For my animal crazed eldest, we surprised him with a stay at Port Lympne Safari Park in Kent for his 8th birthday. It was our first visit and I’m sure will not be our last.
We opted to stay in a shepherd’s hut at Hog Deer Creek. A luxurious stay with beautifully coordinated interiors, Bamford products and a Nespresso machine. One hut comfortably accommodated the four of us. There was a double bed topped by two separate bunk beds for the children. It was very well thought out, the beds all face the windows so that we could watch the animals at the watering hole outside, without having to move an inch!
Our accommodation came with a golf buggy for our use during the stay. This was invaluable with young children, as Port Lympne is set in 600 acres of land. In non-Covid times, there are safari truck rides operating for day visitors. We stayed in between lockdowns and the safari truck was only operating for overnight guests. If you are able to do this, I would thoroughly recommend it as some animals can only be seen via the safari truck route.
Within three acres of natural woodland in the park, there lies a dinosaur forest. The models are all designed by Palaeontologists and are anatomically correct. This proved very popular with my boys as they discovered interesting facts about the prehistoric world.
A definite perk of staying overnight is the before and after hours access. We took an evening stroll after dinner at Babydoll’s Pizza restaurant and saw many animals out and about that were sleeping during the day. One highlight for my tiger fan boys were getting up close to a pacing Siberian tiger.
I couldn’t have asked for a nicer start to the next day as I took my morning coffee in the fresh country air, watching the animals have their breakfast.
For our breakfast, we headed to the Garden Room - situated at the main hotel. This gave us the chance to explore the landscaped gardens where the boys discovered a maze. Perfect for running off that full English breakfast!
It was a wonderful short break, where many family memories were made. As part of our stay, we also had access to Howlett’s Wild Animal Park (sister site) where the rest of the day was spent before the drive back to London.
*There are over 900 animals across 75 species living at Port Lympne. The Aspinall Foundation (owners of Port Lympne and Howlett’s) are doing an incredible job ensuring many rare or endangered animals are cared for.