Bookings are now open for the brand-new wildlife lodges at West Midland Safari Park. 

After planning permission was granted last month, work has started on the impressive development which will see the instalment of eight lodges alongside new habitats for the animals. 

The first of its kind in Europe, four of the lodges will offer incredible views of African wild dogs with the four other lodges being the only place in the UK where you can stay overlooking hippopotamus. 

Project manager, Neil James, said: "As with all our lodges, we take influence from the animals themselves when it comes to the designs and the interiors. 

"For the African Wild Dog Lodges, we wanted to create a different style to represent the world's most prolific land predator. 

"These animals are perfectly designed to cope with the harsh African environment and these lodges will feel like they are born from the earth but with a chic finish." 

Kidderminster Shuttle: Wild Dogs and Hippo Lodges exterior impression Wild Dogs and Hippo Lodges exterior impression (Image: West Midland Safari Park)

The African Wild Dog lodges will be single-storey and can sleep up to six guests, offering incredible views into the dogs' habitat through the huge windows spanning the bedrooms, living spaces and outside decking area. 

The Hippo Lodges will be two-storey with open-plan living spaces, covered outdoor viewing areas, spacious balconies and two bedrooms, sleeping either five or six people. 

Two of the Hippo lodges will also be wheelchair accessible alongside offering a wet room, wide doorway and car parking outside the lodge. 

Mr James added: "Overlooking the pool and natural landscape, the tones throughout the Hippo Lodges will really complement our group of hippopotamuses. 

"We have blended a natural and neutral palette with African textures and patterns. These lodges are warm, welcoming, stylish and the perfect place to sit back and relax whilst watching the charismatic animals." 

Kidderminster Shuttle: Wild Dog Lodge Living Space Wild Dog Lodge Living Space (Image: West Midland Safari Park)

As well as guests being able to watch the UK's largest pod of hippos from the comfort of their lodges, the space for the animals is being upgraded with 24-hour access to both their indoor and extended outdoor habitats.

The new hippo house will also be suitable for future breeding programmes with an indoor pool, mud wallows and evening pools which offer close access viewing for guests from their lodge balconies. 

The wild dogs' habitat will be expansive allowing the pack of four dogs to explore, socialise and play with integrated enrichment points to stimulate natural behaviours. 

Both habitats will integrate into the Park’s pedestrianised African Walking Trail, which will allow day guests to view the wild dogs from a split-level viewing point, with additional viewing along the trail for the hippos.

This will be the first time in the Park’s history, that guests will be able to see the African wild dogs, which are classified as endangered, on foot.

Both species are part of an EEP (EAZA Ex-situ Programme), a breeding programme supporting the conservation of their wild counterparts by creating a reserve population.

Guests can now book their lodge stay at