Friday, 31 May 2013

West Midlands Safari Park Review

West Midlands Safari Park is located in Worcestershire and is a great example of the 'British Safari'. It has a couple of acres of land dedicated to a number of wild animals like lions, elephants, ostriches, camels, rhinos, cheetahs, tigers and a few rarer sights such as anoa, eland, dholes and nilgai (a sort of 'hench' deer!).

Curious Giraffe
 
The first part of the park is the safari element. You do have to drive your own car around so I wouldn't rock up in your latest BMW but every time I've been the animals have been careful around vehicles as they are so used to them. It takes roughly 2 to 3 hours to get around the safari track and you get to see a huge variety of wildlife. I've had a pride of lions literally brush past my drivers' side window and it's amazing how close you can get to the likes of tigers, rhinos and giraffes. Animals will often stand in the road because some idiots make a habit of feeding them random treats found inside their cars, so it's quite easy to get within touching distance of a buffalo, for example. I took my 10 year old brother with me last Summer and he spent the entire time jumping around the car and screeching whenever he spotted anything. West Midlands Safari park is definitely a day out that can be enjoyed by kids and adults!

Zebra


Once the safari is complete you are lead back around to the entrance where you can park up (free of charge) and then go inside to the 'Amusement Area'. This section of the park includes further animal displays such as a reptile house, penguin enclosure and also a 'bat-cave' that you can walk through in the dark. I was 99% convinced that there was a net between the bats and us but it soon becomes evident that they are free to fly around as they please. I would avoid this part if you think that bats flying into your face and back could potentially bother you...

At the back of the amusement area are a few rides and even the odd roller coaster. None of the roller coasters are particularly big or terrifying (I am however a huge roller coaster fan so this may not be a shared opinion) and they are aimed more towards children and teenagers but there are quite a few good rides along with a ghost train and water rapids. The negative side of this section of the park is that all of the rides are chargeable, and it is EXPENSIVE. You're encouraged to buy a wristband which entitles you to ride without paying for each individual ride. This does work out better value for money (especially if you have kids), but it's still not cheap. Prices are all listed at http://www.wmsp.co.uk/rides-information-prices.php so it's worth checking before you visit the park.

West Midlands Safari Park costs roughly the same as similar parks, such as Longleat Safari Park, and they also give you a free pass to visit a second time when you buy your tickets. This is tied to the registration of the car you arrived in and covers the number of people you purchased tickets for on your first visit but it's a great idea as the experience is even more enjoyable when you haven't paid to get in.

In summary, this is a great day out and I would highly recommend visiting this Summer.
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