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.

From just £40.00 per person for Port Lympne Passport or Gold Card holders or £50.00 for non Passport holders, your encounter will include exclusive 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.  Animal Encounters are also available at our sister park, Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury and make the ideal gift for animal lovers.

Gorilla Encounter

A 30 minute encounter accompanied by a dedicated keeper, who will share their knowledge of working with critically endangered western lowland gorillas.  Enjoy unprecedented behind the scenes access at feeding time for a truly unforgettable experience.

£40 Passport Holders, £50 non-Passport Holders

animal encounter

Big Cat Encounter

Meet some of the impressive big cats at Port Lympne Reserve.  Spend time with some of the keepers at feeding time to discover everything you ever wanted to know about these special carnivores and enjoy a memorable behind the scenes experience.

£40 Passport Holders, £50 non-Passport Holders

Primates Encounter

Learn about the agile primates such as lemurs, langurs, gibbons and others at Port Lympne Reserve and how The Aspinall Foundation, the world leading conservation charity that works with the parks, is helping to protect them.  A 30 minute encounter will include behind the scenes access and (subject to conditions) the opportunity to meet some of these endearing animals face to face.

£40 Passport Holders, £50 non-Passport Holders

Rhino Encounter

Meet one of the most critically endangered species in the world when you come face to face with the impressive black rhino at Port Lympne.  Meet one of our experienced keepers to discover the threats that the black rhino face in the wild and what The Aspinall Foundation is doing to help protect this species.

£40 Passport Holders, £50 non-Passport Holders

Tapir Encounter

Get up close to our tapirs with one of our expert keepers to find out all about these unusual jungle dwellers and our successful breeding programme.

£40 Passport Holders, £50 non-Passport Holders

Giraffe Encounter

Ever wanted to come face to face with a giraffe? Meet up with an experienced keeper who will introduce you to these very special animals in their winter house or in the summer months you can meet the giraffe as they roam freely over The African Experience. This experience is available Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday’s 3.30pm to 4.30pm in the summer months. There is an additional charge £40 for Passport holders and £50 for non-Passport holders (plus entrance fee to the parks). Minimum 1 person to Maximum 6 for each encounter. You will be collected in a Landrover from Livingstone Lodge reception.

Two Hour Small Cat Feeding Encounter

Join one of our expert small cat keepers for the afternoon feed round from 3pm - 5pm and encounter various species of elusive small cat.  This encounter will allow you to go behind the scenes and help out with the feeding of these endangered animals.  The cost is £80 per person for Port Lympne Passport and Gold Card holders or £100 per person for non Passport holders plus standard park admission.

How to book your Animal Encounter

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.


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.

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.

Both the lady at the giraffe encounter (Shelley) and the driver (Terry) added to the experience, as did you for once again making it all happen. Wow.

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

It was fantastic to personally meet you at last and thank you face to face for literally making dreams come true.

Please promise that you will not be modest and ensure all those, including yourself, are congratulated. Your boss must be one very happy employer to have such great staff as you.

Michaela Jordan   
October 2014