The West Midlands Safari Park is located in Bewdley (near Kidderminster) and is based over 200 acres of land. The Safari Park consists of 4 main parts which are the Safari Drive-Through, walk-through Safari, the Theme Park and the recently added Land of the Living Dinosaurs.
The West Midlands Safari Park was first opened in April 1973 and over the years I have been numerous times for school trips and days out with friends and family. Last year alone I visited the Safari Park twice due to their free returners pass which is brilliant. If you visit once to the Safari Park they will give you a free return pass (as long as you go back in the same car with same amount of people), and this offer even extends to if you book online where you save from 15% to 35% on the regular price of a ticket if you turn up on the day. I would recommend booking online before turning up, and students, you also get money off so make sure you carry your Student ID or NUS Extra card as you will asked to prove that you’re a student.
The Safari Drive-Through is a perfect way to learn about the animals and see them up-close. There are 4 main sections here, the African Plains where you can see the likes of Zebra’s, Congo Buffalo’s and Ankole Cattle. The animals in this section roam freely and do come up to you in the cars looking for food (which you can buy at the beginning before entering or sometimes when summer there is a hut in the Drive-Through so you can stop off). The next section is Wild Asia where you can see animals like the Sambar Deer and Rhino’s. Some of the animals in this section in this area blocked from the road, I imagine for fear that they will sit on a car actually. Section 3 is all dedicated to the Carnivores, the African Wild Dogs and the King of all animals in the kingdom, lions. Unfortunately a lot of these animals are behind a fence and if I remember right they used to roam freely; which is a real shame. I do think they were sunbathing in the middle of the road though which would have been bad. My favourite section is number 4, Elephant Valley. I love elephants and getting to see them up-close is amazing. There are usually 3 Elephants here, 2 adult and 1 baby. They are stunning and look very happy together playing in the mud, water and charging around. Don’t worry, the Elephants don’t go on the road so won’t be a danger to anyone.
If any of the sections don’t interest you, every gate you get to does have an ‘opt out’ lane which will bypass that area.
My tips for the Safari-Drive Through is that in the Summer it can get very hot in the car as you are not allowed your window down on some sections and can be heavy traffic through the park if the weather is really good. This is a 4 mile car journey so make sure you have enough fuel in the car and make sure you have drinks (but be careful as there are no toilets in this section and you can’t leave the car). I have found that the journey can take anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours.
When you leave the Safari Drive-Through you park up and then can go into the next section. This area consists of Penguins (which you can watch swim around), Sea Lion show, Hippo Lake, Reptile house, Bat cave and the meerkat & goat walk. I recommend trying to do all these I especially like to see the Hippo’s but they are harder to spot in the muddy water (which they love).
Also around this area and the Theme Park there are some places to grab some food as well as picnic area’s so you can bring your own food.
I personally usually skip this area as I don’t have enough time and rides don’t really interest me as I go to see the animals.
However, the Theme Park has something for everyone. They have dodgems, log flume, ghost train, slides and much more. You can find out more about the theme park here.
Land of the Living Dinosaurs
I loved this area when I visited the Safari Park. Before going in I thought “how can they really make dinosaurs seem to be living”, but I can tell you that they can. The dinosaurs are MASSIVE and apparently to scale, but I didn’t get my tape measure out to check that. The section tells a story of how dinosaurs millions of years ago, from where they started to when they became extinct. The dinosaurs are animatronic and sound so realistic. The big-kid in me was in amazement and beaming with happiness. I can honestly say I was gutted when I had to leave this area as I loved it so much. The free return ticket was worth it for this alone. Check out the promo-trailer below.
To summarise this massive review up (sorry it was so long), I personally think the West Midlands Safari Park is a great place for kids both for both education and fun, but I am certain anyone of any age would love it equally. It’s a great day out and you can make it last as long as you want and as little as you want.
Location – Spring Grove, Bewdley DY12 1LF
Book tickets in advance or look for some deals like 2-for-1 which can be found on some Kellogg’s cereal boxes. Also, if you are going to go in the summer on a hot day, make sure you have air conditioning as having the windows up through park can be very warm.