Do your children or grandchildren keep telling you how much they love wild animals and love coming to our Wild Animal Parks? Stuck for ideas on what to get them for their birthday, as they've already got everything; the bike, the iPod, the mobile and the list goes on? Would you like them to learn more that helps with their school work by bringing science and biology to life; and do something amazing that might ultimately assist in their future development?
Well here is a solution. Enrol them on the Junior Ranger for the day. This amazing full day experience offers budding Animal Keepers a very real opportunity to get behind the scenes at Port Lympne or Howletts by having a guided VIP tour of the park with an Education Animal specialist.
Throughout the day the children will meet the specialist keepers, who will speak about what a rewarding job it is they do, how challenging it is to get into, what qualifications are needed to get into it as a career and how important it is to start early if you want it to become an Animal Keeper.
Throughout the day timing is everything, in that the expert guide will ensure the party are at the enclosures at the right time, to give them an insight into what really goes on behind the scenes. The children are encouraged to ask all the questions that they have ever wanted to ask about animals, zoos and conservation. By the end of the day the children will be suitably awestruck.
Throughout the day the guide will discuss topics such as:
- Conservation. They will be given a brief history of the park and will get to talk about the importance of conservation work and our role in the protection of wild animals.
- Animal encounters. Over the day the children will have some animal encounters to help build their confidence when they are close to the wild animals.
- Habitats and adaptation. They will see where the animals sleep and will learn about their different homes and habitats.
- Growth and evolution. They will meet the park's young animals and learn how they will change and develop as they grow up.
- Food for thought. They will find out all about dinnertime in the animal world; who eats what, or who eats who! And all about our enrichment program that helps promote healthy living of captive animals.
- Animal behaviours. They will have an opportunity to compare and contrast the different animals' behaviours.
- Shapes and colours. They will learn more about the different shapes and colours in the animal kingdom. Throughout the day the party will look at patterns, textures, colours and the importance of camouflage.
- Marvellous movement. This will give the children the opportunity to compare and contrast, in order to find out about basic classification and anatomy.
- Noisy Nature. They will learn about just how noisy and quiet nature can be, when they explore the different ways animals communicate.
Your day at Howletts
- Meet at the entrance to Howletts for 10.00
- Meet the herbivorous rhinoceros
- Meet the keeper of the largest ape, the gorillas
- Meet the Red River hogs
- Lunch (not included) is around 12:15
- Meet the massive elephants
- Meet the largest member of the cat family; the tigers
- Meet the keeper of the amusing lemurs
- Meet the elusive tapirs
- The day ends at around 16.00
What you need to know for Howletts Wild Animal Park
This day is ideal for special occasions such as a birthday or just a special holiday treat. This really will be a day to cherish and could be the start of a lifelong adventure with wild animals. Junior Ranger days are really popular so book early if you want the date to be as close to the birthday as possible.
Tariff per child and accompanying adult £170, or £130 for Howletts Passport or Gold Card holders. Please quote your valid Passport number when booking.
Additional children £85 or £75 for Howletts Passport or Gold Card holders.
This is a group experience with a minimum of 4 children and a maximum of up to 10 (including accompanying adults) at Howletts on Saturdays throughout the year. Occasionally we can accommodate groups on Half term dates. Please do enquire
Children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian
This experience is available to children aged between 7 to 12 years old (please ask about our Keeper Academy for information for children over 12 years old).
Itinerary is subject to change.
The day will last approximately 6 hours with half an hour set aside for lunch (please note lunch is not included in the cost of the day)
The children will receive a personalised Junior Ranger Experience certificate.
You should note the that Junior Ranger experiences are different: at Howletts you have a Foot Safari and at Port Lympne for some of the day you will go on an off road African Safari experience; some of the animals, guides and the order of the days are also different.
Notes for the Junior Ranger for the day
We would recommend that you ideally bring wellington boots for yourself and the children, but as an alternative, flat sensible shoes.
We ask that you all wear something warm or have layers that should include a warm thick waterproof jacket, ideally with hood, just in case it rains as you and the children will be outside most of the day.
Don't forget your camera and batteries!
How to book
Please call 0844 842 4647 for more information. We also offer the Junior Ranger for the Day Experience at Port Lympne Reserve, Nr Ashford.
"I really wanted to provide some feedback on my daughter's junior ranger day. We visited on Saturday 6th July and definitely weren't disappointed!
Grace and I arrived and waited to be met by our ranger - George. She was absolutely excellent and made sure we understood all the health and safety issues as well as making sure the children had fun and were learning. Her sense of fun was infectious and with her cheeky sense of humour, she kept us all entertained. I would like to think that I'm a well-informed animal lover, but I learnt a lot more from George and all the fabulous keepers who took the time to talk to us during our experience day.
What can I say about the amazing animal encounters and the opportunities to go behind the scenes to touch, feed and watch the animals at close quarters and learn about their living quarters, diet and the work of the keepers? Grace and I had a truly amazing day!! - the gorgeous rhino, the fuzzy tapirs, fascinating elephants, hilarious lemurs, naughty macaque monkeys, cute piglets and their bigger relatives, the enigmatic gorillas, the fabulous tigers and the beautiful Barbary lions. So many great memories - it's impossible to choose a favourite animal or part of the day.
I wanted to let you know that all the keepers were excellent and clearly passionate about their animals. They provided lots of information and were really good with the children - talking directly to them and drawing them into the experience. I was very impressed!
Please pass on a huge thank you to George and all the keepers who took part in Saturday's junior ranger talks - I can't remember all the names but Helen (Rhinos), Brian (Gorillas) and Jane (elephants) were some of the folk who took time out of their day to be part of a fascinating and memorable day.
Thank you Howlett's Team for making our experience day perfect!!! I have been recommending the experi3nce to anyone and everyone so hopefully it will bring in some more bookings."
Sue and Grace Risby