Bookings Open For Safari Park's Wild New Lodges

Bookings are now being taken for West Midland Safari Park’s brand-new luxury lodges, which include overnight stays with views of hippos and African wild dogs.

Following planning being granted last month, work has now started on the development, which will see the instalment of eight lodges, alongside new habitats for the animals.

First of its kind in Europe, four lodges will offer incredible views of African wild dogs, whereas four more lodges will be the only place in the UK where you can stay overlooking hippopotamus.

The African Wild Dog Lodges will be single-storey and can sleep up to six guests, offering incredible views into the dogs’ habitat through the huge windows spanning the bedrooms, living spaces and outside decking area.

The Hippo Lodges will be two-storey, with open-plan living spaces, covered outdoor viewing areas, spacious balconies and two bedrooms, sleeping either five or six people.

Two of the Hippo Lodges will be accessible for wheelchair users, with a double or twin singles downstairs, as well as a wet room, wide doorways and car parking outside the lodge.

Neil James, Project Manager, said, “As with all our lodges, we take influence from the animals themselves when it comes to the designs and the interiors. For the African wild dog lodges, we wanted to create a different style to represent the world’s most prolific land predator. These animals are perfectly designed to cope with the harsh African environment and these lodges will feel like they are born from the earth, but with a chic finish.

 “Overlooking the pool and natural landscape, the tones throughout the Hippo Lodges will really complement our group of hippopotamuses. We have blended a natural and neutral palette with African textures and patterns. These lodges are warm, welcoming and stylish and the perfect place to sit back and relax whilst watching the charismatic animals.”

Guests will be able to watch the UK’s largest pod of hippopotamus, from the comfort of their lodges, as the four animals explore their new environment, which will be upgraded with 24-hour access to both their indoor and extended outdoor habitats.

The new hippo house will also be suitable for future breeding programmes, with an indoor pool, mud wallows and evening pools which offer close access viewing for guests from their lodge balconies.

The wild dogs’ habitat will be expansive, allowing the pack of four dogs to explore, socialise and play, with integrated enrichment points to stimulate natural behaviours.

Both habitats will integrate into the Park’s pedestrianised African Walking Trail, which will allow day guests to view the wild dogs from a split-level viewing point, with additional viewing along the trail for the hippos.

This will be the first time in the Park’s history, that guests will be able to see the African wild dogs on foot.

African wild dogs are classified as ‘endangered’ and common hippos ‘vulnerable’, by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), with both species facing threats in the wild such as poaching and habitat loss.

Both species are part of an EEP (EAZA Ex-situ Programme), a breeding programme supporting the conservation of their wild counterparts by creating a reserve population. The new facilities will enable the Park to continue its important work with the EEP.

Safari Lodges short breaks include breakfast and dinner, spectacular views of the animals, admission to the Park for two days and Theme Park wristbands, during the summer season.

Guests can now book their Hippo Lodge or African Wild Dog Lodge stay, via the Safari Lodges website, where they can choose dates from 19 July to 30 September 2024. Prices will start from £515 per night, based on two guests.