A new safari lodge is opening in the UK, where you can wake up with incredible up-close views of elephants or cheetahs.
The lodges will be opening this summer, and are located within the elephant and cheetah enclosures.
New images show the luxurious suites in all their glory, complete with open-plan living rooms, outdoor seating and balconies, and comfy bedrooms – you don’t even have to get out of bed to see the animals.
They sleep six people, and once open will be the only overnight experience in the UK where you can get this close to animals like this.
The lodges are located at the West Midland Safari Park, and will only be open during the summer season – it’s not been revealed how much they’ll cost yet.
And you don’t even need to leave your bed to grab some food, with chefs on-site preparing your breakfast and dinner and delivering it to your room.
While we don’t know how much it’ll cost to stay there, whatever you pay will also include admission into the park and wristbands for the rides at the theme park.
You can’t book yet, but head over to the safari lodge site here to stay up to date with what’s going on.
Chester Zoo unveils plans for overnight safari lodges with giraffe feeding stations
The grounds will boast an authentic Savannah-style habitat where giraffes can roam freely
Chester Zoo has today unveiled plans to open a range of overnight safari lodges overlooking spectacular animal habitats.
The conservationist zoo has resubmitted plans to build the lodges in a grasslands zone next to the A41 Moston Road on the approach to the car park, an area that is currently land owned but not actively used by the zoo.
The original plan for forty-two lodges and tents was submitted and approved in 2019, but never went ahead thanks to issues caused by the 2020 Covid pandemic.
But now, Chester Zoo has submitted a revised plan for sixty-three lodges of varying style and size to be built around the perimeter of a ‘large body of water’, alongside a restaurant, bar and wildlife pond.
According to the planning documents, an authentic Savannah-style habitat will be created within the grounds, meaning many guests will be able to see giraffes grazing right by their windows.
To maintain this habitat, trees appropriate for the African savannah landscape will be sporadically planted, while a denser and greener islands zone will be created to provide greater species diversity for wildlife.
There will also be two giraffe feeding stations extending out to the Bachelor Giraffe paddock, with one being accessible to all guests and the other a private viewing and feeding area for two of the lodges.
An ‘island’ space in the centre of the new lake would act as a focal point for events, social gatherings, functions and storytelling.
The on-site restaurant would seat up to 120 people and have breakfast, lunch and dinner services, with the first-floor views overlooking the lake and the giraffe enclosure.
Guests will be able to stay overnight in a number of four and six-person lodges, all of which will include a variety of king size beds and bunk beds.
Chester Zoo has since been given the green light for its revised proposal, and it is hoped that the lodges will be complete by mid-2023.
Make sure to head over to the Chester Zoo website for news and updates.
UK tourists will have to pay to visit Europe next year under new visa rules
The new system will come into force next year
UK tourists will have to pay to enter Europe next year thanks to the introduction of a new visa system.
Travellers will have to pay a fee for a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), an electronic permit designed to enhance security and enforce the borders of the Schengen zone.
The ETIAS will be required for anyone over the age of eighteen and under the age of seventy travelling to a European country, whether it be by airplane, boat or car.
It will even be required for those only transiting through Europe.
The visa applications will ask questions regarding identity, passports, education, jobs, recent travel and any criminal convictions.
This new visa system will also replace the current system of passports being stamped, with the new visa documents to be scanned electronically instead.
ETIAS registration is set to become mandatory in 2023, though there will be a six month transition period to allow travellers to become familiar with the new entry requirements.
The application form is said to be relatively straight forward, and it estimated to take around ten minutes to complete online. It must be completed at least ninety-six hours before departure.
An ETIAS will reportedly cost €7 (£5), with successful applicants being permitted to travel within the Schengen Zone for up to ninety days per 180-day period.
The visa will remain valid for three years and for multiple trips to Europe, with people who apply during the transition period being permitted to use the permit for the next three years, unless their passport expires.
For more information and to see if you’re eligible to apply for the new ETIAS visa, visit the official ETIAS website here.
Passport warning issued as travellers told not to book holidays
Thanks to the pandemic, people are experiencing massive delays on their passport renewals
Hopeful holidaymakers have been urged to check their passports as ‘one million holidays’ hang in the balance.
During the Covid pandemic, millions of British passports expired, meaning that many families are now being made to wait much longer than the recommended 5-6 weeks to get their renewed passports back.
Because of this, the government has issued a warning to those planning on getting away this year, stressing that people should not book any holidays until they have their passports back.
The website states: “It is important to stress, you should not book travel until you have a valid passport – your new passport will not have the same passport number as your old one.”
The Home Office has also warned Brits to leave more than the recommended ten weeks to get their passports back due to the increased demand.
The website says: “Customers can also help to ensure there are no delays with their application, such as using a high quality photo with a digital code, applying online and applying for a new passport more than ten weeks before they are due to travel.”
Recent reviews on Passport Waiting Time, a site that tracks consumers’ waiting time during applications, has demonstrated the inconsistent and lengthy wait times for a new passport.
One user’s review from last month says she had to wait for more than twelve weeks for two of her family’s passports to be renewed.
She wrote: “Applied for my two children’s renewal 17 Jan and currently still in the processing stage.
“I made four applications in Jan and have received two out of four of them. The two I received came within a few weeks, so I don’t understand why it is taking so long.”
And the issue has only been exacerbated further by a rule enforced by a number of different countries requiring travellers to have at least six months left on their passport.
Under this guidance, passports must be valid for another six months before they depart for international travel to countries such as the UAE, Saint Lucia, Singapore and Thailand.
For more passport rules and information, visit the Gov.uk website.