those individual portion boxes of cereal. If you have several children and they all wanted a box each, it would work out quite costly, with not a lot to show for it, so be warned. Despite its small size, a little of this food goes a long way, and you'll be able to feed lots of deer and goats.
The guide book comes in a glossy soft backed A4 size. It contains lots of information and references to the animals you get to see. I've been here several times before, and I know they try and get you to buy these things on top of a high entry cost; I've always said no before, but believe me, this is really worth the money. It will be great for the kids to gain further information about the animals as it's written in a very simple, easy to understand format; even the photographs in this book are awesome. My daughter hasn't put this book down yet, it's so interesting.
~*~ Things To See and Do ~*~
Once you are through the payment area, it is up to you how you spend your day. Do you go on Safari first? If you do, my advice would be to take a toilet break before you do - that four mile journey around the animal enclosure is the longest four miles ever. Alternatively, you could do as we did, and see what else the park has to offer first.
We entered the main park through the gateway of the Lost City Plaza. Here is a covered walkway with tempting food shops and gift shops on either side. There was a snack bar with the normal burger and chips, and a pizza joint, but what tempted me the most was the pancake stall with the most delicious sounding fillings and wafting aromas. It was mouth watering. It was extremely hard to walk past but I did, eventually. My daughters were both tempted by the gift shop selling a wonderful array of cuddly toys, and also the traditional sweet shop. I had to promise to return on our way out.
As we emerged from the Plaza, we arrived at what seemed to be a new section to the park - the Tree Tops Pavilion. This was closed when we arrived, but we noticed it had opened later during our visit, on our way out to be exact. This was a huge disappointment to my youngest daughter, as they did lots of craft events in little huts there, and she would have enjoyed this immensely.
Our next stop was the Discovery Trail. This is a more hands on area of the park. For obvious reasons, you are enclosed within safety areas where needs be, but here I entered a bat cave, most of the animals were behind glass, in water, or climbing up trees, but the bats were flying freely, or just hanging there taking a rest. It was dark inside, but there was just enough light to see what looked like a shadow flying past you. There is a tape of the bats noises running, and it feels a rather authentic experience.
Having the animals free like this, you are reminded to use the gel anti bacterial hand cleanser as soon as you leave the room. You are also encouraged to wash your hands thoroughly as well, at the earliest convenience.
Also in the Discovery Trail Section were the Sea Quarium, Creepy Crawlies Room, and Mark O'Shea's Reptile room. It was quite busy here at this point, not feeling too well and not being a fan of insects, snakes or reptiles, I decided to wait outside. My partner and the girls came back enthused by what they had seen though, so it's definitely worth a visit if you can stomach it.
There are benches located outside, and it was nice to avoid the scrum of people vying to see the animals and just sit and enjoy how nicely the place had been decorated. As it is Halloween soon, the park had dressed with a Halloween theme. There were fake gravestones scattered around, and hundreds of scarecrows all with carved pumpkin heads. Skeletons hung from lampposts, and fresh pumpkins were dotted about. I say dotted, they were in groups of fours and fives, and placed rather decoratively, but I've never seen so many pumpkins in my life; there were thousands. Some of the decorations were a bit over the top, and a bit too gruesome. My youngest daughter (8) rather liked them, but I did see a toddler or two, cry at the sight. All the staff members were dressed up as some kind of zombie, in brown and red uniform with co-ordinating face paints. I thought they looked more like the scarecrow out of the Wizard of Oz on a bad day though.
Obviously this promotion is over now, but weeks such as these are a regular occurrence. I did see signs that the next promotion, with a Christmas theme, starts on the 26th November and that it will 'snow' everyday. I wonder what the staff will dress up as then, as whenever we've been before they have just worn ordinary attire.
Following the path, our next stop was the Sea Lion Theatre. This seats 525 people and no matter where you sit, you are guaranteed a brilliant view of the show. Due the animals performing they run the same show all season, and needing to be one that would appeal whatever the season, this was done with a pirate theme. I don't normally like these sorts of things, but the sea lion looked to be having more fun than the kids. The show lasted about ten to fifteenminutes, but you should get there early as may be standing room only during busy periods. For a fee of £25, your child can be the 'star' of the show, and will be able to meet the sea lions and have a photo session. If you wish to do this, you should make arrangements at the reception as soon as you arrive.
~*~ Explorers Restaurant ~*~
Our next stop was for lunch, which we decided to take at the Explorers Restaurant. This is quite a large building on the outside, but very bijou within. The building is now rather dated and tired looking, but if all you want is something to eat and drink, and rest for a while, it serves its purpose. You are ushered in through double doors and immediately ahead is the food counter with two queues, one leading to the left and one to the right. This meant that the queue did go down reasonably fast, but not quite fast enough, as there weren't enough staff serving. The tables were cleared quite quickly after they had been exited, and our party were lucky enough to sit down straight away. The tables and seating are a throwback to the 70's and they may even be originals. I said that the place was tired and dated, and this certainly didn't help. There are highchairs available if they should be needed.
The range of food on offer here was surprisingly limited and I couldn't understand why. There was a choice of two salads, feta and quiche, with rather meagre portions of both, and quite a lot of lettuce. There was chips available on their own, or cod and chips, or lasagne (plus a veggie version) and chips, with a side serving of beans and peas. These cost £6.99 each. They didn't look very appetising but my partner had cod and my eldest daughter had lasagne and they both agreed they were very tasty. My youngest daughter, not being very adventurous had a bowl of chips. The bowl was overflowing and so the £2.99 per portion seemed quite fair. I had soup of the day with a bread roll and this cost £4.99. I was given a choice of tomato or leek and potato, and I'm pleased to say, although it wasn't homemade, it wasn't some cheap and nasty stuff, at least it was Heinz. We all had a drink each, and food for our party of four, came to £30 which is quite reasonable for an entertainment place such as this.
On our way out, I found the Oasis Bar tucked behind the double doors to the left of the room and this served sandwiches, and cold pasta meals. This would explain the lack of choice at the main food counter. There are no signs that this is available, and if you enter with a large crowd as we did, you get carried along to the hot food. I was seated with my back to it and never knew it was there until we left. I would have liked something from this menu rather than soup, so I was quite annoyed. The pasta and baguettes looked very fresh, and appealing.
~*~ Fairground Amusement Area ~*~
Still following the path (although you can detour if you should do desire) we headed down to the Amusement area. All rides are subject to minimum and maximum height restrictions. Wristband prices for the rides and attractions are as follows:
Adult wristband: £11.50 (16-64yrs)
Child wristband: £10.99 (Up to 15yrs)
Concessions: £10.99 (Available to seniors, people with disabilities, and students)
If you don't want to purchase a wristband then ride tickets are also available from an electronic ticket machine. The price is £6 for three tickets, but with some of the rides needing two tickets for admission, this would work out extremely costly, so I would urge you to by the wristband, and make the most of it, and go on as many rides as you can. The wristband and ride tickets are only valid for the day in which you enter the Park, and as the wristbands are fitted rather tightly by the assistant in the booth, so they cannot be passed between people.
There are two different sections in this area, one for old children and adults, and the Cubs Kingdom for under 5's. There aren't many rides here but what there are will certainly keep the kids occupied and happy for a while.
The family fun are was quite large, and had both traditional fairground rides such as the swings but also things for only adults which was a nice surprise. The Black Fly ride was certainly heart stopping just watching it. I would never have gone on. There are also Twister Coaster, and Venom Tower Drop which I would say are for teens and adults. Everything else looked to be more suitable for both youngsters and adults alike. The Zambezi Water Splash ride certainly looked great fun. You can get your photo taken on both this ride, and the Twister Coaster if you wish to take home a souvenir. If you get wet, there are huge driers where you can dry up to 6 people. I think these were around £5 a go, so well worth the money if there are lots of you sharing.
Dotted around the park are traditional fairground games, hook-a-duck, and ring toss games. My daughter laughed hysterically when she saw the one where you have to throw a rubber chicken into a cooking pot, in order to gain a prize. The prizes are rather cheap looking but its all part of the fun, who can take home the tackiest prize. If you are feeling peckish after all your excitement, the Botswana Burger Co. serve fast food meals, and Hot & Spicy Bar serves nachos, spicy fries and jacket potatoes.
~*~ New Additions for 2011 ~*~
New to the Park this year are the African Village, where you can experience the African way of life with lots of themeing, interaction and chances to encounter the animals. Walking with Lemurs enables you to walk among the lemurs who roam free within a wooded setting. This is at the furthermost point of the park, and although the rest of the park is wheelchair friendly, we didn't enter this, so cannot guarantee it is accessible to wheelchairs. Meerkat Mayhem is the dedicated area for this species, and features both inside and outside entertainment.
As you are at the farthest end of the park at this point, you can take the Safari Express Train back to the car park, or visa versa. This is a free ride, and all the kids thoroughly enjoyed it. It takes you past the lakes where you can view the Hippo's wallowing. I liked it too, as it saved my legs a little from all the walking.
Reaching the car park we had to visit the WC, as we were warned the Safari takes a minimum of 1 hour and 15 minutes, and obviously, if you need to go, you can't. The toilet block which is surrounded by the car park is also very tired and dated. Some of the cubicle doors had missing locks, and doors that were hung slightly askew. The toilets were clean, hygienic and usable, but the grouting between the tiles was black. It all looked like it was dire need of updating, and modernisation. It was clean so maybe I'm being picky.
~*~ Safari Tour ~*~
After getting in the car for the safari, you follow a one way system through to the animal enclosure. The road is tarmacked but you do get the feeling you're following an African mud track, and get an almost authentic experience due to the many potholes in the road, it's it such bad condition.
At some points you have to enter a pen, where the door is closed behind you, you wait while they check that there have been no animals wander into the pen, and then they open another gate allowing you to proceed. At every pen there are signs whether you can have your window open to gain a better photo opportunity or interaction experience. This should be down to common sense, but there are always people who disobey the rules. On our visit, we saw a child half hanging out of the car in an area where windows should have been fully up.
There are no monkeys at this safari park, and as they are notorious for damaging car mirrors and window wipers, this is partly a relief. It doesn't mean your car isn't going to be damaged though, on this visit a rather large deer with antlers decided he needed to scratch an itch on the side of our car, and damaged the paintwork a little (it's an older car so we're not bothered, but yours might not be), and last time we visited, a rhino decided he didn't like our car, and charged us. The wardens prevented it from succeeding, but there is always the chance of something happening.
The Safari is set up into little zones, and the first area is the African safari, with white rhinosaurus, zebra, ostrich, giraffe all running as free as they can within the confines of the park. There are plenty of wardens around to disperse any animals who might be causing trouble, and if anything does happen, you are asked to sound your horn and put on your hazard lights to alert them. The Asian Reserve, Eurasion Reserve and Elephant Valley follow, as you continue your journey. There are information boards detailing each species you will meet, so even if you didn't purchase the guide book, I guarantee you will still learn something and gain a better understanding of each of the animals.
At different times of the year, and according to weather conditions you get a different safari experience. On other visits we've only ever seen the Lions, Tigers, Cheetahs, and wolves in the distance, but it was our lucky day on this visit. The day was cool, but sunny and all the animals were enjoying the last of the winter sunshine. Oh hot days the animals like us, become lethargic, and go in seek of shade. It's also uncomfortable sitting in the car for any length of time on a hot day, so I would advise against this.
The whole safari takes a minimum of an hour and a quarter, but you can take as much or as little time as you like. Our visit lasted two and a half hours, as my partner, the driver on this occasion, likes to sit and study every single animal individually. This meant I got some great photos though, and I wish I could share them on Dooyoo with you.
It is recommended that if you make your arrival around 10am, to take the safari tour first, or alternatively, wait until after 3pm, as these are the quietest times. There was no last admission time for the safari anywhere I could see, but obviously be aware how long it takes, should you need to be elsewhere at a certain time.
~*~ Home Time ~*~
We left the park as dusk was falling and it was starting to get cold, about 6.30pm, but the park was open until about 9. I'm not sure the safari would be still open, but the amusements looked lovely all floodlit. It looked really effective with all the Halloween decorations, and spooky music being played constantly over the tannoy system.
~*~ My Thoughts ~*~
All in all I had a lovely day out and would definitely return. That's not down to the free entrance either, as we have been here several times over the years. Sadly though, I'll have to give it a 4/5 rating due to the fact that although some things have been altered, the new African Village, the new Meerkat and Lemur areas, and they were working on the Penguin cove, these alterations were for the animals use - which don't get me wrong, I truly value and appreciate, but if they want to get more customers through the door, to help with funding the animals upkeep, they really need to modernise the customer eating areas and toilets, things that make people want to come back. The whole park looks a little dated and lacklustre. It's lost its sparkle and freshness, and while the animals are the main reason you go, the shabby paintwork, and lack of modern amenities are a bit of a let down.
Fun Factor for kids 10/10
Fun Factor for adults 8/10
Educational Factor: 10/10
Dining Experience: 7/10
Overall look of the park: 7/10
For further information the telephone Number is 01299 400 700 or you can visit the website at http://www.wmsp.co.uk/
Thanks for reading my review which may be posted on other sites. I do hope it has been of some use.
Attraction: West Midlands Safari Park
Where: Spring Grove, Bewdley, Worcestershire DY12 1LF
Telephone Number: 01299 400 700
Open: Daily from 19th February, Weekdays: 10am-5pm, Weekends: 10am-6pm
I've been to the West Midlands Safari Park previously but it was quite a few years back now so a few weeks ago me and my boyfriend had a weekday off work so decided to go for a day out, it was the week where the UK had the heatwave so we couldn't of chose a better week to go.
In the month of September the West Midlands Safari Park had a special offer on where anyone who worked for the Emergency Services got their (and anyone else attending the park with them) admission and wristbands for the rides and attractions half price, on any day in the month of September.
As my boyfriend as a Emergency Services job both of us got our admission and wristband for the rides and attractions park for half price. All he had to do was show his work identity card to the member of staff in the admissions booth, this was to prove that he was employed by the Emergency Services.
Normal admission prices are as follows:
Under 3's: Free
The price includes a Free Return Ticket.
Wristband prices for the rides and attractions are as follows:
Adult wristband: £11.50 (16-64yrs)
Child wristband: £10.99 (Up to 15yrs)
Concessions: £10.99 (Available to Seniors, Students & Disabled Visitors, with Valid ID)
If you don't want to purhase a wristband then ride tickets are also available for purchase, i'm not sure of the exact price but as some rides require two tickets then i found that it would work out much more expensive for the tickets and the wristband purchase was much better value as i could go on as many rides and as many times as i wished. The wristband and ride tickets are only valid for the day in which you enter the West Midlands Safari Park.
As you can see Wristband and Ride Tickets are charged in addition to the admission price to the Safari Park. You can either buy these first at the admissions area or purchase them seperately on the day of your visit from the Amusements area.
So with our savings we basically managed to buy one get one free so we made a saving of £25.49 as we only paid £25.49 for both our admission prices and both our wristbands for the rides and attractions. A pleasant saving, as if we hadn't had the special offer we would have paid £50.98 which i feel is a little steep. That was just for two adults so i can only imagine what it would cost for a family day out, the cost can really total up if you have 2-3 children.
Before we drove around the Safari area we were offered the chance to purchase a box of animal food at the price of £3, as i wanted to feed the animals as i didn't get chance to on my last visit, i bought one box. One box really does go a long way and i managed to feed a lot of the animals with just the one box.
The drive through around the Safari Park was quite pleasant, upon entering the more dangerous species you had to lock your doors and close your windows for safety precautions, although any wise person would know this themselves it was still nice to see lots of signs before entering to warn people beforehand. These kind of animals were the wild dogs, lions, cheetahs, elephants and white lions.
Throughout this area i noticed that there wasn't too many animals to see, although the ones which we did see were fascinating to watch, for example i saw a Lion jump down from it's den, run infront of the car to try and catch a bird on the other side of the grass, luckily the bird made it's escape with only a few seconds to spare, phew.
In the more tamer areas you were allowed to wind down your windows and feed the animals who confidently came to your car and peered it's heads inside the windows. As an animal lover i thoroughly enjoyed this experience and fed Giraffes, Zebras, Deers and lots of other beautiful animals. I admit that the Giraffes were my favourites, for a animal so big they were very tame and extremely friendly.
It's advised you use a hand gel after feeding the animals and this is readily available at many of the checkpoints. I already had hand gel in my bag so applied it to my hands after every feed, afterall those animals are very slobbery.
As it was a weekday, and the end of September, there wasn't many people around and it was literally like having the park to ourselves, this combined with the heatwave was fantastic and it was lovely being able to get around the park quickly and do everything which we wished to do speedily.
There's also a Seal show at two times during the day where you get to see the Seals eating and performing tricks, as an adult i really enjoyed this so i'm sure the children would be absolutely thrilled.
I noticed there wasn't many restaurants to have something to eat, maybe this was as it wasn't peak season, luckily we had something to eat on the way to the park so we didn't need to have a large meal but there were little snack bars open where we could purchase drinks and snacks if we wished.
We spent quite a few hours in the ride attraction area and were able to go on the rides without any queuing, as there were hardly anyone else on the rides, we could go around on the rides once again without even leaving our carts, bonus. There were too different ride areas, one for younger children and another for older children/adults.
To finish the day off we wandering around the many gift shops and walked around the little farm area, where we could see the Meerkats, walk through the Lemur Woods where the Lemurs were happily hopping/walking around freely and a walk through area with the goats and other animals which i loved.
I have a DSLR/SLR camera and took some wonderful pictures, i wish Dooyoo would allow pictures in reviews as i would love to share them with you.
All in all i had a lovely day out and would definitely return. I'll give it a 4/5 rating, the point dropping off as i feel there could have been more animals in the drive through safari.
Decided to go there for a day trip with my partner and her young nephew. £42 to get in for the 3 of us and some free animal food, wow! The place was quite busy and the cars were slow moving but I don't know why because there wasn't really anything to see. A few elephants here, some zebras there, and the 2 lions mating made us laugh. However come the end of our 2 hour marathon in the car we were bored of just driving and seeing nothing so we decided to go to the theme park area. Yet another rip-off. You had to pay for the rides which we thought as we had just spent so much money on getting in the place would be free but no, so we avoided them. There was a guy giving a talk on snakes which was entertaining and the pigme goats were entertaining but apart from that it was a complete waste of a day. Completely out dated and a total rip off.
West Midlands Safari Park is situated in Bewdley, Worcstershire. Not to far from the M5. It is very easy to find and well signposted, or with the use of modern technology simply use your sat nav DY12 1LF.
The attraction consists of both a four mile drive round safari trail and an amusement park.
The safari adventure consists of the following animals: Elephant; Rhino; Tiger; Wild Dog; Lion; Wallaby; Wolf; Buffalo; Zebra; Gnu; Camel and all kinds of Deer. The animal reserve is home to over 600 animals and covers a vast area of 100 acres, which is often abundant with babies. West Midlands Safari Park is also home to the beautiful White Lion, virtually extinct in the wild and the safari park is home to the only pride in the UK. It is a self-drive safari in your own vehicle and you get the chance to feed some of the animals too, with special diet animal food which can be purchased on arrival or from within the amuseument park. Alternatively, if you prefer to be driven, then you are able to book a guided minibus tour for an extra charge.
During peak times and especially in summer months, the safari can get very busy and you are sat in bumper to bumper traffic. The park advises to revise the animal reserve from around 3pm as it is often less busy.
I went to the safari park around 3 weeks ago and it was pretty empty considering the warm weather. The trail took around 2hours this included us stopping to take loads of photos...and my near death experience with several zebras and a giraffe. My idiot sister decided to hang out of my sunroof, and the giraffe obvsiously thought she had food and couldnt quite fit through the gap between my car and the one next to mee, and has chipped my wing mirror casing!!! We were then surrounded by around 7 zebras, and the wardens had to come to scare them off, very eventful!!!
Once you have completed the trail, park up have a picnic and head into the park itself. The Discovery Trail is a fantastic all-weather animal attraction and is where you can find Mark O'Shea's Reptile World, SeaQuarium, Creepy Crawlies, Twilight Cave and Seal Island.
The sea lion show is wicked, and is a seated arena where you can watch the seals perform their tricks and one member of the audience can get up on stage to participate! Also get up close and personal to the fruit bats as they free-fly in the Twilight Cave. Visit the Reptile House to see a large diverse collection of reptiles and amphibians from all over the world.
There are plenty of food and drink outlets around the park for you to choose from. However they are pretty expensive and it may be worth taking a picnic, as there are lots of benches and grassy areas and perfect to enjoy in the sun.
The amusement area that is situated past the Hippo Lakes beyond the Discovery Zone, and has around 30 rides and attractions. There are alot of rides available to suit all of the family. The amusement area can offer a whole variety of very popular attractions, which includes the £1m Wild River Rafting and as it's name suggests it's a great chance to test those rapids! You really do need to hold on to the sides though as its a rather bumpy ride, and you get very very wet! There is also a 'Cubs Kingdom' which is a place for little children. There are nine rides and attractions in the cub kingdom.
One of the main things that I find it a let down at the Safari Park is the price, and the fact you have to pay to go around the animal reserve and again for a ride wristband. The admission to the reserve is 12.95GBP for adults, and it does include a return ticket for the amount of paying guests in the same car. An adult wristband is then another 11.00GBP to go on the rides. So if you are going as a family it can be a pretty expensive day out.
The animal reserve itself is wicked, and the white lions and tigers are beautiful. I also loved the giraffes until my experience with my car!
With regards to the rides have a wonder round first, as you may find that its just not worth buying a wrist band, it all depends on your personal preference. Last time i visited we did not buy wristbands and still spent the whole day at the park.
I would definatly take a picnic, even to munch as you are driving around the reserve as it can be quite long if busy, and remember once you are driving you cant get out the car so go the toilet before hand!!
I have recently returned from a short break from down my parents caravan in Bromyard, and whilst there me and my partner visited a few places nearby. One of the places on our 'to visit list' was the West Midlands Safari Park. Animals, theme park attractions and severe rain (on and off) a great day out!
About West Midland Safari Park:
The safari park first opened back in 1973 and is a drive through animal reserve which is just over four miles long and will take a round one hour and fifteen minutes to drive through the reserve, on a busy day this could take longer. (It took us about one hour for our visit round the safari)
Whist driving throughout the park there is a different array of animal sections you're able to visit, but if there is a particular animal you don't fancy driving past there are diversions you can take to side-track the animal. The park is very hilly, with plenty twists and turns along way hence why the speed limits are kept to a minimum.
Amusement rides are also at the safari park which you can visit before or after your ride round the animal reserve. There are about twenty eight rides in total with minimum and maximum height restrictions that apply, you can either buy tickets for the rides or purchase a wrist band.
Whist out of the car there are several places that you can visit within the amusement area -
Mark O'Shea's Reptile World:
This is like a mini walk round room that holds a large collection of tortoises, crocodilians, snakes, turtles and lizards. I did like the reptile section, and there was no extra charge for walking round. At different times throughout the day there is a feel session where an attendant talks and the reptile. One thing I found off-putting was the unpleasant smell within the reptile house.
A room that's made to look like a cave which holds; Madagascan jumping rats and free-flying bats. I walked in and soon walked back out! The smell was so over powering burning my nose, and was really taking my breath away. I did notice however a few bats on my way out but no rats though. It would have been lovely if not for the overwhelming smell, it was dark with fairy lights very pretty.
Sea Lion Theatre:
Sadly the show wasn't on the day we went, I don't know why as they say it shows everyday! This is one I would have loved to have seen too, it says that the Sea Lions put on a mini show to demonstrate their skills. The show normally last for fifteen minutes, also the theatre holds 525 seats!
This was like a very tiny Sea Life Centre again no extra charge for walking round. It holds tropical marine and freshwater exhibits from the Asian Pacific, Red Sea and Amazon River. Its only takes minutes to walk round but it undercover in case of rain!
I thought this was really nice watching the hippos in the water and walking onto their plot the other side of the viewing deck. This was located within the amusement area, I've seen hippos on television before never in real life and I couldn't get over how huge they actually were!
My partner didn't like this one to much as his not a fan of spiders, however this is another room to venture round which holds an array of creepy crawlies from spiders, to cockroaches, insets etc. Again there was no extra charge and another plus being under cover if it decides to rain, again!
Safari Express Train:
Not as fun as it sounds, this is a little train that travels from the car park to the amusement area, free of charge.
Spring Grove House:
This is a historic 18th century manor house, which I have to say looked rather nice. But you couldn't go round it; it has recently under gone a multi-million pound refurbishment and will soon be opening for conferences and special events.
The Amusement Park:
The part I was very much looking forward too, but sadly failed my expectations. One of the rides even broke down whilst me and my partner was next to go on (we gave that one a miss after that) There is a total of twenty eight rides, all with height restrictions. There are rides to cover a wide age range which makes a good family day out. Please note though every person will require a wristband or ride tickets, including those supervising smaller children. They also have an arcade but I did give that a miss as I tend to spend and spend.
Slippery Snake Slide
Jungle Cat Dodgems
Flying Lion Kings
African Big Apple Coaster
Dr Umboto's Catacombs
Venom Tower Drop (which was the ride that broke down)
Moroccan Magic Carpet
Zambezi Water Splash
Wild River Rafting
Rescue Fire Rangers
Places to eat:
Round the park there are a few places where you can sit down to have a meal.
The Exploras Café:
This is where me and my partner sat down to have some food, and very pricey it was too! They serve a variety of main meals, plus catering for vegetarians, children and babies. But as I'm a picky eater I ended up with a salad bowl, my partner had cod, chips and peas which came to a total of £15.93. My salad bowl wasn't that good either and had some discoloured pieces of lettuces. However my partner really enjoyed his meal!
Botswana Burger and Co:
As you can guess from the title this was like a mini Burger King only double to price. It did cater for family meal deals which would work out cheaper buying as a family unit.
Port Livingston Pizza Parlour:
Pizza parlour smelt gorgeous when we walked past, shame we didn't eat here! They don't just do pizza either they also did sausage rolls and pasties.
Pic 'N' Mix Sweet Shop:
Yum Yum Yum! I love sweets and was like a kid when I walk in, face all happy until you see the prices!
They serve a large range of treats suitable for all ages including Safari branded rock, fudge gift boxes, ice-cream, popcorn, chocolate, novelty confectionary, candy floss and classic Pick 'N' Mix sweets.
Through out the park they have some kiosks which you can purchase drinks and snacks if you don't fancy seating and eating a meal.
Something I'm not a fan of even if I am a girl! But I do always like to take a little souvenir of the day. I was shocked at the prices they were charging, for a small teddy that you can get from a pound shop was £10.99!
Dr Umboto's Mumbo Jumbo
African Queen Trading
Jungle Bazaar Gifts
African Trading Company
These are the main shops within the park and they all pretty much sell the same apart from a few odd items here and there. Items on offer are reptile toys, snakes & monkeys, soft toys, educational books, jungle souvenirs, marine inspired toys and ornaments, flatable sea life toys, aquatic t-shirts; you get the idea of it all.
On first glance, the distant view of the Safari Park grounds look a little dated and run-down. Perhaps because the last time I went I was only a nipper, it also seemed a lot smaller than on my last visit. It didn't seem to have the same wow-factor as it did back in the day.
Upon arriving you're greeted at the customer service booth. They have several of them but there were only two people attending at the time we went. The counter assistant was very polite, and greeted us with a big smile. We purchased our tickets and also two boxes of animal food (at £3.00 per box), which boasted a fair amount of food to feed the selected animals around the safari park itself. In the interest of safety, however, you are only limited to feeding goats and deer. We were given a map of the park, an instruction leaflet and a free return ticket for the both of us.
On the first route into the park, you are first met by giraffes, which tower over most vehicles and can be slightly intimidating if you care about your wing mirrors. The routes themselves are quite generous with space, allowing you to easily navigate around the paths without the worry of coming close to hitting any other vehicles. Some of the paths however are quite steep and could possibly be a pain for any new or inexperienced drivers, especially if there is any congestion on any routes.
Going into the lions den I was thinking 'are these animals drugged?' as they seemed rather motionless. I know every animal needs sleep (I guess these ones have a lot of time for that) but they really looked lifeless. The African lions and cubs on the other hand had been very playful and was a wonderful experience to watch them roam and chase one another. I can only imagine how much more satisfying it would be to see them in their actual natural habitat.
Adults (16-64yrs) -£12.95 per person
Children (3-15yrs) - £11.50 per person
Under 3's - Free
Senior Citizens - £11.50
Disabled - £11.50 (available to blue badge holders)
Students - £11.50 (available to student card holders)
Family Admission Ticket - £44.00 (Admits 2 adults & 2 children)
Amusement Area Wristbands & Ticket Machines:
Adult Wristband (16-64yrs) - £11.00
Child Wristband (up to 15yrs) - £10.50
Family Wristband Offer (2 Adults & 2 Children) - £38.70
Concessions Wristband (Senior Citizens, Disabled, Students) - £10.50
Cubs Kingdom Wristband - £7.75
Tickets minimum payment £6.00 (three tickets).
Refunds will not be given.
Some rides require 2 tickets.
Tickets only valid on day of issue.
Wristbands are only issued according to height, in standing footwear.
It was a wonderful day out, wish the weather had been a little better but we are in England after all! I did think the gift shops were over prices and the food too. Still I would give The West Midlands Safari Park 3 out of 5 stars, I think some maintenance work needs to be improved on, and the rides weren't really that good. Still I think a nice day out for the children, me and my partner shall be returning to take my four year god-daughter to see Santa this Christmas.
The Safari park offers dog kennels, as dogs are not allowed inside the park dog kennels have been made available. For this a lock can be collected from the main reception area and you have to pay a £5.00 refundable deposit. Personally I would never put my dog in the kennels I don't think its fair on the dog. Plus from reading they do not supply water bowls or blankets! Best thing is to leave them with someone they know to housesit.
Lost and found is located at the main reception, cash points are also available round the park (don't know if they charge or not) credit cards are accepted to pay admission, gift shops and for wristbands.
Baby changing facilities, which are located in the main car park toilets and amusement area toilets. Can't really comment on this one as I had no need to use them, yet!
First Aid centre which can be found by the discovery trail and the amusement area (always handy to know)
Disable access seemed rather good, large space for chairs, disabled toilets which can be accessed really easily and wide doors to enter into shops etc.
Also a useful note to point out is that they have a lost person/child point which located at the First Aid Hut which is located near to the Explorers Cafe, or the reception area which is located at the main entrance.
West Midlands Safari park also has a list of safety regulations which you have to a dear by.
(List from web)
Do not open doors, windows or sun roof when in the Wolf, Lion, Tiger,
Cheetah and Wild Dog Reserves or when near a camel.
It is forbidden for anyone to leave their vehicle ANYWHERE in the
If you require help sound your horn, switch on your hazard lights and await the patrol vehicle.
All Vehicle/Coach evacuations must be supervised by a Warden.
Certain vehicles cannot be admitted to the drive-through Wolf, Lion, Tiger, Cheetah and Wild Dog Reserves, for example: convertibles or 3 wheelers.
Externally mounted items such as spare wheels and wheel covers should be removed to prevent damage by Lions and Wild Dogs.
Do not allow animals to put their head inside your vehicle.
To prevent an animal putting its head inside your vehicle, keep windows half up.
When feeding our special diet animal food, hold your hand outside the vehicle and feed at arms length.
If you should wish to stop feeding for any reason, turn your hand and drop the feed onto the roadway/grass. Move your hand to the side of your vehicle, before bringing it back inside through your window.
Close the window to 3/4 up if an animal attempts to put its head inside your vehicle.
After feeding any of our animals always remember to use hand wipes provided and wash your hands at one of the rest rooms on the park before eating or drinking.
If you are unsure about anything, please ask.
West Midland Safari Park
Tel: 01299 402114
Fax: 01299 404519
Bookings & Events Hotline: 01299 400700
As always thanks for reading!
With it being my eldest 8th Birthday last week he had the choice of where he wanted to go for a day out, he ultimately chose the Safari Park as he loves seeing animals. We looked it up on the internet so we could make sure of the opening times and what we needed to take and so chose a good day and headed off.
We arrived at the park at just before 10am which was good as it opened at 10, we joined the queues which were forming next to the 4 payment booths and sat and waited. As we were waiting we had people walking around the queuing cars selling colour booklet telling you all about the animals which you were going to see, they were priced at £4 and we chose to have one as a good souvenir of the day and also it is quite educational for the boys. When getting to our booth we made out payment, fortunately we got away with being cheeky and got out 3 year old in for free.
The prices for admission are:-
Adult - 12.95
Child - 11.50
OAP - 11.50
Under 3's - Free
Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) - £44.00
We were offered the choice of purchasing feed for the animals but we chose not too as we did not want the boys getting too close and becoming scared of the big animals. We were given out tickets and also a free return ticket for the same car with the same amount of paying people in it which for us was a lovely surprise.
After paying and driving through the booth area we made a big mistake and followed the cars in front which took us straight into the safari area. There is an area where you can park and I would advise doing this before the safari so you can go to the toilet and have a small break after the drive there. Unfortunately we did not know this so carried on oblivious to what was ahead. Following the cars for a short way we soon arrived at the gates to the safari.
When beginning the safari drive there are big warning everywhere which state that all windows must be kept closed and all persons must remain in the vehicle. We made sure we had all windows shut and headed off through the gates. The first animals we came across were varieties of deer and moving around we had the buffalos and llamas. As we got further into the drive we had the big cats and also the wild dogs (hussy's favourite!). Moving further still into the drive we encountered the rhino camels and elephants. One thing which we did not enjoy about this part of the drive was the constant wait for the gates to open. You had to sit and wait for a traffic light to go green and then the gate open so you could move onto the next gate and do the same before entering the next part of the tour. We found this was quite tedious but necessary for the animals and humans safety.
Once part the dangerous animals there are signs which say you can now open your windows and feed the animals if you wish, here we had the giraffe's, zebra's goats and less dangerous animals. We found the way they all lived together to be enjoyable as they were so used to the cars they came so close and even looked through the windows. We did open out windows for this part of the tour but only the front ones as out boys are still only young and we did not want to scare them.
When driving around there is no time limit and you can sit and look at the animals for however long you wish. We got some wonderful photo opportunities driving around but one thing which caused some problems with photos was the shine from the window being closed. There were a lot of other cars on the tour at the same time as us but if you are considerate and remember that you are all there to look, be patient and not try to push past then everyone can get to have an enjoyable experience and see what they wish.
There are parts of the tour which you can bypass if you wish and there are clearly signposted, we did not do any bypassing as we all wanted to see as many different animals as possible. We spent just under 2 hours driving around and probably 30 minutes of this was waiting at the gates but we understood this was needed so just enjoyed the views whilst waiting.
When you leave the safari tour you are directed to the car park areas and my goodness was it a relief to get out of the car, I was in desperate need of a fag and the boys were nearly wetting themselves! There is a toilet block very close to the parking area so we all made a run for this. Disabled parking areas are clearly marked but they do not have special areas for parent and children. We parked on a grassed area and were directed to do so, the marshals who were directing us made sure they made clear signals and left a good amount of space between the cars.
If you do not wish to drive around the safari area and wish to get the full experience then you can take a safari tour, this costs £4.50 per person and for this price you get driven around in one of the parks mini buses and get to come of the road and see the animals even closer, we did not do this option but may choose it on our next visit.
After the long safari tour we decided it was picnic time so after debating whether to find the picnic area or not we chose to eat it in the car, one of the deciding factors was that there was a slightly cold wind and the car was lovely and warm.
Directly opposite the car parking area is the entrance to the rest of the park. Access is gained through the Lost City Plaza. Walking through the plaza you can purchase food and sweets, the first of the gift shops is also located here. We walked through and then after looking at out map which was given with the tickets decided to do the left of the park and walk in a circle around so we did not miss anything. First place we visited was the discovery room and in here we had the bats, never again am I going into the bat area, they are free flying and flew all around our feet and my boys were scared and thought the place stank, it really was not a choice made well for us! After coming out we continued out walk and found café, the Explorers Café but as we had eaten we did not go in. Past this is the Discovery Trail and here you can find the Reptiles. Outside of the reptile house and Discover Trail there is a lovely area where talks are held about the snakes and reptiles which the house holds. We were lucky and had Martin O'Shea talking on the day we went and he did a give a very interesting talk which I actually learnt from. When going around the reptile house I noticed how busy it way and not buggy friendly. Most of the animals were on the walls and not easy to see for children in buggies so I made a dash for the full length areas so little man could also see the reptiles. We did have parts of the walls which had questions and you have the choice to pick up a question sheet and complete the questions asked and enter a prize draw but we did not do this.
When coming back out we decided we would leave the rest of this area and see it on the way out. We made a move to the lower area of the park where the rides and amusement were.
At this bottom end of the park we have an area which is full of rides and games. Tickets need to be bought for the rides or if you wish to go on all of them it works out cheaper to buy a writs band at around £15, but this gives you unlimited rides and fun. As our boys are only young we did not need these and they were more than happy to walk around looking at them and trying to find the next gift shop! As you come to the end of the big rides there are signs to the Cubs Kingdom which gives the younger visitor the chance to have there fun on the rides. We decided to bypass this part as we only have one daredevil child and it would have meant I would have had to go on the rides!
The rides all varied and to name a few there was:-
Black fly, Pirate ship, Flying Lion Kings, Zambezi Water Splash, Twister Coaster and for the younger child there were the Caterpillar, Rhino Roundabout, Red Baron and many more.
None of the rides looked exceptionally good and there was just the normal roller coaster, dodgems, drop and log flume.
All around this area is expense, there are games to be played and a lot of money to be spent but fortunately our boys were happy with having an ice cream and looking. We did find the gift shop and have a good look but nothing was bought.
In the play area of the park you can find the Hippo lake, we went and investigated and found there was a good viewing platform which had access for buggies and disabled but unfittingly the hippos did not feel the need to entertain us and lay wallowing in the mud.
Making our way back out of the area we went and found the sea lions but were disappointed as we had missed the feeding times and so they were not very active or interested in the fact we were watching them. There is an area where you can view them under the water and also on at the side of the pool where you can see them from above.
All around the park and fun area there are places to buy food and drink and even a beer if you wish, we found the food was over priced from what we saw on some of the boards and so was very great full we took our own picnic and drinks. We did however purchase a bag of chips on the way out and they were not too overpriced and cost £1.95. Toilet blocks are frequently found in the park and are all clearly signposted. They were clean and tidy and all had disabled toilets as well as men's and women's.
We found it very easy to navigate out way around without having to use the map too much as there are signposts all over the place showing you where things are.
~~GIFTS AND SHOPS~~
There are three gift shops in the park and I have to say both me and hubby were disappointed by them all. All they seemed to want to sell was cuddly toys and a few plastic toys. We would much have preferred to be able to buy wooden carved animals and prints. The boys did all choose a cuddly animals each and I have to say they were so over priced. A small teddy was around the £10-12 mark depending on which animal you wanted. They are lovely and soft and look a good quality but I still think they were overpriced for the size.
All of the gift shops were spaced out through the park but there was only a limited choice in each of them. There is a sweet shop which can be found in the Lost City Plaza but as I am supposed to be on a diet we did not go in!
There are some good photo opportunities around the fun park and you are able to buy fun photos but I imagine these would be overly priced and they are only available on three of the rides.
The feeding times for the animals and talk times are all available to find in the map and booklet which you are given and they are also displayed on the web page for the park.
There is a cash machine at the park on the entrance to the Lost City Plaza and also one inside the park at the Explorers Café. We did not need to use this so I cannot comment on how safe it was or if there was a charge for making a withdrawal.
Dog are not allowed in the park but there is a dog kennel available to use.
When you get you map and booklet on paying you will find the whole back page designated to safety regulations, we had a quick read but all of it really is common sense.
To get to the Safari Park a full map and address can be found on the website. We found it was a straight enough run and it is clearly signposted from the M5 motorway. The park address is:-
West Midlands Safari Park
Web site - www.wmsp.co.uk
On the web page you will find detailed maps and direction and also a lot for children to do and see. There are a lot of pages dedicated to the animals which can be found at the park.
~~WOULD WE GO AGAIN?~~
Without hesitation the answer is yes. We had such a wonderful time and there was loads to do. I think the fact that we got a free return ticket also helped make this decision for us. In total we spent £75 for out day and this was including the ice creams and gift shop purchases and admission fees and I have to say it was well worth every penny.
One criticism I have with the park is that there were no monkeys. My middle son was upset with the fact he could not see any but with the location of Twycross Zoo not being far from us we have promised him a visit here to see all the monkeys.
This is definitely a fantastic day out for people of all ages, there is good disabled and buggy access throughout the park and toilet located all over the place so it is family and child friendly. I would advise that if you wish to go on the rides then you will need to take quite a lot of money with you. A picnic is the best way to go as the food choice was very limited and overly priced.
I am giving the safari park on behalf of my family a full 5 stars despite the lack of monkeys as we had a excellent day out and cannot wait to go back with our free return ticket!
For those who are also on Ciao there are a few photos added to the review over there and the full album can be found on my Facebook page for all those who are my friend over there.
The kids had a teacher training day yesterday, so I thought it would be a good time to go to the West Midlands Safari Park. In the past, I have been at weekends and school holidays, and the place is crowded to say the least. I was happy to have some Clubcard vouchers to cover the cost of entry into the park. The "Days out" vouchers are worth £20 for every £5 you redeem online, and can be used at a variety of parks and attractions, including this one.
It would have cost the five of us £55.50 to get in the park, but I got in free thanks to the vouchers. We also bought two bags of animal food for £3 a box. You can feed the deer and goats as you drive around the park, and the kids loved the idea.
As we arrived early, we went straight to the drive through safari. It tends to be busiest between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m, so it is best to either do it very early or very late to avoid queueing. I had an awful experience a couple of years ago, when my little girl had a "the runs" half way round the route, and I only had a carrier bag to catch it in! It was on the busiest and hottest day of the year, too!
The safari route is really interesting and has a good variety of animals along the 4 mile route. The kids really loved feeding the deer, and it was hillarious when a giraffe put his head in the window to see if we had any food! The white lions are beautiful, and there are many other animals en route that are endangered in the wild, such as the wild dogs. The park is working hard to help ensure the survival of these species. Most of the animals had lots of space, but I did feel a bit sorry for others, who didn't seem to have a lot of room at all, such as the elephants and white tigers, who were restricted to a small area of grass by means of electric fences. The new attraction this year was the Indian armoured rhino, which also seemed to have little space to roam about.
After our safari, the kids were keen to get to the fair, which had a good variety of kiddie rides and a couple of bigger ones. Not much for the adults though. The payment options for the rides seemed a bit odd, either pay £6 for 3 tickets, or buy a wristband for £10.50 for all ride access. I'm sure they could have though of some kind of middle ground here, as you are basically being forced into having a wristband! The clubcard vouchers can't be redeemed on wristbands, so we just got them for the kids, as we didn't think we would really go on many rides ourselves.
As we went on a weekday, the fair was really empty. We had full access to all the rides, which run on a 40 minute alternating timetable. This meant the kids had the roller coasters to themselves and could just stay on as long as they wanted. It was like owning our own theme park! The rides cater from very small children with their own "cubs kingdom", through to bigger ones, with the Rhino coaster and Twister ride, which is a coaster with a waltzer style car! The ride staff were lovely, and very friendly and chatty. Nothing was too much trouble for them.
There were only 3 eating options: Botswana Burger bar, Hot and Spicy or Explorers cafe. We opted for Botswana Burger, which was located near the fair. The meals were "Mcdonalds" style, and cost about £5 each for a burger, fries and drink combo. I must admit, the food was better than Mcdonalds and the burger was first class. The staff were really friendly. The only problem was the ducks that kept coming in and invading the customers as they ate!
After lunch, we checked out the "discovery trail" which was a walk through exhibit. They had the usual reptile house and aquarium, as well as a large display of insects. The animals were housed in really big tanks, with lots of interesting plants and environments. The trail also housed a "bat cave". My husband was too scared to go in! It is a really dark tunnel, with bats flying around your head! There is a warning on the door that the bats may poo on you, which worried me, but we got round pretty quickly. You keep thinking the bats are going to hit you, as they zoom past!
The trail is also home to the Sealion show, which was really lovely. The sealions really looked like they were enjoying themselves, and there was lots of audience participation. More disappointing was the "reptile encounter". I was expecting to be able to touch the snakes, but the keeper kept them behind glass due to "health and safety". A highlight for me was the pair of Amur Leopards, housed near the reptile house. They came right to the front of the enclosure. You felt as if you could touch them. They are extremely endangered in the wild. Such beautiful animals.
We finished our day back at the fair, taking advantage of having all the rides to ourselves until the park shut at 5:00 p.m. All visitors receive a free return ticket, so we will be back at the next opportunity to do it all over again!
I went here before when the children were younger and really enjoyed the safari park, I went on friday 16th april 2010 for the 2nd time and I will never go again, I took my family there for a day out it cost me £44.00 for two adults and two chilren to get in, which wasn't to bad, but after driving threw the safari which wasn't very good, we took are children inside to go to the theme park side, which they were really excited about, we then found out that we also had to pay for wrist bands so they could go on the rides which would cost for a family, another £43.00 I thought that it was a total rip off. I thought the £44.00 was for everything not just to see the animals which really there wasn't many. In the end I had to tell my children that I couldn't pay another £43.00 on top of the £44.00 I had already paid, my kids were gutted and I was angry that I had to let my children down. As far as I concerned this place is just a money maker scheme and its not good value for families.
As it's the Easter holidays myself and 4 friends decided we'd have a day out, as we live in Stoke- on- Trent we thought about the usual places, Alton Towers, Drayton Manor, but we decided upon West Midlands Safari Park as going to a theme park is very expensive and you're constantly paying out once inside too.
Entering the park and paying:
When we arrived at about half past 11 the queues for the ticket booths were quite long, the car was ushered into a row by workers at the park and we were offered a programme for £2. Although the queue appeared to be long we only had to wait about 5 or 10 minutes, you pay from your car with several people struggling to reach the booth thankfully my friend parked close enough so she didn't have to almost climb out of the window (of course it's totally unacceptable to get out of your car if you can't reach the booth, everyone prefers to struggle out of the window!).
Prices for Summer Season 2010:
Under 3's: Free
Senior Citizens: £11.50
Disabled (with blue badge): £11.50
Students (with student card): £11.50
Family Ticket (2 adults and 2 children): £44
A free return ticket is also automatically given when visiting the park, which is a really good offer. With 5 of us in the car this is a potential saving of £65, although your return visit ticket does say how many people the ticket is valid for and your car registration so you can't give it to someone else.
The other aspects of the park which you have to pay for, food, souvenirs and rides are quite reasonably priced.
After driving through the paying booths you're directed straight to the Safari aspect of the park, without chance to read the leaflet where it advises that if you arrive between 11am and 12pm to visit the leisure aspect of the park first as the Safari will be very busy, we would of appreciated being told this by the person who we spoke to when we paid.
There are a wide variety of animals including lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, zebras and rhinos along with a range of other lesser known animals. We found the first aspect of the Safari good if a little boring, the tracks are wide enough for 2 vehicles so if you want to stop to take pictures or watch the animals other cars can overtake you. It's nice to watch the animals in a more natural environment where they are relatively free to roam. There are gates to stop too many cars going through at any one time, as we were visting at peak time queues were long at these gates and this tainted the experiance somewhat. The track is quite hilly and we saw a few cars had broken down, all of them being Fords, and what car were we in? A Ford Focus! Thankfully though we didn't break down, a mechanic was visting with his family but pulled over to help the cars, it was in a large queue up a hill and he said that it was the clutches which were taking a battering due sitting on the clutch for too long and they were burning out so it's a good idea to sit on your handbrake instead!
The highlight of the Safari was the giraffes, they were walking inbetween the cars which had stopped and taking pieces of fruit from people's hands. However a staff member came along in a Land Rover and told people not to feed the giraffes, people still were though as it's hard not to entice such a beautiful animal closer to you.
They say the Safari lasts 1 hour 15 minutes but it took us over 2 hours with the queues so it's worth noting that you might want to visit the toilets before following the Safari track. There are visible signs to advise you when you can open your windows but they advise that you keep your doors locked at all times. If you need to get the rangers attention you have to beep your horn.
Although we didn't go on any rides as most were designed for children we did still walk through the Leisure Park. There were 19 rides in total for families including, water rapids, log flume and 2 relatively big rollercoasters for the space they were in which was popular with teenagers. There was also a pirate ship, carousel, miature railway, dodgems and slides for younger children. There was also Cubs Kingdom which was for younger children we didn't enter this area of the park though but we could see there were small rides suitable for children too small for the other rides. The prices started at £6 for 3 rides tickets, with each ride being 1 or 2 ride tickets, however you could buy an unlimited ride ticket for about the £10 mark I think.
There was also a Reptile House which was quite interesting with snakes, frogs and crocodiles all fully enclosed thankfully, it was very hot in there though! The Sea Lion show was really good fun, the times are 1pm, 3pm and 5pm and the show lasted about 15 minutes and was free, a few tricks were carried out by Solo 14 and Callum 3 in return for some fish. The show had a pirate theme with Callum having to walk the plank, it was very tailored towards children but as a group of 18 year olds we still enjoyed it! It was nice to see that the handlers (Salty Sophie and Anchor Amy) really loved the sea lions and were really good with them showing them lots of affection and it was clear they loved their jobs. The Bat Cave was one aspect none of us enjoyed, it was dark and the bats were flying free we walked through quickly to get out as soon as possible with some children crying even before they entered!
The whole area was very well themed around Africa with it all being quite rustic with lots of trees and stone to give you a real Safari feel which enhances the experience and provides plenty of photo opportunities.
We took a picnic with us but we bought an ice cream whilst there which was about £1, there were plenty of areas to eat your picnic although only a few benches so if you visit a blanket will probably be needed. There are plenty of places to buy food whilst there, mainly selling fast food, burgers, nuggets, pizza and chips for about the same price as Burger King, slightly more expensive that McDonalds. There fast food places encourage you to eat on the go but if you want to sit down there is Explorers Cafe which is abit more expensive but gives you chance to sit down and enjoy things such as cottage pie, lasagne and fish and chips as well as a separate menu for children there was also a wide variety of hot and cold drinks available.
There was a gift shop selling all manor of Safari related toys including hundreds of teddies in varying sizes of every animal you will of seen that day. As with any souvenir shop it is quite expensive but if you want a reminder of your visit there are smaller items available like key ring, pens and magnets.
There were two main blocks of toilets with disabled facilities and baby changing facilities, they were basic due to them being outside but clean at all times of the day.
There were 2 cashpoints in the leisure area of the park but they do accept most major credit cards for ride wristbands, admission and souvenirs.
There are dog kennels on site as you can't take your dog out of the car at any point in the day. The kennel is £5 which is refunded at the end of the day when you pick your dog up and give the lock to the kennel back to the reception.
You can go on a guided tour around the Safari in a jeep, this is £4.25 (per person I presume) and after seeing this whilst in our car I would recommend this, you have to book when entering the park but it gives you really good opportunies for photographs as the jeep goes off road to give riders the best experience.
Overall: I will be going back to West Midlands Safair Park, especially seen as we have a free admission voucher, the park isn't bad value but if you're going as a family I should imagine the price would escalate. There was a wide variety of animals making this perfect for anyone to enjoy and there was such a variety of people at the park which really reflected how suitable it is for anyone. The only let down was the queues, I know sometimes this can't be avoided but it would of been helpful if the person who accepted our payment had advised us to visit the Safari later on as the Safari is immediately and we didn't get chance to read the leaflet before we began. The queues were annoying and we got very bored, so not ideal if you have children, at about 3pm the Safari was really quiet though which would give you better opportunity to look at the animals. I would recommend this West Midlands Safari Park, just arrive early for the Safari or wait til after 3pm!
On my latest visit to see my brother he decided that we would go to the West Midlands Safari Park. I love animals and want to eventually go to Africa to work with lions and so he knew that I would enjoy it.
Luckily we had some Tesco Clubcard vouchers which were really useful with 4 of us going as it can end up being a very expensive day out. The prices are as follows:
Adults -£12.95 per person
Children - £11.50 per person
Under 3's - Free
Senior Citizens - £11.50
Disabled - £11.50
Students - £11.50
Family Admission Ticket (Admits 2 adults & 2 children)- £44.00
Once you have been once you also get a free return ticket which is an amazing offer! The park is generally open from around 9am-6pm and it is best to get there early as the park can get very busy.
The safari park is amazing. If you are worried about your car being attacked by animals then don't be. There are no monkeys at this park and the other animals are not interested unless you have food. There are also rangers around in every area to drive off any over zealous animals, not that they were needed when we were there. The only problem we came upon was an ostrich who enjoyed pecking wing mirrors. We did see a couple of cars break down, in which case you need to beep your horn and a ranger will drive over. There are lots of hills and so your clutch will take a bit of a bashing, especially if it is busy. All windows, doors and sunroofs must be closed and locked in the more dangerous areas but big cats aren't generally too active during the day and so there is nothing to worry about.
The park is a great way to get up close to animals which are normally seen by most of us behind bars in small enclosures. These animals can wonder around in quite large areas relatively freely. The animals range from all sorts of different deer to wallabys, wolves, wild dogs, tigers, lions, cheetahs, rhinos, elephants, giraffes, buffalo and hippos. You can drive around as slowly as you want, stopping for as long as you want in the enclosures. We did have to wait in lines of traffic for the tiger enclosure but other than that we were relatively unrestricted. We did find that as the weather was quite drizzly while we were driving around that the carnivorous animals tended to be asleep or sheltering which was a little disappointing, so I would recommend that you check the weather before you go and choose a nice day.
My favourite enclosure had to be the white lions. This rare breed is totally extinct in the wild and the West Midlands Safari Park has a whole pride and is doing wonders to try and breed them! The worst enclosure was the leopard enclosure which was placed near the theme park and was more like a zoo. They were behind glass and did not have nearly half the room that the other animals had. I really could not understand the logic of this. I was very impressed with the rest of the park but this is one of the reasons I could not give it 5 stars!
It took us 3 and a half hours to get around the park. By which time we were starving. Luckily we had taken our own picnic because prices were pretty high. There were lots of benches to eat on and lots of different places to buy food, including a restaurant. There is another section in the park which is a theme park with rides. If you take the kids this area will seriously hike up the price of your day out as the rides are not included in the price of the ticket. The minimum price is £6 and you can buy a wristband for between £7.75 and £11 which means you can get on all the rides. There are height restrictions on rides. There are also lots of stalls to win cuddly toys etc. There are plenty of gift shops which are unbelievably pricey and all sell the same thing. I can understand the need to earn money to keep the upkeep of the park up but I think they have gone a bit too far with the gift shop prices!
In the theme park area there is also a reptile house, bat house, mini aquarium area and a sea lion show. The sea lion show was disappointing. Lasting only 10 minutes and with about 3 tricks but it was free.
I had an amazing day out and loved seeing all the animals so close and clearly. It is an fantastic learning opportunity for kids but also pretty expensive for a large family or demanding children.
West Midland Safari & Leisure Park, which opened in 1973, covers an area of almost 200 acres, and is set amongst the beautiful Worcestershire countryside.