This year I have started to hear about Port Lympne. A safari park and wild animal reserve in Kent. Who also offer amazingly different short break experiences. I couldn’t believe that there is a safari park in Kent giving you the full safari jeep experience. The only time we had ever experienced something like that is in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I didn’t know it was an option in the UK. We were offered the chance to visit for the day to review the park, I couldn’t wait to take the children there.
Visiting Port Lympne
Port Lympne works extremely closely with
Port Lympne is home to Kent’s only giraffes and spectacled bears. Gorilla feeds are a real highlight of any visit and take place at 12 and 3 pm. They also have a Dinosaur Forest that is the UK’s largest outdoor dinosaur exhibition.
The reserve covers 600 acres and is home to more than 760 animals from over 90 species. It is split into two areas, the safari truck routes, and the pedestrian routes. It has a combination of hilly and flat terrain. This can sometimes be steep and uneven.
If you are interested in a short break at Port Lympne there are over 13 different ways to stay there. Including glamping, the hotel, a stay in a bubble or a tiger, wolf or rhino lodge.
The Safari Experience
Upon entering Port Lympne we were directed to Basecamp. This is where the truck stop is to join the safari. We got there just after opening and wanted to make this our first port of call to avoid any long queuing times. As soon as we arrived at the truck stop a truck arrived for us to board with the group of passengers already waiting.
The safari takes you through a South American Experience, an Asian Experience,
In the South American Experience you might be able to spot
- Spectacled Bears
In the Asian Experience you might be able to spot
- Red River Hogs
- Red Lechwe
- Hog Deer
- Pere david’s deer
- Asian water buffalo
- Przewalski’s horses
In the African Experience you might be able to spot
- Eastern black rhino
- African painted dogs
The safari truck drops you at the stop in Carnivore territory. This is located at the bottom of the reserve. The driver did give us the option to return to Basecamp with him but we wanted to explore this area next. From this point, you walk up the hill back towards Basecamp. There are parts that are steep. If you stay on a short break some of the accommodation comes with the use of golf buggies. I think these would come in very handy to visit the rest of the park.
We captured our safari experience in the below video.
The next area of Port Lympne that we visited was the Dinosaur Forest. As expected this area is filled with dinosaurs. They are displayed in the correct timeline from when they roamed the earth.
The area contains lots of information about each dinosaur. We were even given a questionnaire about the dinosaurs to complete as we entered Port Lympne. We didn’t fill it in though as the children were having too much fun dinosaur spotting.
Dinosaur Forest is a lot bigger than we were expecting it to be and the children loved it.
The below video shows us exploring the Dinosaur Forest.
Meeting A T-Rex
Every Sunday during the summer holidays the Dinosaur Forest has had another visitor. A ‘real-life’ T-Rex. We made sure we were there when it was time for him to visit.
Joe the T-Rex was lots of fun and the children thought he was very funny.
Little E was even put in charge of him. She had to walk him around and keep him under control! You can see all the fun the children had below…
The Primate Trail
After we stopped for lunch at Babydoll’s Wood Fired Pizza we made our way around the pedestrian route. We headed towards the Primate Trail. The highlight of this part of the reserve for me was the Apes and Gorillas.
They are animals that Colchester Zoo doesn’t have, and I think they are a rare sight in many zoos.
What was really amazing was that there was a baby ape. It was fantastic to see one so small. It is also nice to know that they are happy enough to breed at Port Lympne.
I really wanted to experience the Gorilla feed but Ethan had struggled during our visit so we decided to give it a miss on this visit. I’m hoping there will be a future visit where we can experience this.
The below video is the full vlog of our day at Port Lympne.
Our Thoughts Of Port Lympne
Port Lympne doesn’t have the feel of a zoo. There is a more relaxed feel in the atmosphere. There are so many different animals to see there.
The safari was a real highlight for us. Amazing to have this experience in the UK. It was also very educational for us all.
The children loved their time there and also enjoyed playing the in different playgrounds.
I feel like Port Lympne want to offer it’s visitors an experience to remember at their reserve. They do this by offering a very different short break experience. Even down to the restaurant where we ate lunch, it just feels so different from a normal zoo type visit.
We would love to return but we would like to experience an overnight stay. Preferably accommodation that includes a golf buggy. The hills of the reserve did call for the purchase of cake on our return to Basecamp.
DISCLOSURE – We were gifted entrance to Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve for the purposes of this post and to create our YouTube videos. We always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, and experiences.