West Midland Safari Park has unveiled plans for the next stage in its ambitious long-term development strategy.

The Bewdley attraction has submitted proposed plans to Wyre Forest District Council, for its second phase of Safari Lodges accommodation, offering luxury overnight stays with giraffe and white rhino. The eight new lodges will sit next to the recently opened elephant and cheetah lodges stays; and offer stunning panoramic views of the site’s spectacular wildlife.

The opulent two-story accommodation will be authentically integrated into newly updated giraffe and white rhino habitats, giving guests an immersive and unforgettable overnight wildlife encounter, like no other.

The rhino lodges will be the only experience of its kind in the UK with white rhino, a species for which the Park recently celebrated the successful birth of two new male calves. In giraffe lodges, guests will be able to watch the Park’s tower of seven giraffes from second floor living spaces, which also have open balconies with views out over the plains.

Alongside the introduction of the eight new lodges, the plans also focus on upgrading the Park’s animal facilities. This includes a brand-new giraffe house and a state-of-the-art rhino and antelope house; both of which will offer the animals 24-hour access to both their indoor and outdoor environments.

Head of Wildlife, Angela Potter, said “Safari Lodges have provided us with an amazing opportunity to improve our animal facilities, something which is vital to the welfare of our animals.

“We have large groups of giraffe and white rhino here at the Park, and the impact the new indoor houses and updated external habitats are going to provide for them, will be wonderful.

“It’s an exciting next step and we look forward to continuing to look after these beautiful species and work to support their conservation in the wild.”

The Park’s giraffe and white rhino are both part of European breeding programmes, which support the conservation of their species and raising awareness of their endangered numbers.

Managing Director for the Park, Chris Kelly said, “We’re thrilled to be entering our second phase of development for our Safari Lodges accommodation.

“Since opening our elephant and cheetah lodges in April, the reaction from guests has been brilliant, and the demand for bookings has been exponential. This has only further solidified our intentions with moving forward and submitting plans for our breath-taking new giraffe and rhino lodge stays.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved so far with Safari Lodges, and in continuing with our unwavering commitment to building a lasting legacy for our animals, our guests and the Park.”

Once the planning submission is granted, work is due to commence in September 2021, with ambitions for completion in Spring 2022.

The submission comes ahead of the Park opening its newest luxury accommodation, Red Panda Cottages, which are due to open on Monday 2 August. Nestled into the site’s new red panda exhibit, ‘Red Panda Retreat’, the Nepalese-inspired cottages offer an unforgettable stay in a unique setting.

There are still dates available for 2021 Red Panda Cottage stays, and guests are encouraged to visit the Park’s website for further details.

For further information on Safari Lodges and details on how to book, visit safari-lodges.co.uk.