the experience

Animal Encounters

Our popular 30 minute Animal Encounters offer the chance to get up close and personal with some of the most rare and endangered animals on the planet. The perfect gift for animal lovers from 9 years and over, our 30 minute animal encounters can bring you face to face with some of the most iconic and endangered species on the planet including critically endangered western lowland gorillas, black rhino, lemurs and other primates, big cats and more.

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Unique Insight

For just £50.00 per person, your encounter will include time with one of our expert keepers as they introduce you to the animal of your choice - learn interesting facts, hand feed where possible and enjoy behind the scenes access as you immerse yourself in our amazing world. Exclusive encounters are available - please call to check availability. Animal Encounters are also available at our sister park, Howletts, near Canterbury and make the ideal gift for animal lovers.

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More Experiences

Port Lympne Reserve has many more activities to enhance your experience to create a memory that will last forever.

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How to book your Animal Encounter

How to book your Animal Encounter

How to book

Please call 01303 264647 or e mail us to book your experience.

Dates and times must be agreed with the keepers before any booking is taken and are subject to availability.

A valid Port Lympne Passport, Gold Card or single visit ticket is also required.

Terms and Conditions

Children must be aged 9 or over.
Children below the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Guests should make their way to the agreed point for a half hour session.
Maximum group size is 5 for all encounters, except the Big Cat Encounter which takes a maximum of 8 guests, and is not exclusive so may include other guests on an encounter. Two Hour Small Cat Feed is for one person.
All guests must wear appropriate attire such as sensible footwear and clothes for inclement weather.
If you giving an Aninal Encounter as a gift you must inform the benefactor of the need to wear sensible clothes and inform us of any disability or special needs.

Customer Reviews

Michaela Jordan


I and my son Aaron, and indeed our family group, want to thank you, Zoe, and the Aspinall Foundation once again for the most amazing experience today at our giraffe encounter.

We were made to feel like VIPs with our own jeep which took us back to the main entrance after our encounter, which was a small but significant touch. Both my parents have recently encountered major health traumas and my dad is registered disabled. For the driver to offer this might be a small exra to others but made for a magnificent finish to the day for my parents who did not have to walk up the final hill!!. My mum has still not stopped smiling and talking about the giraffes.

Michaela Jordan


The original treat was for my birthday, and as you know, my son wanted to share in the experience too at very short notice. You very kindly accommodated this request, as you did with the change to my gorilla encounter. The entire family shared in the experience. So whilst we could not all feed the giraffes it became a magical experience that we will all share for the rest of our lives. Which has made it oh so much more special to me.

A massive thank you from the bottom of my heart to you all, and of course the giraffes, who were simply stunning up close.