West Midland Safari and Leisure Park is located in Worcestershire in the heart of England. Opening in 1973, the park is home to around 140 different species of wild animals including; cheetahs, lions, giraffes and rhinos to name a few. The park is primarily a drive-through safari but for an added charge a VIP Safari experience can be brought. Along with the safari park, West Midlands is also home to a small selection of rides and rollercoasters and in 2015 the park opened Land of the Living Dinosaurs.
We've never experienced a Safari drive-through and we weren't sure what to fully expect, it's fair to say we were both blown away at how close some of the animals got to your car and how friendly there were. At various points of the safari, we had animals eating out of the palms of our hands... literally! Boxes of food can be brought upon entering the park, allowing you to feed a small selection of animals. Have you ever felt a giraffe's rough tongue?
The safari drive-through is a 4-mile long self-drive course and is split into 5 different areas; African Plains, Wild Asia, Carnivores, The Borderlands and Elephants. Throughout the drive you can experience it at your own pace, stopping for photos throughout.
In the African Plains, you come face to face with some of Africas largest animals from Girffaes to Ankole cattle and Zebras to name a few. As we mentioned earlier you can feed some of these animals, but Zebra are on the list you can't feed. Clear signs are around the park signalling which animals can be fed. In Wild Asia and Asian Lowlands, you come face to face with a selection of deer, antelope as well as some wild camels.
In most of the Safari park, you can have your windows half-open on a hot day, however, in some sections you have to keep your doors locked and windows closed. You wouldn't want a wild lion or tiger climbing into your car! Drive through the homes of Tigers, Cheetahs, African painted dogs and the king of the wild, African Lions. During our Safari, we had to stop our car multiple times to let packs of lions cross the road. We don't think they would have reacted well to someone trying to jump ahead! The number of times we were both gobsmacked at how close we were to these beautiful animals.
One of the sections of the park you drive through is home to some extremely clever African elephants. In their newly built habitat, the park has 5 wild elephants who like to cover themselves in water in their new pool and explorer the wild. The park also made news in 2014... "Sutton was born in 2014 following artificial insemination, using semen from a wild bull in South Africa. He is the first elephant calf to be born at the Park and one of the first in the world to be born from a procedure using a wild bull elephant."
Located near the Safari Park is more animal enclosures called Discovery Trail. Where you can find penguins, lorikeets and some hippos! Unfortunately, we didn't have time to experience all of these but from the photos and videos we've seen, it looks stunning. And the penguins are always very popular with families.
The Adventure Theme Park, where you can find all of the rollercoasters and rides, is controlled by and token or wristband system where each ride costs 2 tokens or you can buy a wristband for unlimited rides. For such a small theme park we think it has a great lineup. With stuff for younger adventures and larger attractions for older children. Although nothing is amazingly themed, the park has done a good job laying everything out and keeping it all looking fresh.
Admission for the Safari is £25 for an adult and a wristband for the theme park is an additional £15 which includes all of the ride or ride tokens, which can be brought for £1 for one token.
Food and drinks can be brought at the Lost City Plaza area, which is also where the main gift shop is. We found the food and drinks to be priced at a reasonable cost and the quality of the food was really good! A large range of tops, soft toys and magnets can also be found in the shop.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at West Midland Safari Park, we've never visited before but you always hear a lot about cars being destroyed when you do a drive-through safari, but this is not the case! The interactions you get with the animals is incredible and something we've never experienced before. Be sure to take some baby wipes or some tissues with you to clean up after the animals slime your hands. The length of the safari is amazing and the fact that you can do it more than once if you have time is amazing. The theme park rides are a great addition to the park, hopefully, in the next few years, the park will expand on the theme park section. But if not we would still come back just to see the animals again. A mid-week trip seemed the best for crowd levels and to get the best expereince. We highly recommend visiting West Midland Safari Park!