A Day at Port Lympne
Back in September we visited Port Lympne Animal Reserve in Kent for Lilly's 4th birthday and wanted to share our day with you all.
We booked the tickets online the day before as it was cheaper to do so but for the three of us it was still £58.67 which to me is quite expensive, that does include the safari truck adventure to the African experience.
On her birthday we wanted to make a full day of it so we left at about 9am to get there for close to 10am which we did.
When you first arrive you have to cross a bridge across the road to the main entrance where you walk past a small baboon enclosure with one in, he seemed very happy to be sitting there watching people come in and out and Lilly got very excited to see him.
Once in the park there are two enclosures which we thought were closed but at the end we found out that Liam's favourite animal was hiding in there.....but we'll come back to that.
We sorted everything out and did the toilet business, Lil's had a play in the play park there and then we decided to walk down between the Rhino enclosure and the Guinea Baboons enclosure, sadly the Rhino's were the other side but we still got a good look at them. The Baboons were so cute and not at all phased but Lilly's excited noises.
We headed towards the 'Primate Trail' which included the Palace of the Apes, Gorilla Garden, Tapir Hill and the Money Walk. quite a few enclosures seemed to be unoccupied or the animals were well hidden but we did get to see the most beautiful Gorilla who was enjoying playing with the straw in his enclosure. He kept picking bits up and blowing it off then all of a sudden noticed us and stopped. The palace of the Apes was quite quiet but It may have been because it was quite warm, there were a few in the inside area looking for food or just chilling, one was at the bottom of there slide just looking round. The Tapir's were well hidden and we didn't managed to see any.
We then headed to the Dinosaur Forrest which Lil's was most excited about, this is part of the reason that we picked this place and she loves dinosaurs. I must admit it was a lot better than we expected and lot longer to go around too. Lilly wanted to sat hello to every single one of them as we went round and we spent a good 30 minutes going around. It goes into a full loop back to the entrance. The loop went round through the years from the Triassic period to the time of the Mammoth.
After then we visited the Carnivore Territory where the Fossa's, Cheetahs, Fishing cats, Pallas cats and the Lynx live. Again a couple were quite hard to find but we did managed to see them all. The Cheetah was very chilled looking through the wire and the Fossa's were beautiful. We then stopped at a play park and had some lunch too. There was a Tiger enclosure there but we didn't see anything in there.
We headed back up to 'Base Camp' to wait for the Safari truck which was already there. We went in the trailer at the back as the truck in front was full. The Safari started and we passed the Rhino's and Warty pigs while we headed to the Asian Experience. We saw a few animals in there including a fair few deer's but a lot were hidden under the tree's for shade. We then headed into the African Experience which was incredible. We saw lots of Giraffes through the tree's and even got a glimpse at the newest arrival which was born back in July. We also managed to get a glimpse of some Zebras, Wildebeest and so African painted dogs.
There is a short stop at the top of the experience at the Discovery Zone. At this point there are some Meerkats and a reptile centre which ended in the gift shop for that area. There were some beautiful snakes in the reptile centre but Lilly was not keen at all. We then headed out and Lil's played at the play park for a bit before heading back to the truck. On the way back we were stopped twice by animals being in the way, the first were two deer drinking and the second was a large Rhino in the road, he was casually walking towards us then turned onto the grass.
At the end of the truck ride we headed back towards the start, this is where we checked the enclosures that we thought were closed only to find one was the home of some snow leopards which are Liam's favourite animals, one was up in a tree watching the world go by while the other walked straight towards us. The second enclosure had two beautiful female Lion's in, they were both looking after a lump of meat and lying down to keep cool.
We were just about to go into the gift shop when I noticed a sign saying Wolves and Tigers were just up ahead. I was super excited about so we headed that way. The first animals we saw were the Wolves, the enclosure are right next to a small camp site with some small wooden hits to sleep in. I would love to stay there so close to the animals. We finally found the Tiger enclosure which had the most beautiful Tigers lying in a slightly sunny part. We were stood there a couple of minutes when all of a sudden he raised his head more and turned towards us, it was incredible, a great ended.
The gift shop at the end is well stocked and Lilly found exactly what she wanted to, and luckily it wasn't too expensive.
Will we go again, probably not. I am not saying it is bad or anything but I personally prefer a more zoo like place with the animals being more interactive with the people visiting. But we do understand that this is a reserve so it is more for conserving the animals as well as educational for everyone it just wasn't 100% the day we had thought about. It was a great day out and we didn't leave until 4pm so it was a full day indeed. Lilly seemed to enjoy herself and we have some lovely memories from her birthday and we got to see some incredible animals.