A drive over the Welsh border and through the wilds of South Shropshire took us to West Midlands Safari Park in Bewdley, Worcestershire yesterday. We were there for The Tourism & Attractions Show, but also intended on making the most of our free entry into the Safari Park.
When you arrive at West Midlands Safari Park you can either head straight to the safari or park up and head for the rest of the park. We got there for 10 am (opening time) and parked up first, but next time we’ll head straight for the safari before it gets busy.
West Midlands Safari Park is much more than a safari park as there is so much to see and do. As well as the safari park with its lions and tigers and giraffes and elephants etc, there’s a small theme park (with rides suitable for all kinds of ages), the Land of the Living Dinosaurs (which I need to take my dinosaur-mad nephew to see) and smaller creatures like penguins, meerkats, lemurs, goats, lorikeets, reptiles and creepy crawlies (*shiver*).
I love penguins, so headed straight to Penguin Cove to see them. I think they’d only just got up as they seemed a little tired and not very active at all. However, I popped back to see them a little later and they were full of beans, racing through the water and having fun. Keep an eye on the boards for feeding and show times.
I was slightly more wary of the Lorikeets as we entered their enclosure as one or two of them were flying around. Visitors are given the opportunity to feed these strikingly beautiful birds too.
Next, we entered the Land of the Living Dinosaurs. I took a number of photos here for my 4-year-old nephew as he’s a big fan of dinosaurs and would absolutely love this area of the park. The dinosaurs are animated and make sounds, so are quite realistic for the younger ones.
We didn’t go on any of the rides in the adventure theme park (maybe next time!), but we walked through it and headed to the African Village area to see the meerkats, lemurs and goats. Here you can get up, close and fairly personal with these animals, especially the lemurs and goats. The meerkats were their usual funny selves!
We then headed back to the car and onto the safari park itself. You have the option of driving through the safari park yourself or you can go in the Safari Bus (this needs to be booked at the main reception).
Some of the animals are quite laid back, whilst others like to get as close as possible to the cars in the hope of some food.
We found the traffic flowed quite nicely at the beginning of the safari, but got quite jammed the further on we went. There are two lanes of traffic and we found some drivers swapped between lanes to get a better view. These were also usually the same drivers who would stop for ages and block the road. I think the safari park could do with laybys in some of the enclosures so those who wish to stop for ages can do so without disrupting the rest of the traffic through the park. I was also amazed at the amount of cars which had their windows wound down in the lion and tiger enclosures, and parents who had their children sat (unrestrained) on their knees in the front seat.
I think it took us around 2 hours to get around the safari park in the car and it was great to see the animals in an environment which is as close to their original habitat as they can get in this country. There is a wide range of animals at West Midlands Safari Park and they seem happy and content, if occasionally a bit stubborn when it comes to letting the cars past (but who can blame them!).
Last entrance into the park is 4 pm and it closes at 6 pm, but I’d advise reserving most of the day for your visit as there’s so much to see and do.
The bonus about a visit to West Midlands Safari Park? They give you a free return ticket to use in the same year, so if you didn’t have time to do everything you can go back again!