A visit to the zoo will never be the same. Work has begun on the UK’s first safari lodges overlooking African elephants and cheetahs.
When you think of the world’s most beautiful and exotic animals, you don’t immediately think of the West Midlands. But that’s all set to change.
The UK’s “first” safari lodges overlooking African elephants and cheetahs will be built in Worcestershire and the views should be pretty spectacular.
The eight exclusive, luxury apartments at the West Midlands Safari Park will be integrated into the newly-updated animal habitats, to give guests “an up-close and personal, overnight wildlife experience like no other” – as these pictures show.
There will be six lodges offering overnight accommodation experience with elephants and two more lodges will offer views of cheetahs as part of the new project.
The elephant lodges will be “authentically-themed”, boasting thatched roofs and housing up to six people.
Visitors will enjoy large, open-plan living areas, with a lounge and dining area, a downstairs bedroom and a large balcony with outdoor seating.
Bedrooms offer views across the brand-new elephant habitats, and guests can use of the outdoor terrace to enjoy their meals while watching the elephants approach the pool in front of the lodges.
For those who want to be surrounded by some feline friends, there are also two single-storey, detached cheetah lodges to fit six. The living space will have a large window, spanning one side of the building, offering panoramic views of the cheetahs in their new habitat with floor-to-ceiling windows in the bedrooms.
It sounds pretty incredible, although work has only just begun. The first phase of the development is slated for completion this summer.
Chris Kelly, who has joined the park’s management team as accommodation and venues director, has said it the elephants and cheetahs are just the start. “This amazing project will grow into something spectacular over the next four to five years, but to start with we are focusing on the elephants and cheetahs,” he said.
“Not only will the new lodges offer guests the opportunity to stay onsite overnight for the first time, they also allow us to create upgraded, stimulating and enriching environments for the animals.”
Kelly also said that the project will also boost the local ecosystem. “Conservation is at the forefront of our minds when designing and building the lodges, so as part of this project our net biodiversity gain will increase by 30%, creating more habitats such as woodlands and wildflower meadows, encouraging native wildlife.”
Keep up to date on the project by visiting www.safari-lodges.co.uk.