Going On Safari In Kent at Port Lympne

Port Lymphe Animal Park, Safari, Kent attraction, Kent, Day Trip, Zoo, Giraffe,

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Did you know you can go on a safari in the heart of the Kent countryside? At Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, you can see more than 900 rare and endangered animals across 75 species, including taking an African and Asian adventure right here at home with giraffes, zebras, camels, rhinos, water buffalo and herds of deer roaming free.

Port Lympne Animal Park spans more than 600 acres and is one of those places that no matter how many times you come, you see something new, from tigers and lions to gorillas, meerkats, and Kent’s only spectacled bears.

Port Lymphe Animal Park, Safari, Kent attraction, Kent, Day Trip, Zoo, Rhino,

The wildlife park, run by the Aspinall Foundation, has lots of safari experiences on offer, from a walking trail included in the price of admission to a day safari ticket on a truck for an hour for an additional £6 per person to intimate 90-minute ranger tours in a Land Rover or unique behind the scenes 2 1/2 hour AAA safari tours, where a small group get an up-close and personal visit to animals including giraffes and rhinos, and you might even be able to feed the animals.

The ranger tour costs an additional £45, with the AAA safari costing £75 per person, but is the perfect way to get closer to the animals, while also learning more about the Aspinall Foundation’s breeding programmes designed to save critically endangered animals. I have already decided I want to feed the giraffes and I’m adding that to my next visit.

See the giraffes on safari at Port Lympne

For this visit, we did the truck day safari, and it was so enjoyable and worth every penny of the additional £6. Yes, it isn’t as intimate as a Land Rover guided tour, but you get to see the same route around the Kentish Savannah, aka the Kent North Downs, and your driver offers you facts and information about the animals as you go.

I have done this hour-long tour now a handful of times, each time it is as enjoyable as the last, and I always see something new – from the grumpy camels that like to block the road to the playful herd of deer and the water buffalo taking a dip. Plus, no matter the weather, you will see an incredible view of the Kent countryside down to the coast.

Port Lymphe Animal Park, Safari, Kent attraction, Kent, Day Trip, Zoo, Giraffe,

My highlight is always seeing the giraffes, I’ve been obsessed with the elegance and poise of this beautiful animal since I was little, and it is incredible to see them up close. The park has 9 giraffes and while on the day safari you might not be able to feed the majestic animals you do get pretty close, as they are very inquisitive. A giraffe fact that I just learnt is that their tongue is 45cm long, which no doubt helps them reach the best leaves in the trees.

Alongside the safari experiences, Port Lympne also has several animal encounters from the walking trial side of the animal park, where you join one of its zookeepers, enjoy behind the scenes access in a small group and in some cases feed the animals. These encounters range from £15 to £150 for a 15-30 minute group experience to see animals including endangered western lowland gorillas, black rhino, bears, wolfs, lemurs and other primates, tapirs, as well as big cats such as the park’s lions, leopards, cheetahs and tigers. I basically want to do them all!!!

Experience a safari on the Kentish Savannah at Port Lympne

The walking trail is also fun, perfect for walking off a fabulous meal at The Garden Room, and here you get to see the new brown bears, which look like they are settling in well to their new enclosure, the gorillas, always fun to see especially around feeding time, as well as my favourites, the big cats, I just love that the lions are such sun-worshippers and the cubs are so cute.

Other highlights, don’t forget to walk through the wallaby enclosure, they are so beautiful and you can get very close, try and spot the red panda if you can, hint, look up, and if you can catch the keepers feeding the Fishing Cat, do. As the name would suggest, they predominately prey on fish and on more than 10 occasions we had never seen this adorable tabby cat before and it was stunning to see.

Trust me – every visit I’ve had to Port Lympne Animal Park has been thoroughly enjoyable, even the visits in the rain.

Port Lymphe Animal Park, Safari, Kent attraction, Kent, Day Trip, Zoo, Giraffe,

**Quick addition to my disclaimer, I was invited by Port Lympne to review their afternoon tea, click here to find out more, and they added on the day safari for me. But I have been many times before and paid, as I love that it is only 20 minutes from where I live.**