Animals to be observed without any danger in their natural habitat – this is what separates a safari park from a zoo, which instead gives animals a different home, replicating their original ones. At safari parks, you can drive through them in your vehicle (owned or provided) and be amongst these fascinating animals and observe.
Whether you live in or are visiting England, then make sure to not check out our following top 10 best safari parks in England.
Check out our best safari parks in England…
1. West Midland Safari Park, Bewdley, Worcestershire
In Worcestershire, you’ll find yourself in the African Plains, Wild Asia, Elephant Valley, or the Carnivores section, but regardless of where you are, exotic and interesting animals will roam all around you – in Elephant Valley, there is currently a new baby elephant named Satton, who is gaining 8-9 kg everyday!
Throughout the year, there are a number of events offered here in the West Midland Safari Park, some festive themed, some based around music, but you are guaranteed to find one that catches your interests.
There are more than just events, though – there is also an adventure theme park (open for over half the year) and an Ice Age themed area.
On a daily basis, there is the Discovery Trail, where you can check out some penguins, reptiles, arachnids, bats, sea creatures, and also sea lions at the Sea Lion Theatre!
Explore the African Village, where you can encounter lemurs and meerkats, as well as feed the Somali sheep, pygmy goats or Cameroon sheep.
2. Woburn Safari Park, Bedfordshire
Ever find yourself wanting to walk on the wild side and explore? At Woburn Safari Park in Bedfordshire, you can do more than just walk through safaris – you can drive a vehicle, ride the Great Woburn Railway, or even ride a swan boat.
On the road safari, you can travel through the Northern Plains, Savannah Grasslands, Kingdom of the Carnivores, Giraffe Junction and the African Forest, where you can find monkeys, giraffes, rhinos, lions, zebras and bisons.
Alternatively, you can go on the foot safari to meet some meerkats, elephants, sea lions, deers, and birds.
If you’re bringing kids and find yourself a bit knackered, you can take them to the indoor soft play area or even the outdoor play areas while you take some time to relax – perhaps at one of the many events available.
3. Knowsley Safari Park, Merseyside
Knowsley Safari Park offers some more peculiar animals, such as bats, ratites, and rodents, but they are all just as amazing. Located in Merseyside, this safari park has the longest safari drive in the UK, meaning there’s more to see and more to do on this 5 mile ride.
On weekends and school holidays, the Baboon Bus is available, so you can take a trip round in that knowing that your car is safely parked elsewhere.
Follow the Amur Tiger Trail and explore in search of the two tigers that live there – Bira and Sinda.
There are also other foot trails that you can take, for example the Wild Trail, Equatorial Trail and through Bat Forest. If you prefer the water, you could also go into the Boating Lake!
National days concerning animals are celebrated here, so you can expect for there to be plenty of events to attend.
4. Longleat Safari and Adventure Park, Wiltshire
What’s your favourite animal? Is it perhaps an elephant, a giraffe, or a rhino? Or even a deer, a monkey, or a wolf? Or do you prefer the big cats, such as the tigers, lions, and cheetahs?
These are all the animals on show at the first safari drive-through outside of Africa, Longleat Safari and Adventure Park. VIP tours also allow feeding of some of these beautiful animals.
For over an hour and a half, enjoy a ride through the safari park on the double decker safari bus (resembling a classic London bus), whilst listening to interesting commentary from the expert driver.
Explore the safari park without the risk of your own vehicle damage and focus entirely on photography and enjoyment.
Exciting seasonal events are available, so you can ride a hot air balloon in the Sky Safari, do a UV themed obstacle course, celebrate Autumn, watch fireworks and attend the festival of light. And these are only Autumn events!
5. Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park, Stirling
Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park probably offers the widest range of animals on this list and offers some that others might such as alpacas, camels, chickens, cockroaches, llamas, leaf cutter ants, rabbits, pigs, tortoises and more exotic ones.
Exotic animals aren’t the only things this safari park in Stirling has to offer – there are also plenty of attractions including boat trips (around Chimp Island and free pedalling), sea lion presentations, the Flying Fox (a tremendous zip line), and the Astraglide (a giant slide).
There are also attractions specific for children, such as the Wooden Fort or the Pirate Ship, bouncy castles, face painting, and a fun fair (for all the family).
6. Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, Lympne, Hythe
Over 700 animals, over 90 species, over 600 acres, all of which you can see at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park. Here, you can see Kent’s only giraffe and the largest herd of black rhinos!
There are plenty of other things that may catch your eye too such as the Dinosaur Forest, where you can meet all of your favourite dinosaurs (and maybe feel as though you’re walking through Jurassic Park)!
There is more to Port Lympne than just the safari park – you can stay in one of the luxury lodges or one of the glamping accommodations, so that when you wake up the next day feeling refreshed, you can go right out to explore more of the safari park.
Furthermore, you can also host parties and events here, you can even have your wedding here at this award winning venue if you want.
7. Cotswold Wildlife Park, Oxfordshire
Ostriches! But don’t get your head stuck in the ground, otherwise you’ll miss out on all of the fun. You wouldn’t want to miss the penguin talks (hosted everyday) nor seeing the lions lazing about, acting as though they own the place.
You’d want to snag your chance to ride the Narrow-Gauge Railway too, so that you can enjoy all the views this wildlife park has to offer.
Two miles south of Burford, Oxfordshire, Cotswold Wildlife Park hosts monthly events – this month (August) is Rhino month! There are also annual competitions such as the Photography competition this year (2018).
8. Knepp Wildland Safari, Horsham
Roaming across 3500 acres of Sussex are herds of animals and many smaller creatures such as insects. Encounter birds, mammals, butterflies, beetles and reptiles – or if you’re more of a plant person, you can check out the plants and fungi.
If you go to Knepp Wildland Safari – one of the largest rewilding projects in lowland Europe – you don’t have to stay here overnight, just as you don’t have to visit the safari if you stay in one of the comfortable shepherd’s hut or classy tents, but if you are a long way away from Horsham, West Sussex, then perhaps it’s better to consider it at least. If not, then make the most of your day!
After all, you can do some tree reading, take a course on deer photography, take a ride in a boat, attend rewilding workshops, all on top of exploring the safari park.
9. Wingham Wildlife Park, Kent
Dinosaurs and raccoons – there are barely any similarities between them, yet they can both be found in Wingham Wildlife Park.
During the 2012 Kent Big Weekend, this wildlife park was voted Kent’s most popular attraction, after having underwent major improvements and refinements since 2008 – you’ll notice that there is a wider range of animals now roaming around!
After hours, VIP tours are hosted, in which you can be guided around the park with intimate details of each breed, such as their arrival, history and relationships. For an unforgettable experience, you can also be a keeper for a day.
10. Shepreth Wildlife Park
All throughout the day at Shepreth Wildlife Park, there are a number of talks, each of which concern a different animal. You can take the safari train and enjoy all the views that this wildlife park in Shepreth has to offer!
There are many animals here – from alpacas to lemurs – and also events to celebrate; don’t miss the upcoming hedgehog day on the 27th of August.
If you’re interested in physical memories, you can visit the gift shop; you can even adopt an animal! Take a trip to Ringo’s Cafeteria if you’re looking to fill your stomach!