West Midland Safari and Leisure Park
Tel: 01299 402114 / 0700 4 SAFARI
About West Midland Safari Park
West Midland Safari Park is located at Spring Grove, Bewdley, Worcestershire, and is a multifaceted family attraction providing a great family day out.
West Midland Safari and Leisure Park opened in 1973 in 200 acres of parkland at Spring Grove House, a family attraction in itself, with 100 acres of landscaped gardens. The West Midland Safari Park features over 600 animals and dozens of species, many of them endangered. Indeed, the family attraction combines its role as a leading conservation institution with a host of thrill rides and entertainments, offering a panoply of fun all year round, whatever the weather.
West Midland Safari Park’s four-mile Safari takes ticket holders round a series of naturalistic mixed and single species enclosures, beginning with two prides of lions – the kings and queens of the jungle – including the only pride of rare white lions in the UK. Housed in the Kingdom of the White Lion, the group of 12 big cats have a condition called leucism, meaning a loss of skin and fur pigmentation, and there are no more than 70 in the world (and only two others in the UK). Also to be spotted in the African Lion Reserve, behind the double-lock gates operated remotely by staff in watchtowers, are their neighbours, the African Wild Dogs, which disembowel their prey – ticket holders can observe them from a safe distance! For those who prefer not to drive by the reserves, a guided minibus tour is available.
The family attraction houses a breeding herd of powerful White Rhino, slender Giraffes (which reach 5.5. metres in height), majestic zebra, Wildebeeste, Lechwe, Eland and Ankole Cattle with two-metre horns. Some of the animals can be fed from food boxes, adding an up close and personal dimension to a family day out at West Midland Safari Park. Descending the hill, a reserve of Cape Buffalo can be seen, as well as a lake and Przewalski’s Horse on the opposite side.
West Midland Safari Park’s Elephant & Waterbuck Reserve features a number of African Elephants – the largest living land animal, with an average height of 3.2 metres and mean weight of 4.5 tonnes – Waterbuck, Barbary Sheep – which are wont to hang around cars waiting to be fed – leopard and Cape Buffalo, making West Midland Safari Park the first in the UK to host all of the ‘African Big Five’ species.
The Tiger Reserve features Bengal Tigers – the largest of the big cats, weighing up to 40 stone. They live in grasslands, mangroves and forest and mark territory by urinating on trees and bushes, dropping faeces and scratching tree trunks – not something you’ll see on your average family day out!
The Eurasian Reserve boasts Bactrian and Arabian Camels, ensuring that ticket holders won’t get the hump on a family day out, as well as yak, while the Asian Reserve has Water Buffalo, Anoa and various deer, including the Philippine Spotted Deer – the world’s rarest. In addition, the zone plays host to Little Owl, white tigers and black rabbits – another unusual sight at a family attraction.
Other specialised West Midland Safari Park enclosures include the Wallaby Reserve, Wolf Wood – harbouring a pack of the once-native animal – and the Hippo Lake, where the largest group of ‘water cows’ in the UK loll and bathe. Ticket holders can look out too for Brindled Gnu, Reindeer, Nilgai, Banteng, Ostrich, Llama and Addax, while there are a host of daily activities for a fun-filled and action-packed family day out.
West Midland Safari Park ticket holders can follow the Discovery Trail and attend a Friendly Animal Encounter, such as in Leopard Valley, a Friendly Reptile Encounter with a snake or lizard in the Reptile House, or a Sea Lion Encounter, where the natural performers of Seal Island prance, play and perform for the crowds, especially during feeding time. Indeed, a 15-minute Sea Lion Theatre runs at regular intervals.
Additionally, an educational talk is given at the Seal Island Exhibit Pool each day, while the Hippo Viewing Platform allows ticket holders to meet the Hippo Family – the biggest in Europe – and watch them being fed.
The family attraction’s Twilight Cave is an indoor exhibit featuring free-flying fruit bats, Jumping Rats and Aye Aye. The SeaQuarium boasts Tropical Marine and Freshwater Exhibits from the Pacific, Red Sea and Amazon River, and Creepy Crawlies informs ticket holders about eight-legged freaks and their ilk – just the ticket for fans of invertebra! Further, there’s a Deer and Goat Park with a pet’s corner, where visitors can handle domestic livestock such as sheep and goats.
The Family attraction’s Safari Express Train Ride runs from the car park to the Amusement Area, with its panoramic views over the Severn Valley, while the Severn Valley Railway runs parallel to West Midland Safari Park, between stations at Kidderminster and Bewdley. The Amusement Area is located beyond the Hippo Lakes and Discovery Zone and is chock full of 30 exciting rides and amusements. Among the standouts are the Venom Tower Drop which plummets 30 metres to earth, the Zambezi Water Splash, the giddying zebras of the Congo Carousel, and the £1 million Wild River Rafting.
On top of that, for a hair-raising interlude on a family day out, there’s the Black Fly and Twister Coaster, while other fun rides at West Midland Safari Park include the Rhino Coaster, Pirate Ship, Jumbo Parade, Slippery Snake Slide, Jungle Cat Dodgems, Animal Ark, Flying Lion Kings, Rhino Roundabout, African Big Apple Coaster, Dr Umboto’s Catacombs and Ghost Train, the Jungle Swings, Tarantula, Flying Pandas, Simba Kiddies Train, Red Baron, Morrocan Magic Carpet, Tanganyika Tea Party and Desert Convoy. A number of these rides and attractions are for younger ticket holders, their ‘Cubs Kingdom’ taking in Dune Dashers and a Fire Rescue Rangers water experience.
Since 2006, West Midland Safari Park has featured in ITV’s Safari Park documentary series, and it focuses on the family attraction’s conservation work, as well as the facilities it has for a family day out. These include Face Painting for kids, the African Trading Company Souvenir Shop, Jungle Bazaar Gifts, the Congo Candy Sweet Shop, the African Trading Company store, Dr Umboto’s Mumbo Jumbo, Port Livingstone Pizza, Lost City Fun Foods, the Oasis Bar & Coffee Shop, Explorers Café, Botswana Burger Co., a Hot & Spicy snackery, and a Picnic Area with plenty of benches and tables.
Additionally, West Midland Safari Park caters for groups and corporate events, with exclusive use of the Tree Tops Pavilion or a marquee in the natural amphitheatre of the grounds for a buffet or BBQ lunch with a private bar, not to mention a private animal encounter such as swimming with a sealion, cuddling a cub or stroking a snake. Themed occasions can include entertainers, a band, disco or caricaturists (see website for details).
With disabled access and facilities throughout, West Midland Safari Park really is a cracking family attraction that can be enjoyed by everyone on a grand family day out.