Port Lympne Reserve

Port Lympne Reserve: Hours, Address, Port Lympne Reserve Reviews: 4/5

Port Lympne Reserve
4
Nature & Wildlife Areas • Zoos
9:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 6:30 PM
About
Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve offers exciting days out in Kent filled with discovery for the entire family. Set in 600 acres, and housing over 650 rare and endangered animals, Port Lympne offers a treat for everyone.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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4.0
2,419 reviews
Excellent
1,106
Very good
523
Average
329
Poor
258
Terrible
203

reviewer
Kent, UK3 contributions
Jan 2022 • Family
Very expensive £17.00 for 2 coffees 2 sausage rolls and a Fruit shoot drink . Don't make the mistake we did and buy any drinks for safari as they won't allow them on safari transport .
Overall zoo is great but take a picnic !!
Written 22 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sonya d
2 contributions
Jan 2022 • Family
Beautiful place with amazing animals but terrible customer service and experience all round. I discovered mould on my baby’s cot mattress, we were refused breakfast due to a safari running late and the trip ended with my husband and I both getting food poisoning from our dinner. This is just to mention a few of the issues we had. Still waiting for someone to get back to me about our stay on the 2 January.
Written 22 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Anna J
1 contribution
Jan 2022
We stayed in the Forest Hideaway for two nights for my partner's 40th. Overall, we really had a wonderful time. The cabin was extremely cosy, with all the amenities needed to make the stay special. We ate at the Garden Room throughout our stay and have high praise for the chef. Everything was delicious; the ingredients were clearly high quality and good portion sizes. Would highly recommend the food.
Just a small tip- once you have booked the room, you call up short stays and book your meals in either restaurant and book the safari, which is included in the price. Booking everything in advance is essential. We received emails prior to coming, which explained all the steps and I was sent the itinerary in advance. The animals and reserve are amazing and really gave a memorable experience. Upon reading some reviews, I was bit nervous about coming, but it seems a lot of the issues have been ironed out. The staff were really helpful and attentive and we got all of our food promptly.
There were one or two small things that might have been a bit better, but they did not take away from what was overall a magical couple of days. We would definitely return!
Written 18 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nicky K
1 contribution
Jan 2022 • Couples
Disappointed that to see the giraffes you have to pay for the safari which they have very limited availability for. It’s not advertised anywhere that giraffes can not be seen by foot.

Enclosures are big but means it’s pot luck whether you see the animals

Eating options were very poor
Written 3 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

sara b
Cambridge, UK8 contributions
Dec 2021
We really enjoyed much of our 2 night break. We stayed in two rooms of the hotel. It was decorated beautifully and felt very special for our festive break. The safari trips around the park were really interesting and we got to see lots of the animals, despite the damp weather. The giraffes, bears, tigers and gorillas were our highlights. We also loved using the buggy to get around independently. This was especially good fun at night.
A big part of our holiday experience is always the food! We love eating out. We expected to be spoilt at such a special venue. Sadly this was not the case. It was unbelievably disappointing. The service was slow, with little care. We did not enjoy any of the dining experiences. On check-in we learnt that our first safari time had been changed, meaning that we were unable to get lunch until just before 3pm. We were turned away from the Garden Room restaurant at the hotel and redirected to a cafeteria at Base Camp. There were a few take away sandwiches on offer. Not a great start. That evening we went to Baby Doll's - the choice I'd been looking forward to was not available, but overall it was not a bad meal. £9.00 for a 175ml glass of rose wine seemed quite steep though. The service at breakfast in the Garden Room was dreadful. It took 45 minutes, and having to ask 4 times, before my gluten free toast was served. Our evening meal took over an hour - the order had not made it to the kitchen. We were really hungry by the time our food finally arrived. It was good food, but the experience was spoilt. In fairness, we were only charged 50% of the bill on this evening.
If we decide to visit again, I think that I would take a hamper of tasty treats with me and maybe a £9 bottle of wine or two!
Written 31 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Sara-Jane S
Melbourne, Australia66 contributions
Dec 2021 • Couples
Fabulous family Christmas stay in tiger lodge. All staff genuinely friendly and helpful. Nothing too much. Made to feel very special.
Written 28 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Angela P
1 contribution
Dec 2021 • Family
Upon arrival, I was met by a beautiful big cat in a medium sided cage. Beside him was an enclosure with two smaller cats that paced back and forth along the fence. It was very sad to see. Its right by the cafe so I watched them do this for about 10 minutes as I fed my daughter.

I took the safari truck to see more of the place. On this truck, I was first confronted by a wolf sitting in a small enclosure, a giraffe, a cappabara and various other animals all living in concrete pens. There was lots of concrete everywhere. And deep mud from the animals having limited places to walk in such small pens. The bears and gorillas were hiding (and hibernating) because its winter and pretty grim out. But at least for them they had somewhere to hide from the trucks so I can appreciate that.

I understand that people will want to actually see animals when they visit, but its very much an animals in cages experience which I find upsetting. Overall it was a pretty upsetting visit and I'm sorry I supported it's existence.

That said, the staff were all friendly and helpful. I will not be returning though and will actively dissuade anyone who asks whether its worth a visit.
Written 28 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

sally j
Chelmsford, UK1,413 contributions
Dec 2021
We visited Port Lympne last week, it was very quiet, we did the truck safari, and were the only people on it, we have done this many times, but i have to say Penny gave us the best commentary we've ever had, we learnt so much. I loved seeing the gorillas out on the grass, got some great photo's, also managed to see the brown bears, which we hadn't seen before. Port Lympne is on a very steep hill, so you must be prepared for a energetic walk. We also had a pizza in Baby Dolls Cafe, which was delicious.
Written 23 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your lovely review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your day with us and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Thank you once again.
Written 30 December 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DG.
Chelmsford, UK87 contributions
Dec 2021
Having visited many zoos over the past 5 or so years, including a very good trip to Howletts – Port Lympne’s sister zoo - we were very excited to visit Port Lympne. The zoo is set in lovely grounds in the background of the stunning main building. As can be expected at this time of year, the grounds were wet and muddy, but the staff clearly work hard on ensuring the site is well looked after, and it was a very pleasant place to be on a winter’s day.

As is always the priority for us, it was good to see the zoo took very good care of their animals, and we were very happy with the enclosures they were in. The zoo itself is a very nice place to be, and one of the better zoos we have visited. We did comment that it would have been nice to actually get to know the animals a little better when seeing them (more information on the displays about the actual animals inside enclosures would have been good), but it was nice to see they all seemed very content and had plenty of space, variety and enrichment, and everything that they need.

There were some issues with the visit, as we had booked a private safari round the park, but the website did not state that the safari and zoo admission had to be the same day (we assumed they were separate packages), so when we asked where to go for the safari the next day we were told we were not allowed back without again purchasing another admission ticket – this needs sorting / clarifying on the website. I must say though, the staff were very good and all was sorted with relatively little hassle.

The private safari was excellent, a real highlight, and I would certainly recommend to others. I’m afraid I can’t remember the name of the woman who took us round but she is a true credit to the zoo – and gave us a wonderful experience - something we will remember for a long time. At £70pp it was quite expensive, but if it’s ‘your sort of thing’ I would highly recommend this.

One comment I would make, is that I was seriously considering a stay at Port Lympne, either in one of the huts, or even stretching the budget to one of the tiger / lion lodges. Having now been, I’m not so sure whether I will. I kind of expected them to be a bit secluded, or away from other people in the zoo, but they’re just sort of… there… in the zoo. For the price of the lodges, I thought that was a bit surprising. I understand there is a ‘package’ with the stays, but I was just expecting, a bit ‘more’. At £1500 a night, I don’t really know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t really what I saw. That said, the reviews for the stays are always fantastic on here and I can’t really comment because I didn’t actually do it – it was just the impression I got at the time.

Overall, we had a good couple of days at Port Lympne, and I would recommend it to others. I’d like to return in the summer and see the grounds in all their glory.
Written 13 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you very much for your comprehensive review. We do value your comments and all feedback both positive and negative enables us to improve our visitors experience. We hope to welcome you back in the future and thank you once again.
Written 13 December 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jennifer Steward
Kent, UK36 contributions
Nov 2021 • Couples
We had a great experience here, even though it might have been a cold day for the animals. You can tell all the animals are amazingly cared for. We booked the Safari and the views on a sunny day are stunning! Also, we did a gorilla feed and was amazed to hear the gorillas we were feeding a going back to wild! Had a lovely day! Great for couples. Hope to use the hotel when the price comes down a bit! Very expensive! But the day itself was brilliant
Written 11 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your lovely review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your day with us despite the cold weather. Please do watch our website for special offers on our luxurious accommodations and we hope to welcome you back to Port Lympne. Thank you once again.
Written 13 December 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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