WORK to develop eight new luxury lodges and upgraded animal facilities at West Midlands Safari Park has started.

The ‘Safari Lodges’ will be integrated into the newly-updated animal habitats, overlooking African elephants and cheetahs, designed to give guests an up-close and personal, overnight wildlife experience.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

Nestled into their own secluded area, but fully immersed within the wildlife reserves, there will be six lodges offering the only overnight accommodation experience with elephants in the UK.

Two more lodges will offer incredible views of the Park’s cheetahs – also the only experience of its kind in the UK.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

To oversee and drive the development forward, Chris Kelly has joined the Park’s management team, as Accommodation and Venues Director.

He said, “I grew up in the Midlands and the Park has always been a favourite place to visit, since I was a youngster.

"To be operationally delivering the new wildlife development project and lodges, is such a fantastic opportunity for me and something I am already very passionate about.”

“This amazing project will grow into something spectacular over the next four to five years, but to start with we are focussing on the elephants and cheetahs.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

"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.

“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 per cent, creating more habitats such as woodlands and wildflower meadows, encouraging native wildlife.

"Revenue from the lodges will support improving the facilities for more of the Park’s amazing animals, as we work towards the next phases of development.”

Kidderminster Shuttle:

The elephant lodges will be themed with thatched roofs, accommodating up to six people. They will have large, open-plan living areas with lounge and dining area, plus a downstairs bedroom, as well as a large balcony with outdoor seating.

Upstairs will be a bedroom, offering views across the brand-new elephant habitats. Breakfast and evening meals are included, and guests are encouraged to make use of the outdoor terrace to enjoy their meals, whilst watching the elephants approach the pool in front of the lodges.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

The two single-story, detached cheetah lodges will also sleep up to six people. The living space will have a large window, spanning one side of the building, offering panoramic views of the cheetahs in their new habitat. A floor-to-ceiling window offers similar, incredible views in the bedrooms.

Each lodge will also offer free Wi-Fi, TV, coffee machine and mini bar, filled with local produce.

The first phase of the development has ambitions for completion this summer.