It’s home to some of the worlds most beautiful and critically endangered exotic animals.
The 6km route through the 45-hectare safari will provide you with the opportunity to experience the 600 or so animals living there at close quarters, close enough in fact to feed many of them if you purchase the specially formulated animal feed.
We set off from our home in Cardiff around 7.45am.
The park opens at 10 so we aimed to be there for that time. We arrived around 9.30am and were the third car in line in one of the queues.
Whilst we were waiting in the car to enter the safari park, some of the staff walked amongst the cars selling safari guide souvenir books which were £4.00 each.
They’re great books as they have lots of photos and information about all of the animals in the safari park.
The lady at the kiosk entrance gave us a map of the park and then we drove to the entrance of the safari drive through.
As its private land we were able to let our girls sit in the front of our car so they could get a better view of the animals, but the staff do advise children remain seated with seatbelts on.
The safari drive is four miles long and it took us around 90 minutes to drive around it.
Because we arrived early we were able to drive around at our pace without traffic building up. As we approached the end we could see across to the safari park entrance and there were quite a few cars queing so it is advisable to arrive early.
The first part of the safari drive is the Afircan Plains where you can see Ankole Cattle, Common Eland, Ellipsen Waterbuck and Persian Fallow Deer.
The second part is The Wild Woods and Grasslands where you can see African Wild Dogs, African Lions, African White Lions, Bactrian Camel, Pere David’s Deer, Nilgai and Banteng.
Next up is the Cheetah Plains which is a smaller part of the Safari Drive. We did manage to spot the Cheetahs, but they were quite far back!
Wild Asia is up next which means you can expect to see some Axis Deer/Barasingha, Philippine Spotted Deer/Blackbuck, Asian Buffalo, Indian Rhiniceros, White Bengal Tiger and Sumatran Tiger.
We then entered Land of the Painted Dog followed by the Realm of the Lions and the Kingdom of the White Lion.
After this we were back in the African Plains where we saw some White Rhinoceros, Greys Zebra, Ostrich and Cape Buffalo.
Next up was the Asian Lowlands followed by Elephant Valley. The girls were so excited about seeing a baby elephant!
The last section took us back into the African Plains where we were greeted by giraffes and zebras.
I hadn’t realised that you could buy animal feed at the entrance until we saw people feeding some of the animals in the Safari Drive. I am a bit disappointed that we weren’t made aware of this as we would have loved to have fed the animals.
The Safari Drive is very well run and has very good security. They operate a traffic light system to let a certain amount of cars into each area at a time and each area has two sets of security gates going in and out.
We all absolutely loved the Safari Drive. To have the opportunity to get up close to these animals is a memory that we’ll never forget.
Upon exiting the Safari Drive we were directed to park our car and then we made our way by foot into the Safari Park.
When you enter you walk down an arcade which has some gift shops in and also a sweet shop.
I bought two bottles of Pepsi in the sweet shop which came to £3.80 which is quite expensive.
Before we wandered around we sat down at a bench and had a picnic.
To the right of the entrance is the Twilight Cave which has free-flying bats in. We didn’t go in here as our girls (and me) would be petrified!
We went into Reptile World and looked at the various snakes, lizards and other reptiles.
I like that there are iPads around this area as they provide information about each animal. Ruby and Maisie really enjoyed looking at the animals on them and listening to me and their daddy tell them all about each animal.
Right by the entrance you can find the Humboldt Penguins.
We also went into the Creepy Crawlies building and saw some pretty amazing spiders and other bugs!
Land of the Living Dinosaurs
I was very keen to go into the Land of the Living Dinosaurs, but I wasn’t sure if our girls would want to in case they got a bit frightened.
However they seemed both happy and curious to have a look so to my delight we went in!
This section of the park opened in March of this year so it’s pretty new.
It’s an immersive walking trail featuring 38 life size dinosaurs, each with moving eyes, mouth and neck.
The exhibit is heavily themed, landscaped and planted with copious amounts of flora, including tree ferns, gunnera, reefs and monkey-puzzle trees.
Sound effects indicative of the lost world added atmosphere and the staff were friendly and knowledgable.
Land of the Living Dinosaurs is included in the standard admission charge of £19.99 for adults, £14.99 for children aged 3-15 years and £17.99 for concessions.
Sea Lion Show
There was a Sea Lion show at 1.30pm so we went along to this. We noticed a queue building up around 1pm so we joined it and I’m glad we did as we managed to get four seats with a very good view. Some people did have to stand down toward the front so I would recommend arriving early if you want to see a show.
The lady who presented the show, Holly, was upbeat and humorous. Our girls loved watching the Sea Lion jump through a hoop and perform other tricks.
Tiny Tots Theme Park
After the show we headed toward Tiny Tots Theme Park.
The rides are charged extra. You can either buy tickets for one or more rides or a wrist band for all rides.
The girls height was measured. As they were between 0.8 metres and 1 metre we were given a slip of paper which detailed the rides they were allowed on:
Adults can ride with children on the following rides:
Rescue Fire Rangers
Flying Lion Kings
Dr Umboti’s Catacombs
An adult needs to accompany a child on the Slippery Snake Slide.
The girls went on most of the rides and had so much fun!
After the rides we had a quick look at the meerkats in the African Village. I love how close up they came to us and our girls enjoyed looking at them so much!
By now it was 3.30pm so we decided to make our way back to the Explorers Cafe for some food.
We did stop on the way so that we could buy a slushie drink for our girls each. They chose to have one in a re-usable bottle which were £4.50 each, although a plastic throw-away bottle was just £2.20.
Inside the Explorers Cafe is a buffet style set up where you simply pick up a tray and ask the staff for what meal you want.
Our girls had chicken strips and chips which was £5.25 each. Very reasonable in my opinion as it was a nice size portion and was very tasty.
My husband and I had sausage, mash and gravy which cost £7.25. Unfortunately the sausages were quite over-cooked meaning they were quite hard and chewy.
The cafe was clean and staff were friendly.
Just going back to when we arrived at the safari park, our girls saw a lady selling helium balloons so we promised the girls they could have one each on the way out. I should have checked the price before making this promise as they cost £7.50 each!
There a few gift shops scattered throughout the safari park and they all have a huge range of souvenirs including soft toys, pens, notebooks, mugs etc.
M chose a pink elephant toy, R chose a dog toy and my husband and I treated ourselves to a pen each!
Overall we had a fantastic time and we will definitely be returning again.
The Safari Drive was my favourite part of our day out. I loved how close we were able to get to each of the animals. There were lots of each species so you we didn’t struggle to see them and they all seemed pretty happy about the number of cars passing through as they didn’t seem bothered at all.
The rides were really good. I like that there was plenty for children to do in terms of rides and various game stands dotted around too.
The park itself was clean and the layout was really good because everything is close together meaning you don’t have to walk far to find everything.
I’d definitely recommend a visit!
My Tips for visiting West Midland Safari Park
Here are some tips for you if you’re considering a trip to West Midland Safari Park.
1. Arrive early to ensure you can get through the Safari Drive at your own pace
2. Buy animal feed if you want to feed the animals
3. Bring a picnic for lunch. There are lots of places you can sit to eat
4. Bring plenty of drinks with you as they can be expensive in the shops
5. Although you can pay by card, if you do want to pay with cash make sure you bring some with you as the cash point charged £1.85 to make a withdrawal
6. If you want to see a show arrive early to ensure you get the best seats
Thank you West Midland Safari Park for a wonderful day out! We hope to see you again soon!
For the purpose of this review we were given four complimentary tickets to enter the Safari Park and four complimentary tickets for the Theme Park rides. All views and opinions are 100% our own.