From all the places we have visited, this must be one we have been asked to draft a blog for the most. In this blog post we will be talking about our visit to Port Lympne Safari Park.
We attended in August 2019, so this has been long overdue.
My husband bought me the Giraffe Encounter as a Christmas present and due to the location of Port Lympne Safari Park, we decided to stay overnight as driving there and back would be been too difficult.
With so many accommodation options (the link will be shown below), we decided to go for the Pinewood Glamping option
The pod we stayed in had two single beds and a double futon (there is a bigger option that sleeps four called the Shepherds Hut) and heating.
The Pinewood site is located at the top of the park right next to the lion habitat and you can enjoy great views from the iconic steps over the Romney Marsh.
On the glamping site there is a communal games room, where there is a pool table and boardgames and a fire pit to toast marshmallows (unfortunately we didn’t realise this would be there and didn’t bring s ’mores ingredients *sad face*).
When you stay on site, you can access the whole reserve from dusk until dawn at your leisure.
On the day of our Giraffe Encounter, we parked up in the ample car park and headed straight to the pickup point.
On the day, the weather was temperamental and windy, so a lot of the park was on high alert with falling trees causing certain parts of the park to be closed and inaccessible. These weather conditions effected the giraffes when it came to our feeding experience.
We chose the morning session and where lucky enough to driven around in a Safari Truck with a knowledgeable zoo keeper. The driver stopped at every enclosure and the zoo keeper would give us information about every animal that we were able to see. These included being given time to have a look at the immense Gorilla enclosure, the rhinos, the Painted Dog, grey wolves, and the zebra’s enclosures. Along the way we were treated to vast acres of fields with rare animals such as, Przewalski Horses, European Bison’s, Barasingha (a beautiful type of deer), Blackbuck Antelope, Axis Deer’s, etc.
We drove into the enclosure where the giraffes are free to roam and feed from the tall trees. With the weather being so windy, it took a long time for the giraffes to feel comfortable enough to come towards us. When they did though, it was such an amazing experience. They showed us the colour of their tongue (which wowed Ita) and how powerful their tongues are when they pulled the leaves from the branches we were holding.
The whole experience lasted about 2 hours for us and at the end of our safari tour and giraffe experience, we were hungry, so we visited the café near to the drop off to grab a sandwich and coffee to warm up.
There are numerous experiences you can purchase where you can get up close and personal with several different types of animals, such as the Giraffes, Bears, Squirrel Monkeys, Rhinos, Big Cats (Tigers), Gorillas, Primates, Small Cats and Tapir Encounters. They start from £75 and last at least 30 minutes.
As soon as we finished our lunch and coffees, it was time to check in to our pod. We took a leisurely stroll to the Pinewood area, taking our time to check out the Stately Home and other parts of the site. We stayed one night at glamping site (I believe there are deals for extra night’s if required).
We then realised we would be located right next to the Lion Enclosure. This was exciting as Ita loves lions.
All the facilities were located close to the pods, like the toilets and showers and the communal area.
Waking up in the morning to Lion roars was definitely an experience to savour and take it, the male was very vocal and Ita was enthralled with the personal Lion Alarm we had.
There are loads different options of places to stay, i.e. Treehouse Hotel, Rhino Lodge, Wolf Lodge, Tiger Lodge, Lion Lodge, Bear Lodge, The Bubble, and a brand-new facility at Leopard Creek.
Animals to See
There are animal talks which give the consumer lots of information and details, every day on site, which include Lion, Gorilla and Rhino Talks, amongst others.
During our guided tour we could see so many amazing animals that Port Lympne house. We were given extensive information about every animal and all their habits. The zoo keepers were extremely courteous and willing to answer any questions we had.
Places to Eat
There are numerous places to eat on site, especially if you are staying overnight. We chose the closest option to our stay which was the Pinewood Café, it was easy to get to considering the weather, we had a picky 3-year-old to contend with and the price of food was reasonable.
We really enjoyed our time at Post Lympne Safari Park, Wild Animal Reserve & Hotel. It was a truly unique experience especially with the safari tour, feeding the giraffes, staying in a camp pod and finally being woken up by lions in the morning.
I would definitely recommend visiting Port Lympne, we as a family had an amazing experience and are looking to visit again when we get the chance.