We are closed
Coronavirus update: 4th January 2021 - In light of the recent government announcement placing the UK under alert level 5 and the reinstatement of a nationwide lockdown, we have closed Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve and Howletts Wild Animal Park to the public. We are awaiting further government guidance and will work to reopen the both parks to guests as soon as it is appropriate to do so. We will be contacting guests with upcoming bookings to advise them on next steps.
As a charity, we appreciate your support and understanding. This is an unprecedented situation but please rest assured that we are committed to the well being of our guests, visitors, animals and teams here in Kent and overseas. We look forward to welcoming you back later in the year.Animal Support Fund
How your experience will be different
At Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, a fundamental part of our mission is to create incredible experiences for animal-lovers. We place the utmost importance on the safety and wellbeing of our guests, animals and teams.
We have completed a series of thorough risk assessments and introduced a range of new health and safety measures that seek to reduce the risk associated with the presence of COVID-19 that are in line with government advice and the requirements of local health authorities. We have also ensured that our teams are provided with the correct PPE, follow social distancing guidelines and carefully monitor their own health to minimise risk.
Gloves and a face mask will be provided to you and must be worn for the duration of the encounter, and we ask that you not touch the animals. Please ensure that you adhere to the 2 metre social distance between yourself, the keeper or ranger and fellow guests. Hands must be washed before and after your animal experience.
Thank you for your consideration and cooperation to help ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable visit.
Get up close and personal
Join one of our expert keepers as they introduce you to the animal of your choice – learn interesting facts, feed where possible and enjoy behind the scenes access as you immerse yourself in our amazing animal world. The perfect gift for animal lovers, our 30 minute group animal encounters can bring you face to face with some of the most iconic and endangered species including critically endangered western lowland gorillas, black rhino, lemurs and other primates, big cats and more.
Small Carnivore Encounter
Big Cat Encounter
Red River Hog Encounter
Warty Pig Encounter
A unique insight
From just £75 per person, your group encounter will include time with one of our expert keepers at Port Lympne as they introduce you to the animal of your choice - learn interesting facts, feed where possible* and enjoy behind the scenes access. Exclusive encounters are also available - please call to check availability. Animal Encounters make the ideal gift for animal lovers - ask about our gift vouchers.
*Please note that gloves and masks must be worn at all times during your encounter. Feeding will be carried out either using grab sticks for carnivores or you will be asked to throw food items for scatter feeds. Some animals may be hand fed at the discretion of the keeper present.
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.
Prices & Booking
Animal Encounters are £75 for a 30 minute group experience. Terms & conditions apply.
The price of this experience DOES NOT include entry to Port Lympne Reserve UNLESS you are an overnight guest of Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve OR a Member or Port Lympne season ticket holder. If you are not an overnight guest of Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve or Member/Port Lympne season ticket holder then a valid day entry ticket will also need to be purchased either on arrival at the gatehouse or online 24 hours in advance of your visit.
Animal Encounters also make the ideal gift for animal lovers.