Press Release 20.05.2024

Plans approved for 51 safari-style luxury lodges at Chester Zoo, offering an immersive wildlife experience.

Cheshire West and Chester Council have approved plans for a new luxury overnight safari accommodation at Chester Zoo. The development will feature 51 safari-style lodges, a reception building with a bar and restaurant, and a picturesque lake.

In collaboration with Buttress Architects, Gillespies has developed the master plan, design concept, and planning submission for this spectacular new development. This new attraction complements the visitor experience for the forthcoming Grasslands exhibit, which has also been designed by Gillespies, Buttress, and the Chester Zoo team and is currently under construction.

The safari-themed lodges and restaurant building are nestled within a naturalistic landscape that showcases the iconic African savannah while celebrating local biodiversity. The design incorporates native species, open mosaic habitat-style planting, and a large biodiverse water body, complete with earth banks for Sand Martins migrating from Africa to nest.

Visitors will enjoy views over the Grasslands Giraffe habitat, providing a truly unique and immersive experience. Guests can wake up to giraffes strolling past their lodges or feed them from nearby feeding stations. Additionally, a central island in the lake will serve as a venue for events, gatherings, functions, and storytelling.

This approval marks a key milestone for Chester Zoo, and we extend our congratulations to them. It has been a fantastic project to be a part of, and we look forward to seeing it come to life.

Related projects

The Grasslands, Chester Zoo