Port Lympne is a hotel and 600 acre reserve located in Kent, offering incredible safari and overnight experiences. Since 1984 the reserve has been owned by The Aspinall Foundation.
This foundation works to promote wildlife conservation at Port Lympne & Howletts, as well as overseas where they run a number of projects to protect endangered species and return captive animals back to protected wilderness areas (including some endangered species bred at Port Lympne!)
I am wary of organisations offering animal experiences, but did my research and believe the animals at Port Lympne are well looked after and the organisation is a good one as the reason it offers these animal experiences and stays, is to fund projects and help animals all over the world.
It’s £20 for children / £23.50 for adults to visit the park for a day (discounts available online). You can book different experiences if you’d like a closer encounter with some of the animals living in the reserve, including, giraffe / rhino safaris and ‘keeper for the day’ experiences.
I would definitely recommend a safari as your guide will be able to tell you lots about the animals you see, as well as the conservation work they are doing.
We stopped off to feed the gorgeous giraffe on our safari…
Usually they would be free roaming, but it was very cold when we visited so they were kept close to their indoor enclosure. They were so sweet and it was incredible to get so close.
& we stayed at the Lion Lodge…
The highlight of our trip was staying overnight with the lions! … okay, not literally, but there was only a glass window separating us and the gorgeous cats.
The lodge itself is stunning, made up of 2 bedrooms (sleeping 4), a gorgeous bathroom and large living space including a little kitchen PLUS an outdoor bath and snug.
It cost £1,000 to stay in the Lion Lodge for one night and included: use of a golf buggy for the duration of the stay, a private safari (with the opportunity to feed a rhino / giraffe) and breakfast.
The golf buggy took a bit of getting used to, but was fun and useful for getting around the park!
The reserve also offers other luxury accommodation at a variety of prices for different sized groups, including: other animal lodges (giraffe, tiger, rhino), treehouses and bubbles.
We had a delicious meal at Babydoll’s, a cute Italian restaurant located in the reserve.
& we enjoyed a tasty breakfast in the main hotel / mansion! What a stunning building.
Definitely visit Port Lympne over a typical zoo 🙂