✅Bucket List: Animal Encounters at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve

Bucket List Goal: Animal Encounters
Where: Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, Kent, UK
Cost: ££ - family friendly & supports endangered wildlife!
Photo Credit - The Aspinall Foundation
Photo Credit - The Aspinall Foundation

Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve is unlike no other “zoo” around! In fact they are not a zoo, Port Lympne is a sanctuary for rare and endangered animals.

It is home to over 760 of them, across 90 species for you to discover on an authentic safari experience.

The reserve aims to send animals born here back to protected areas of their natural habitat where they can live free, exactly how it should be.

Personally, being able to see such animals roaming across the 600 acres of land, very much how their natural habitat should be, was amazing.

This is how we should be experiencing and supporting endangered wildlife. Full Stop.

Animal Encounters

We was lucky to be able to tick off some animal encounters from our bucket list, including getting up close and personal with black rhinos and the only Giraffes in Kent. Oooh la la!

The reserve offers animal encounters which include feeding where possible and enjoying behind the scenes access as you immerse yourself in their surroundings. Prices start from £75 per person – please call for availability.


I was so lucky to be able to get close to ‘Gary’ the Giraffe (Not his real name but the keepers said it had stuck and he now answers to it!) being one of the youngest, he’s still very immature and inquisitive which was great as he was one of the most interactive to meet.

Whilst offering him food, I was able to reach up and stroke him, he felt like velvet!! Oh wow, they are just the most amazing mammals and I have left this reserve just a little obsessed with giraffes.

Jumping back on board our Safari truck we were taken to meet a black rhino Mumma and her baby boy! When she saw us arrive with treats she strolled over to find out more with her calf following close by.

Being in their presence its hard to believe there are people in this world who would poach these timid and beautiful animals for their tusks.

Effective conservation like this, has helped the black rhino numbers inch upwards in recent years after a devastating period of poaching which has left them in constant threat to survive.

If you follow me on Instagram you can see me feeding her, the black rhino has pointy upper lips which they use to pull twigs and branches into their mouth so they can bite them off – I got a little too much rhino saliva on me that afternoon…

It really was an honour to get up close and personal to her and her baby, her skin looks cold and rugged, however even on this cold and wind day she was smooth and strangely very warm to touch! Little hot water bottle she was! So incredible!!

Moroccan Courtyard at Port Lympne Hotel

You cannot visit this beautiful park without popping by the historic Port Lympne Hotel! It is set within 15 acres of landscaped gardens and even more impressive inside!

Just through the main doors and on your left, a few steps up will take you to the Moroccan courtyard, the perfect place to enjoy afternoon tea! (Advanced booking needed) It had previously been inaccessible for over 30 years so a visit here will not leave you disappointed. It is opened to visitors and hotel guests alike. Major garden goals for me!


The Spencer Roberts Room at Port Lympne Hotel

This stunning room was named after the artist who hand painted animal murals across the entire room. It is a spectacular room for a special occasion which I was lucky enough to attend and get to experience. Please email the hotel direct for usage rates.


Unique Accommodation at Port Lympne

Photo Credit - kentlive.news

Photo Credit - kentlive.news

Port Lympne has some of the most insane stays i have come across in the UK. A few that have and still grace my bucket list!

These multi award winning stays boast a large number of different types of accommodation, from the Lion, Rhino, Wolf and Tiger Lodges, Giraffe cottage and Bear lodge glamping. 

Read more on my stay at one of these amazing overnight experiences on the blog: ✅bucket-list-safari-sleepover-at-port-lympne-hotel-reserve


Ticket Prices:

You can buy day tickets to come into Port Lympne and take your time walking around, there is even a free safari truck for visitors to jump on and discover further afield where the animals roam across acres of land together.

On the door prices are £26 Adults, £22 Child (between 3-15 years) and £86 Family tickets (2 adults and 2 children) but if you book online you can save 20% off! Remember to tick Gift Aid if you’re a UK Tax Payer, so that it allows charity’s like this to reclaim 25p for every £1 from the government.

Annual membership in my opinion is well worth it, for 12 months you can visit the park unlimited amounts of time at a cost of-

Adults membership:£51.00

Child membership: £43.00

More information about annual membership can be found here.

 Until next week,

Dream, Explore, Discover



Cherry x